Ncuti Gatwa and Russell T Davies beamed as they attended the Baftas after the secret was out (Picture: Scott Garfitt/REX/Shutterstock for BAFTA)
While he announced the exciting news on the day of the Bafta awards, Ncuti had actually known the role was is since February, and it’s been a secret ever since.
Showrunner Russell has admitted the announcement of his casting was very carefully timed to coincide with the awards ceremony, so everyone working on the show had faced a tense few months desperate for the news not to leak out.
Russell described the reveal as a ‘spectacular operation’, noting there
was a specific plan in mind.
Ncuti knew he was the next Time Lord since February (Picture: Wire Image)
In the Production Notes column of the new issue of Doctor Who magazine,
he said: ‘[The plan was to] release a cryptic post online at 11:30am.
Let that go viral. Then an official statement at 12:30pm, released to
‘My mate Stefan texted me, always ready with a complaint. “Bit low-key,”
he said. Oh you wait, I thought, as we hit 13:30 and… Flash, bang, pop,
scream, the new Doctor walked onto the biggest red carpet in the world!
‘People going crazy for him! That was quite a sight, camera crews and
microphones and journalists in the blazing sunshine yelling, “Ncuti!
Ncuti Gatwa will be the 14th Time Lord (Picture: Rex Features)
Russell admitted that the reveal took a ‘hell of a lot of planning’.
He added: ‘The fact that we had to do all this in secret meant we were
rattling with tension.
‘Not only had Ncuti’s name not been leaked, but he hadn’t even been
guessed. His casting had been locked away, since February, with all of
us worrying that it would be spoiled, any day now.
Russell proudly unveiled Ncuti as the new Doctor at the Baftas (Picture: Getty)
‘But it worked. It absolutely worked.’
Russell previously confessed he had planted ‘a few false stories,’ ‘false
tales’ and ‘a couple of misleading things’ in order to keep the real
Time Lord’s casting a secret.
He added: ‘We’re very pleased that that kind of worked.’
Previous names linked to the role included Olly Alexander and his It’s
A Sin co-stars Lydia West and Omari Douglas.
On the Bafta red carpet, Ncuti shared how ’emotional’ it had been, relieved that he no longer had to keep it a secret.
‘I woke up crying, and then I was dancing, but I’m glad it’s finally out and I don’t have to keep it a secret anymore, because I’m terrible,’ he said.
‘There aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling,’ Gatwa said of his new role. ‘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 upmost to do the same.’
He continued: ‘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 have 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.’
Doctor Who will return to BBC One this autumn.
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