Jodie Whittaker on equal pay for a female Doctor Who: it’s “a shock” that it’s even an issue

The Thirteenth Doctor was speaking backstage at the National Television Awards

Jodie Whittaker

New Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker, the first woman to play the Time Lord, has confirmed that she demanded pay equal to that of her male predecessors on the show – and she gave a forthright answer when asked why.

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“I dont imagine you’re going to meet a woman this evening who is unenthusiastic about the prospect of equal pay,” said Whittaker, speaking to journalists backstage at the National Television Awards – before expressing her surprise that she should even be asked the question.

“It’s an incredibly important time and [equal pay is] a notion that should be supported – and it’s a bit of a shock that it’s a surprise to everyone that it should be supported.”

Whittaker, who is currently filming her first series of Doctor Who as the Thirteenth Doctor, was at the NTAs to present the prize for Drama Performance to Suranne Jones and to join fellow Broadchurch stars on stage to accept the award for best Crime Drama.

Her comments follow BBC Director-General Tony Hall’s assurances last year that there would be gender “parity” for the role of the Doctor.

“Yes, there is parity for the same amount of work,” Lord Hall told the Evening Standard. “And I do think it is time for 13th Time Lord to be a woman.”

That means Whittaker is likely to earn between £200,000 and £249,999, the salary band that her predecessor Peter Capaldi was revealed to have fallen into when the Corporation was obliged last year to reveal the pay of all its talent earning over £150,000.

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The report highlighted several instances of disparity between male and female broadcasters at similar levels of responsibility and experience, something that Lord Hall has said he is aiming to eradicate from the BBC by 2020.