While the vast majority of the world failed to predict that Doctor Who’s next lead Time Lord would be Jodie Whittaker, a fair few people did get one thing right about Peter Capaldi’s successor – they were pretty sure it was going to be a woman, with Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge in the frame for weeks as bookies’ odds shortened.
Now, of course, we know that Waller-Bridge wasn’t destined to be the Thirteenth Doctor after all, and Whittaker has revealed that she felt awful about all the media attention that followed her.
“It was just amazing that Phoebe Waller-Bridge had all that and she dealt with it all so amazingly and gracefully,” Whittaker told Dermot O’Leary on BBC Radio 2.
“And at no point could I just text her and go, ‘I’m so sorry’ – because I was under the radar the entire time until the last few days.”
As Whittaker explained, she didn’t even tell close family members about the role – which must have led to some awkward dinner table conversations later on…
“I told my husband, that doesn’t count does it, and I told my Mum,” Whittaker recalled. “And then my Dad was FURIOUS!
“It was a full military operation, I basically whispered for three months. It was getting really tedious that even in my own kitchen I was still talking like that. If the window was open I’d get like, ‘what have I said, what have I said?!'”
Oh well – now that the veil has lifted, we’re sure Whittaker can square things with Han Solo star Waller-Bridge and swap sci-fi tips. Though hopefully she’ll take the time to answer Matt Smith’s bizarre voicemail message first…
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 this Christmas