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Doctor Who: Jodie Whittaker makes history as first ever female Time Lord – get the details

The 35-year-old actress makes history as the first woman to play the Doctor

by Hanna Fillingham

Jodie Whittaker has been announced as Doctor Who’s 13th Time Lord, making history as the first ever female to play the iconic lead role and taking over from Peter Capaldi. The news was announced on Sunday in a trailer at the end of Wimbledon men’s singles final on the BBC. Jodie, 35, is best known for playing Beth Latimer in ITV’s drama Broadchurch. She has also appeared in films including One Day, Attack the Block and St Trinian’s.

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Jodie Whittaker has been announced as the 13th Doctor Who

Jodie and actor Kris Marshall were the bookies favourites to become the next Doctor, while other possible successors included Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Olivia Colman. Actors to have played the Time Lord in recent years include Jodie’s Broadchurch co-star David Tennant, Matt Smith and Christopher Eccleston.

Following the announcement, social media went into overdrive, with Jodie Whittaker and Dr Who both trending on Twitter. Fans were quick to share their excitement at the news, with one writing: "So happy Doctor Who 13 is a woman, it’s about time! Looking forward to the new season & how she does," while another said: "This is AMAZING! I’m so excited!," a third added: "Congratulations! Loved her [Jodie Whittaker] in Broadchurch, I’m sure she will be an amazing Doctor Who." 

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Jodie is best known for her role as Beth Latimer in Broadchurch

Jodie told the BBC: "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."

 Meanwhile, Broadchurch’s creator Chris Chibnall was recently unveiled as the new showrunner for Doctor Who, and praised the "inspiring, super-smart," Jodie in a statement.

"I always knew I wanted the 13th Doctor to be a woman and we're thrilled to have secured our number one choice. 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."

Adding, 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."

Jodie’s first appearance as the new Doctor is expected to air later in the year.