Jo Whiley: It was “incredibly tough” for Peter Capaldi to say goodbye to Doctor Who

The BBC Radio 2 DJ said that Capaldi announcing he was leaving was one of the most emotional moments of her career

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Jo Whiley says that Peter Capaldi announcing he was leaving Doctor Who on her show was one of the most emotional moments of her career.

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The Radio 2 DJ was taken completely by surprise when the 12th Doctor dropped the bombshell that he would be leaving the sci-fi drama after the 2017 Christmas special, but said that she thought it was “the classy way to do it”.

Speaking at the Radio Times Covers Party, Whiley said that it was the ideal way for the news to come out, adding that it was “incredibly tough” for Capaldi to say goodbye to Doctor Who.

“I’m obviously a Doctor Who freak, but I was kind of wondering why he wanted to come on the show,” she admitted. “We just chatted, and he played all his favourite music, and then he just looked me in the eye and did this whole thing about, ‘Yes it’s obviously very important because it’s going to be my last ever series’.

“I just looked at him and thought, ‘Did you just say what I thought you said? Oh my God you’re leaving!’ And it was such a moment, honestly one of the most emotional moments of my career.”

She said that it was an emotional moment for Capaldi too, having been part of the show since 2013 and the 12th actor to play the Doctor.

“It’s very emotional for him; it’s like being Father Christmas in a way, being Doctor Who. Only a few people will be in that position, and to say goodbye to it is incredibly tough,” she said.

Capaldi’s tribute to Doctor Who on Whiley’s show was clearly heartfelt: “One of the greatest privileges of being Doctor Who is to see the world at its best,” he told Whiley. “From our brilliant crew and creative team working for the best broadcaster on the planet, to the viewers and fans whose endless creativity, generosity and inclusiveness points to a brighter future ahead. I can’t thank everyone enough. It’s been cosmic.”

Speaking a day after Capaldi made the announcement, Whiley said that she appreciated the “low key” way he delivered the news.

“I think he’s a very cool character; he’s not particularly razzle dazzle showbiz, that’s not what Peter Capaldi’s about. I think he’s very cool, and he wanted to do it in a very low key, safe environment, where he just put it out there, people learned about it and it was all very organic. I don’t think he wanted lots of attention, particularly, and I think it was a really classy way to do it. It’s my style as well, so I was so touched that he chose to do it on the show.”

When asked whether she had thought about who could succeed Capaldi as the Doctor, Whiley joked, “You’re asking if I want to be Doctor Who? Of course I do. I’m free!”

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You can still hear the full interview on iPlayer, and listen to a clip below.