David Tennant has confirmed that the late Bernard Cribbins will be reprising the role of Wilfred Mott in Doctor Who's upcoming 60th anniversary specials for what will be his last TV performance.


Speaking at Galaxycon in March, Tennant – who is returning as the Doctor for the specials – said that while Cribbins wasn't in the episodes "as much as [they] hoped", Wilfred "lives on" following the actor's passing in July last year.

"Can we get Wilfred back? Can grandad be back on set? He was getting old and a little bit infirm but he was still full of beans and full of energy," Tennant said.

"And I am thrilled to say that – although very sadly he wasn't in those episodes as much as we hoped – he was on set with us and Wilfred lives on. Bernard is much missed and much grieved for, but I am so excited that his final screen performance will be [one] I had the great honour of being part of and you'll see it all on your screens."

Cribbins first appeared as Wilf in 2007's Doctor Who Christmas special Voyage of the Damned, before returning the following year, with the character retroactively made the previously introduced Donna's grandfather.

More like this
Bernard Cribbins as Wilfred Mott in Doctor Who
Bernard Cribbins as Wilfred Mott in Doctor Who BBC

Wilf later took on full companion status for the Tenth Doctor's regeneration story The End of Time, providing the ominous and foretold 'four knocks' which sealed his fate. He was last seen saluting the Doctor as he made his farewell tour before regenerating.

Exactly how Wilf's role will play out in the 60th anniversary celebrations taking place this year remains to be seen. However, we do have some theories about how Tennant and Tate could be making their comeback.

Read more:

Wilf wasn't actually Cribbins's first venture into the Whoniverse – he had previously played Tom Campbell in the Peter Cushing-starring spin-off film Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 AD.

Cribbins's posthumous return to the show marks the latest in a line of Doctor Who announcements, including Tennant and Tate's returns and Ncuti Gatwa's casting as the new Doctor.

Returning showrunner Russell T Davies has remained tight-lipped about how all these returns will take place, but has said "the only thing [he] can confirm is that it’s going to be spectacular".

Doctor Who is available to stream on BBC iPlayer with episodes of the classic series also available on BritBox – you can sign up for a 7-day free trial here.

Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guideto find out what's on.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 12 issues for only £1 with delivery to your home – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.