When The Chase presenter Bradley Walsh was cast in Doctor Who series 11 opposite Jodie Whittaker’s new Doctor, many fans were surprised – but Walsh actually has quite an acting pedigree, with previous roles including the lead in new Who boss Chris Chibnall’s Law and Order: UK and Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah-Jane Adventures.
In an extended version of his Radio Times magazine interview, Walsh discusses joining the show after being a childhood fan, and explains how on Earth (or in the known universe) he fits filming Doctor Who around his other TV commitments.
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So, Bradley – how did you feel when you got the part of Graham?
Oh, it was absolutely sensational. It’s the best job, bar none.
It was very exciting when Chris Chibnall [with whom Walsh worked on Law & Order: UK] and Matt Strevens [Who’s executive producer] took me to lunch and asked me about the role. I used to watch Doctor Who as a child with William Hartnell and Pat Troughton in the black-and-white days, so being cast is brilliant.
I never really got the chance to see much as I grew up because I was trying to play football for a living, so I was always playing, or in training.
And when it was announced?
There was obviously a fuss about the first female Doctor and I think the casting of Jodie Whittaker is a stroke of genius from Chris, but I didn’t really pay a lot of attention to it all. I don’t do any social media so I’m a bit oblivious. I only just started doing Instagram.
You’ve spent nine months filming. How does you feel now it’s nearly finished?
Exhausted! But it’s been brilliant. Everyone’s so lovely — all the crew, cast and producers have just been fantastic.
I’m still working on [game show] The Chase, so when I’m not in Cardiff for Who I’m in the ITV studio making three shows a day from 10 o’clock in the morning until 7 o’clock at night.
Luckily I just let the producers at ITV and the BBC do all the plate-spinning and date-sorting. They’re fantastic — my thanks to both ITV and BBC for letting me do these jobs concurrently.
You were also in a Doctor Who spin-off, the Sarah-Jane Adventures. What was that like?
Yeah, it was brilliant. I loved doing that actually, I was made up. And I’ve re-kindled a friendship with Nikki Wilson, one of the executive producers on Doctor Who because she was the producer of that show, that spin-off Sarah-Jane Adventures.
So it’s lovely to get to meet her, know her and work with her again.
Where will you be watching the new series of Doctor Who?
I hope I’ll be watching it live. Why would I escape the country? Why would you do that? Why would you not watch a product you’re so proud of?
I can’t wait to watch it in the cold light of day. I think everyone on the show has worked so hard on it, and it’s something everyone should be very proud of.
A condensed version of this interview, along with other exclusive Doctor Who interviews, pictures and behind-the-scenes secrets, is in the latest edition of the Radio Times magazine, on sale now