EastEnders star Rakhee Thakrar announced as Doctor Who’s new companion… in Paul McGann audio play

Her character Bliss will be fighting the Time War alongside the eighth Doctor

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Doctor Who’s new companion will be played by EastEnders actress Rakhee Thakrar – that is, in the audio plays which feature Paul McGann as the eighth Doctor.

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McGann first starred as the Time Lord in a 1996 television movie, and passed on the baton to Christopher Eccleston as the ninth Doctor in 2005.

Since then, the eighth Doctor has starred in a series of Doctor Who audio plays. The latest instalment will see him caught up in the devastating Time War – a battle waged with the Daleks that has never actually be seen on TV.

His companion Bliss will be played by EastEnders actress Thakrar, who left her role as Shabnam Masood in 2016 after two years in the soap.

Bliss is described as a scientist “trying to stay alive in the heart of temporal battle”. Oh, and she also “knows how to blow up a Dalek” which is handy.

The part was actually created especially for Thakrar by scriptwriter Matt Fitton for production company Big Finish.

Thakrar said: “Getting to voice the role of Bliss alongside the Doctor is an absolute dream. She’s a character who I’d like to be more like; someone who puts aside her own fear to help others.

“I think Big Finish have created a great companion with Bliss, she’s incredibly bright but is not excluded from making mistakes and having a sense of humour. I find her very real, and she’s a joy to play. I’m thoroughly excited to join the Doctor Who team.”

Last year Thakrar was actually reported to be in line to play the Doctor’s companion in the BBC1 series. She may not have got that job – but the rumours certainly weren’t far off.

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The Time War: Series 1 – the first of four parts – is available to pre-order online.