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New Doctor Who casting wasn't about “diversity and representation”, says writer

"Simply the best actor walked into the room,” Russell T Davies tells us.

Ncuti Gatwa attends the 27th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on March 13, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
Published: Tuesday, 10th May 2022 at 12:14 pm
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The weekend's exciting announcement that Ncuti Gatwa will replace Jodie Whittaker as the next Doctor on Doctor Who was a groundbreaking one – with the Sex Education star set to become the first non-white actor to take on the iconic role on a regular basis.

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But speaking on the red carpet at Sunday night's BAFTAs, returning showrunner Russell T Davies said that the casting wasn't just about "diversity and representation".

"Simply the best actor walked into the room," he told RadioTimes.com and other press. "I'm aware that all this comes with it. I think if you're six, you don't care. And that's genuinely the fundamental reason for me.

"Because I watched it when I was six, I'm here making it. So six-year-olds watching it now will be making it in 50 years' time."

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Ncuti Gatwa and Russell T Davies attend the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2022 at The Royal Festival Hall on May 8, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Dave Benett/Getty Images)

He added: "Having said that, I think once cast, those things are very important. I think diversity and representation are very important.

"I do want to reassure anyone you can just sit down and watch a fantastic 45-minute episode of Doctor Who with Doctor Who fighting the monsters as ever. I've always had things to say in my dramas, and I always will and that's why it's a good drama, but it's all new territory.

"That's what's exciting. We have had Jo Martin, who was a fantastic female Doctor who's been wonderful. All respect to her, so we're not trumping over that."

Read more: 

Doctor Who is available to stream on BBC iPlayer. Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.

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