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John Bishop reveals he originally turned down Doctor Who

The comedian has now signed up to play the Doctor's companion.

Dan Doctor Who
Published: Thursday, 25th February 2021 at 5:10 pm

Doctor Who fans are excited to meet a new companion when the series returns, as John Bishop will join the show in the role of Dan.


You'd think anyone would jump at the chance to film in the TARDIS, but Bishop has revealed he was reluctant.

Speaking at a Zoom event, An Evening with John Bishop, he admits he turned down the part before lockdown inspired him to reconsider.

“I met [writer] Chris Chibnall and he had this idea, and this character," Bishop explains (via CultBox). "He’d seen me in a few things, and he wanted to know if I’d be interested in Doctor Who. I was flattered but the problem was I was on tour when they were meant to be filming. So although I fancied it, I had to say no.

“And then the whole COVID thing happened! Lockdown arrived so I made a phone call and fortunately they had moved their filming dates. It now fits in perfectly – I'm doing Doctor Who up until July and then I go on the road again in September.”

But despite Chibnall approaching Bishop for the role, the comedian explains that it wasn't a done deal. “I had to do the various audition calls and all that," he remembers. "Then I had to go down to Cardiff and do the audition with Jodie [Whittaker] and I thought, "Oh see, this is serious.’”

As reported by Cultbox, Bishop says he's been choosy about which roles he picks as he moves from stand-up to acting. “I didn’t want to do comedic acting because I don’t think I am very good at it. Some people are brilliant at being comedy actors and if you’re a comedian I think there’s a perception that, if you're acting at something that’s meant to be funny, it will be funny all the way though and you’ll be dropping in gags."

With that in mind, Bishop concedes a role in Doctor Who doesn't quite fit with his strategy. "I want to do straight, dramatic acting so I do a hit show when you get chased by aliens!" he laughs.


Doctor Who is expected to return to our screens later this year. If you’re looking for something to watch tonight, check out our TV Guide.


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