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‘Doctor Who’ Casts ‘Sex Education’ Star Ncuti Gatwa as Its First Black Lead

Gatwa will take over the role recently vacated by Jodie Whittaker.

Ncuti Gatwa arrives at the 27th Annual Critics Choice Awards held at The Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, ​March 13, 2022. (Photo By Sthanlee B. Mirador/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

Ncuti Gatwa

Sipa USA via AP

The BBC has announced that the long-running British sci-fi show “Doctor Who” will follow Jodie Whittaker’s history-making run as the first female Doctor by casting the first Black actor in the iconic television role.

Scottish actor Ncuti Gatwa is set to play the next iteration of the time-traveling Doctor in 2023, taking over the TARDIS at the same time that former showrunner Russell T. Davies will return and take over the show from Chris Chibnall. Whittaker’s final episode airs this fall.

Gatwa is best known for his role as Eric Effiong on Showtime’s “Sex Education,” which earned him three BAFTA TV Award nominations. He will also be seen next year in Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” film alongside Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling.

The Scottish thespian will be the 14th actor to play the iconic television role, and the sixth since the show was relaunched in 2005. In the current iteration of the series, the role was previously occupied by Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi, and most recently, Whittaker.

“There aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling,” Gatwa said in a statement. “A mix of 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,” he said. “I will endeavor my utmost to do the same.”

“The future is here, and it’s Ncuti,” Davies said. “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. Ncuti dazzled us, seized hold of the Doctor and owned those TARDIS keys in seconds. It’s an honor to work with him, and a hoot, I can’t wait to get started. I’m sure you’re dying to know more, but we’re rationing ourselves for now, with the wonderful Jodie’s epic finale yet to come. But I promise you, 2023 will be spectacular!”

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