It’s fair to say that Bradley Walsh had his doubts about joining Doctor Who, with the actor and presenter briefly considering dropping out at an early stage when the BBC were still unable to tell him who would be playing the Doctor he was committing nine months of filming for.
Of course, in the end Walsh did stay on the Tardis crew – and apparently a big part of that might be down to the surprising influence of iconic hardman actor Ray Winstone, who had previously encouraged Walsh to get back into the acting game after the pair had played a charity football match together.
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“Enough of the quiz shows. Why don’t you do more acting?” Winstone told Walsh, according to the Mirror’s People magazine.
“Get back into acting. Get back into acting. You are a good actor.”
In the end, Walsh took the advice (though he’s managed to keep up filming ITV’s The Chase with a few delays) – and he says that when fans see the finished series, they’ll definitely understand why it was worth it.
“If there are any Doctor Who fans out there, Jodie is magnificent,” he said.
“It was unbelievable. It is really big stuff and they have gone for it.”
And Doctor Who fans everywhere have Ray Winstone to thank. That’s a plot twist we didn’t expect for series 11…
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 on Sunday 7th October