Bradley Walsh: why I don’t want to play the Doctor

The actor and host of The Chase says he's never coveted Jodie Whittaker's role

Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh (Getty, EH)

Before he was cast as Graham, there weren’t many who associated Bradley Walsh with Doctor Who. But the actor and host of The Chase has impressed fans with his portrayal of the grieving widower alongside Jodie Whittaker in her first series as the titular Time Lord.


Walsh was approached for the role by new showrunner Chris Chibnall who kept his ideas for the new series close to his chest, even refusing to disclose who his new Doctor was going to be.

He agreed to the part – but tells the new edition of Radio Times that he never aspired to play the lead himself.

“My style can be as manic as the next person’s, but the Doctor has a certain style and, despite regeneration, I think they ostensibly remain the same type of person. And if you don’t know the back catalogue and all the jargon, you’re up against it,” he says, explaining that he hadn’t watched the show since the days of Patrick Troughton in the late 1960s.

“I ducked out in 1969 and for me this is brand spanking new.

“Besides, Jodie is absolutely fantastic I love working with her and Tosin and Mandip. Being surrounded by these young actors – it’s terrific.”

Walsh adds that he was surprised to receive scripts for a number of serious storylines in the new series. “I’m a bit of a history buff and I thought the Rosa Parks episode, and the Indian Partition one that went out on Remembrance Sunday, were extraordinarily moving. I just watched and went, ‘Wow!’

“I didn’t know. I just assumed it would be as it always was, a sort of sci-fi, time-travelling adventure. Educationally, it’s perfect but then you get Yaz drop-kicking the alien or the giant spiders, which were terrific – it’s brilliant, the way they’ve done it.”


You can read the full interview with Bradley Walsh in this week’s Radio Times, on sale from Saturday 1st December