Doctor Who writer details real reason Ncuti Gatwa landed Time Lord role

Ncuti Gatwa announced as next Doctor Who

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After months of speculation, Ncuti Gatwa was confirmed by the BBC as the 14th Time Lord. The Sex Education star will be the first black male actor to take on the starring role and returning showrunner Russell T Davies spoke to about why he was chosen. He also revealed Ncuti took the role from another actor, when he was the last star to audition.

Speaking at the BAFTA TV Awards in London on Sunday, he addressed claims Ncuti’s casting was a deliberate decision to make the series more diverse.

He told press including “No simply the best actor walked into the room.

“If you are six, you don’t care and that’s the fundamental audience for Doctor Who because I was six when I watched it.

“I don’t care but having said that, once cast, those things are very important.

“I think diversity and inclusion are very important so you will be hearing from us endlessly about that.

“But I do want to ensure everyone, you can sit down and watch a fantastic 45-minute episode of Doctor Who fighting monsters as ever.

“I’ve always had things to say in my dramas and I always will but it’s all-new territory.

“We have Jo Martin as the most fantastic black female Doctor. I salute her. We aren’t trumping over that at all.”

Russell also shared his joy at being able to keep details of Ncuti’s casting under wraps for the past three months.

Discussing the audition, he detailed: “It was the most amazing audition. He was the last person to audition.

“I thought someone else was a guaranteed hit and then he came in. That other person will never know, sadly.

“I shouldn’t do that because he stole it. He was simply brilliant and I just saw unlimited potential. None of you even guessed.

“That’s what surprises me because he’s so brilliant and so popular. He wasn’t even a guess. We feel a little victorious today.

“There’s been a few false stories out there and a few falses tales and we’ve posted a few things ourselves, a couple of misleading things and we’re pleased they worked.

“Not James Corden! We didn’t plant that one. I never saw that one coming frankly – I never saw that one coming!”

Explaining what Ncuti had to do to land the role, Russell went on: “I wrote a special audition speech,

“It was an eight-page scene, it’s a big scene, you’ve got to learn it and come in.

“It’s a tough, proper audition. It’s really hard work and it’s me and the producer and it’s passed on and it’s tough.”

Following the announcement of the new Time Lord, Russell said he’ll be staying tight-lipped until Jodie finishes her tenure as the Time Lord.

“It’s just too soon to say because Jodie is still the Doctor but we’ve got immense plans,” he shared.

“They’re all in place. I can’t wait to talk to you about it but it’s not fair. It’s Jodie, she owns it, she’s got a big finale in October.”

The BAFTA TV Awards airs on Sunday on BBC One from 6pm and will be availble on the BBC iPlayer after.

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