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‘Sex Education’ star Ncuti Gatwa announced as the new Doctor Who

BBC confirmed on Sunday that the actor will be stepping into the iconic role.
Ncuti Gatwa in Sex Education
Ncuti Gatwa in Sex EducationSam Taylor / Netflix

The new Doctor Who has been unveiled, and it’s “Sex Education” star Ncuti Gatwa.

Gatwa takes over from Jodie Whittaker, who has played the iconic role since 2017. The actor’s departure was revealed in July 2021 and there’s been widespread speculation ever since around who will be replacing her, with rumored names including “It’s a Sin” stars Olly Alexander and Lydia West, and even Michaela Coel.

The BBC confirmed Gatwa’s casting on Sunday afternoon, local time, just hours before the taping of the BAFTA TV Awards, suggesting there could be some reference to “Doctor Who” during the ceremony. Gatwa is expected to be in attendance, according to a list of expected guests provided by BAFTA last week.

Ncuti Gatwa
Ncuti Gatwa attends the 27th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on March 13, 2022 in Los Angeles, Calif.Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic

The 29-year-old Scottish actor was born in Rwanda and broke out in Netflix comedy “Sex Education,” where he plays Eric Effiong, best friend to Asa Butterfield’s Otis. He is the second Black actor to portray a doctor, following Jo Martin, who played “Fugitive Doctor” Ruth Clayton in a 2020 episode.

In a statement, Gatwa told the BBC that he was “deeply honored, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared.”

“This role and show means so much to so many around the world, including myself, and each one of my incredibly talented predecessors has handled that unique responsibility and privilege with the utmost care,” said Gatwa. “I will endeavor my upmost to do the same.”

Ncuti Gatwa
Ncuti Gatwa attends the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards at The Royal Festival Hall on May 8, 2022 in London, England.Samir Hussein / WireImage

Fans began to guess on Sunday that “Doctor Who” news was imminent after a cryptic equation of two hearts, a plus sign and a blue square popped up on the Instagram pages of Gatwa and showrunner Russell T. Davies, who takes over from Chris Chibnall for the next season.

Davies commented “The future is here” under Gatwa’s post.

The “It’s a Sin” and “Queer as Folk” writer told the BBC that Gatwa had “dazzled” the creative team in his audition.

“Sometimes talent walks through the door and it’s so bright and bold and brilliant, I just stand back in awe and thank my lucky stars,” said Davies.

Production on the new season of “Doctor Who” will begin later this year.