If being able to keep a secret makes for a good Time Lord then Jodie Whittaker has passed the first test.
Sources close to the performer, who was named last week as the Thirteenth Doctor, say that she knew “for months” about getting the role.
It is thought that she was given the job at least five months ago by Chris Chibnall, the new Doctor Who showrunner who worked with Whittaker on ITV drama Broadchurch where she played grieving mum Beth Latimer. And she had to keep the secret all that time.
She even appeared at a press launch earlier this summer for her new drama Trust Me where she plays a nurse who poses as… a doctor – and managed to keep her poker face for that.
However the sources said that Whittaker did tell one person (and one person only): her husband, American actor Christian Contreras.
Whittaker is expected to start filming for the role next year for a likely broadcast in autumn 2018, with the role of her companion still undecided according to sources.
It has been said that former Death in Paradise star Kris Marshall has been chosen to accompany her Doctor in the Tardis but BBC sources say that a decision has still not been made on the casting.
Whittaker said of her new role: “I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey – with Chris and with every Whovian on this planet.
“It’s more than an honour to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.”
New showrunner Chris Chibnall is understood to have been committed to casting a woman in the role ever since he landed the job last year.
His statement said: “I always knew I wanted the Thirteenth Doctor to be a woman and we’re thrilled to have secured our number one choice. Her audition for The Doctor simply blew us all away.
“Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role. The Thirteenth Doctor is on her way.”
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years. After a two year stint on local newspapers in the mid 1990s, he spent more than 5 years as the broadcast reporter at the Stage newspaper. Following that he enjoyed staff reporting positions at the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times breaking stories and writing features before settling as a full time freelance writing for an array of newspapers and magazines - but mainly for the Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.