Ncuti Gatwa shared a sweet response to his casting in Doctor Who while walking the Bafta TV Awards red carpet.
The 29-year-old actor, best known for his role Netflix show Sex Education, was revealed as the 14th incarnation of the Time Lord in the popular BBC show on Sunday (8 May).
Gatwa had previously teased his casting with a series of symbols on Instagram, with showrunner Russell T Davies replying: “The future is here.” Davies shared the same set of images.
Hours after the news was announced, Gatwa attended the Virgin Media TV Baftas.
He told the PA news agency: “I feel really happy that I can now talk about it because I got cast in February and I have been keeping it a secret since then.”
Gatwa, who was born in Rwanda and raised in Scotland, added: “So it is nice to finally breathe. But also really nervous.”
He continued: “It is an incredibly iconic role and an incredibly iconic show. I just hope I do it justice. I am following in some very, very big footsteps so I am just hoping that I fill them up.”
Gatwa is nominated for Best Male Performance in a Comedy Programme at this year’s TV Baftas for his role of Eric in Sex Education.
He will replace Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor when she bows out at the end of 2022. His casting comes at an exciting time for Doctor Who fans as former showrunner Russell T Davies returns to the series in time for its 60th anniversary.
Speaking about how Doctor Who relates to diversity, Gatwa said of the Time Lord: “He is literally an alien – ‘they’ are an alien. And so they can regenerate into anything and anyone.
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“And for me, I just find the show to be the most beautiful form of escapism. You can forget about all your worldly troubles and you get to go to space and battle aliens.
“I feel like anyone can put themselves in those shoes. The Doctor is not from anywhere. They don’t fit in anywhere and I think for marginalised people they have been a real beacon of feeling seen in a way.
“They are someone that can help people escape, which I love.”
The BBC has said that further details will be announced in due course. Whittaker’s next episode will air in October 2022.
Additional reporting by Agencies