Jodie Whittaker has revealed why she wanted to be the new star of Doctor Who.
The Broadchurch star has been announced as the 13th Doctor, taking over from Peter Capaldi when he leaves at Christmas.
She will be the first woman to play the role, which she described as ‘the ultimate character’.
The 35-year-old added that the sci-fi hit show meant she got to ‘play pretend in the truest form’.
Asked why she wanted to step into Peter’s Doc Martens, she said: ‘To be asked to play the ultimate character, to get to play pretend in the truest form: this is why I wanted to be an actor in the first place.
‘To be able to play someone who is literally reinvented on screen, with all the freedoms that brings: what an unbelievable opportunity. And added to that, to be the first woman in that role.’
She also reassured Whovians: ‘Don’t be scared by my gender’.
She added: ‘I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender. Because this is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change. The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.’
Outgoing Doctor Capaldi praised Jodie for her ‘great individuality and charm’.
He said: ‘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.’
Capaldi’s final episode will see him star opposite David Bradley as the first Doctor.