Bradley Walsh applauds Doctor Who for tackling real-world issues

The departing companion says he’s most proud of episodes dealing with racism, pollution and mental health themes.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 17:00:01 on 27/12/2019 - Programme Name: Doctor Who Series 12 - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 2) - Picture Shows: GENERIC PORTRAITS FOR EPISODE 2
**STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 27/12/2019 17:00:01** Graham (BRADLEY WALSH) - (C) BBC / BBC Studios - Photographer: Ray Burmiston

Bradley Walsh is set to depart Doctor Who in upcoming festive special Revolution of the Daleks, with his character Graham confirmed to be leaving the sci-fi drama behind alongside his onscreen grandson Ryan (played by Tosin Cole).

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And with his time on the TARDIS behind him Walsh has found himself in a nostalgic mood, revealing that his proudest moments on the BBC series were when the team tackled social and environmental issues, including episodes themed around racism, climate change and personal health.

“We on the show have carried through global issues…it’s been a through narrative of almost every single episode,” Walsh told Radio Times.

“Whether it’s Rosa Parks, or whether it’s the plastics episode. Whatever it is, it’s a whole narrative through the series.”

In particular Walsh highlighted 2018 episode Rosa, which dealt with issues of race in a historical setting, as one of the episodes he’d be most proud of during his time on the show, and credited both showrunner Chris Chibnall and lead actor Jodie Whittaker with helping bring these important stories to life.

“I mean my favourite episode of all the shows…I think I’ve made 22 now…was the Rosa Parks one, by a country mile. And how relevant has that now been, over the last year?” Walsh said.

“I think Chris Chibnall himself is not frightened to confront stuff like this. And I think that’s great. And I think the fact that we have someone like the boss…and the boss is Jodie Whittaker by the way, the boss of the acting department…is great.

“Her compassion, her thoughts and the way she wants to live her life, in every day, comes across onscreen. And she’s a very compassionate woman. She really is. And her humility and everything is off the radar.”

Walsh also praised the way the series had depicted his character Graham’s cancer worries and mental health issues in general, telling us that he felt the story “needed to be told” despite some criticisms of one scene where Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor was unable to offer Graham comfort from his fears about the disease returning.

“You want to portray a story and people that have something in common with the people that are viewing the show,” Walsh explained.

“So whether it be a cancer issue. Whether it be mental health. Or a fear of spiders! And you’ve got to try and deal with it in such a compassionate way as well.”

Clearly, Walsh has a lot to be proud of when he bids farewell to Doctor Who this winter. Fingers crossed he won’t be too gutted to see it carry on without him.

Radio Times Christmas Cover 2020

For more interviews with Bradley Walsh and the Doctor Who cast about the Doctor Who Christmas special, check out the Christmas double issue of Radio Times, on sale now! 

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Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks comes to BBC One at 6.45pm on New Year’s Day. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide.