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Jodie Whittaker announced as first female Doctor Who

Jodie Whittaker in Venus

Story by Jack Foley

JODIE Whittaker has been announced as the new Doctor Who.

The actress, best known for roles in ITV crime drama Broadchurch and the film Venus, will play the 13th Time Lord – and becomes the first woman to be given the role.

The new Doctor’s identity was revealed in a trailer broadcast at the end of the Wimbledon men’s singles final (won by Roger Federer).

Whittaker will succeed current Doctor Peter Capaldi, who took over the role in 2013 and leaves in the forthcoming Christmas special.

Whittaker, 35, said it was “overwhelming, as a feminist” to become the next Doctor. She will make her debut when the Doctor regenerates in the Christmas Day special.

The Broadchurch connection on Doctor Who runs strong, given that the show’s new show-runner is Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall, while another former Doctor was Whittaker’s Broadchurch co-star David Tennant.

Huddersfield-born Whittaker became a late favourite to become the new Doctor, commented: “I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey – with Chris and with every Whovian on this planet. It’s more than an honour to play the Doctor.

“It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.”

Commenting on the gender swap, Whittaker reassured fans not to be “scared”…. “because this is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change”.

She added: “The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.”

Capaldi, who had said he wanted to see a woman replace him, also urged fans to get behind Whittaker, saying: “Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker’s work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm.

“She has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She’s going to be a fantastic Doctor.”

And new show-runner Chibnall maintained that the 13th Doctor was always going to be a woman.

“I always knew I wanted the 13th Doctor to be a woman and we’re thrilled to have secured our number one choice,” he said. “Her audition for the Doctor simply blew us all away.

“Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role. The 13th Doctor is on her way.”

Chibnall is taking over from Steven Moffat, who leaves the series at the same time as Capaldi.

Next story: Bill Nighy and Catherine Keener head all-star BBC adaptation of Ordeal by Innocence