Doctor Who series 11: Bradley Walsh on the highs (and highs) of joining Jodie Whittaker’s Tardis team
In an exclusive interview, the presenter and actor reveals what it’s like to be a part of the series he’s watched since childhood – and how he fits it in with filming three episodes of The Chase every day…
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.
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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