While some Doctor Who fans thought they were certain of who the next Doctor would be, almost nobody predicted it would be Sex Education's Ncuti Gatwa – much to the delight of Russell T Davies.


The showrunner of Doctor Who's upcoming 2023 season has revealed that he planted "a couple of misleading things" about the next Doctor's identity to throw fans off the scent.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press on the BAFTA Television Awards red carpet, Davies said that he'd kept Gatwa's casting news – which was announced on Sunday – under wraps for three months.

"None of you even guessed," the writer said. "He's so brilliant and so popular, he wasn't even guessed, so I'm feeling a little bit victorious here."

He continued: "There's been a few false stories and false tales and we placed a few posts ourselves, a couple of misleading things, and we're very pleased that that kind of worked."

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However, Davies clarified that the rumour James Corden might be taking on the role wasn't one of his red herrings, adding: "We didn't plant that one, so that caught me frankly."

While Davies did not expand on which names he'd planted in the press, a number of actors associated with the award-winning screenwriter were rumoured to be Jodie Whittaker's replacement, including Years & Years star T'Nia Miller, It's A Sin's Olly Alexander as well as the Fugitive Doctor herself Jo Martin.

The BBC announced that Gatwa would become Jodie Whittaker's Doctor Who successor shortly before the TV BAFTA Awards on Sunday, with the Sex Education star saying: "There aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling. A mix of deeply honoured, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared.

Ncuti Gatwa attends the 27th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on March 13, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
Ncuti Gatwa at the 27th Annual Critics Choice Awards in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

"This role and show means so much to so many around the world, including myself, and each one of my incredibly talented predecessors has handled that unique responsibility and privilege with the utmost care. I will endeavour my upmost to do the same."

The three-time BAFTA nominee is best known for starring as Eric Effiong in Netflix comedy-drama Sex Education, but is also set to star in war drama Masters of the Air and Greta Gerwig's upcoming Barbie film.

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