Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa will be the first Black Doctor Who when he takes charge of the TARDIS in the BBC series in 2023.

Stage and screen actor Ncuti is best known for his critically acclaimed performance in Netflix’s Sex Education where he plays Eric Effiong, the iconic gay character who hails from a religious Nigerian/Ghanaian family.

Born in Rwanda and raised in Scotland, Ncuti has won a number of awards for his portrayal of Eric Effiong, including Best Actor Award at the Scottish BAFTAs in 2020 and Best Male Performance in a comedy programme at this year’s BAFTAs.

Notably, Ncuti is the first Black actor to play the plum role of Doctor Who as the 14th incarnation of the Time Lord.

Last month, Deadline announced Ncuti would also be joining the cast of the upcoming Barbie film starring Margot Robbie.


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Speaking of his new role, Ncuti says: “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. 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 utmost to do the same.”

Ncuti Gatwa to become the first Black Dr Who
Image credit: BBC

“Russell T Davies is almost as iconic as the Doctor himself and being able to work with him is a dream come true. His writing is dynamic, exciting, incredibly intelligent and fizzing with danger. An actor’s metaphorical playground. The entire team has been so welcoming and truly give their hearts to the show. And so as much as it’s daunting, I’m aware I’m joining a really supportive family. Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart, but I am giving it all to this show.”

“This role and show means so much to so many around the world, including myself…”

Russell T Davies, Showrunner, adds: “The future is here and it’s Ncuti! Sometimes talent walks through the door and it’s so bright and bold and brilliant, I just stand back in awe and thank my lucky stars. Ncuti dazzled us, seized hold of the Doctor and owned those TARDIS keys in seconds. It’s an honour to work with him, and a hoot, I can’t wait to get started. I’m sure you’re dying to know more, but we’re rationing ourselves for now, with the wonderful Jodie’s epic finale yet to come. But I promise you, 2023 will be spectacular!”


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Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer, says: “Ncuti has an incredible dynamism, he’s a striking and fearless young actor whose talent and energy will set the world alight and take Doctor Who on extraordinary adventures under Russell T Davies’ new era.”

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