Bradley Walsh reveals why he initially turned down Doctor Who

The Chase star was offered the role by showrunner Chris Chibnall, but wasn't impressed by the secrecy surrounding the Thirteenth Doctor

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 13:00:01 on 17/07/2018 - Programme Name: Doctor Who Series 11 - TX: n/a - Episode: July Preview (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: **Strictly Embargoed until 17/07/2018 13:00:01** Graham (BRADLEY WALSH) - (C) BBC / BBC Studios - Photographer: Henrik Knudsen

New Doctor Who companion Bradley Walsh has revealed that he nearly turned down the role – citing uneasiness when new showrunner Chris Chibnall wouldn’t tell him who the Thirteenth Doctor was.


The actor and host of The Chase was offered the role of companion Graham O’Brien personally by Chibnall, although initially didn’t even know what show Chibnall was working on.

“I was with Chris having lunch last year and he said: ‘Brad, I want you to do a job.'” he told The Sun. “I said: ‘Sure, what?’ He said: ‘I can’t tell. It’s very, very secret. But you are the man for the job. It’s in Cardiff and will be a nine-month shoot.’

The pair then met again, with Chibnall offering Walsh a bit more information – although not enough to win him over instantly, with Chibnall withholding the identity of Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker.

“I had another meeting and he said: ‘It is Doctor Who — not for the Doctor, though. We are going to change it around.’ I said: ‘Who is going to be the Doctor?’ He said: ‘We can’t tell.’ So I said: ‘I can’t accept.’”

This, of course, is understandable – the Doctor is the heart and soul of Doctor Who, and determines what kind of show Walsh would be signing on for. However, Walsh was eventually convinced by Chibnall to take ‘a leap of faith’ on what he promised would be a ‘groundbreaking’ new series.

“He said: ‘But we want you. It will be an unbelievable journey. It will be ground-breaking. We are going to go for it. The BBC have trusted us.’ So I’m in. A leap of faith.”

Whether that leap will end well will be seen on Sunday 7th October, when Walsh’s Graham joins fellow companions Ryan Sinclair (Tosin Cole) and Yasmin Khan (Mandip Gill) for the show’s first ever series led by a female Doctor.


Doctor Who series 11 will air on Sunday 7th October on BBC1