Sir Lenny Henry believes showrunner Russell T Davies made the right choice (Picture: PA / REX)
Sir Lenny Henry showed his support for Ncuti Gatwa after it was confirmed that he will be the next Doctor Who, and claimed that ‘Black fans’ have been waiting a long time for this moment.
Social media went into meltdown with several fans sending their love for the Sex Education actor, who has made history as the first Black actor to portray the beloved character.
The exciting announcement was teased by returning Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies and Ncuti on Instagram, with a post featuring two heart emoji, a plus symbol and a blue square.
The Comic Relief co-founder, 63, who spoofed the role 37 years ago for The Lenny Henry Show is convinced Ncuti’s casting as the Time Lord will make a great impact in the Black community.
‘A lot of Black fans have been looking at our watches for a while,’ he said.
‘More power to Russell T Davies,’ he added to Radio Times.
Sir Lenny spoofed the titular role on his show in 1985 (Picture: PA)
It was recently confirmed that Ncuti would be taking on the beloved role – which is set to air in 2023 (Picture: REX)
The BBC One series has taken steps towards greater inclusivity in recent years with Jodie the first woman to play the Time Lord. However, Russell insists casting Ncuti, 29, in the role wasn’t initially because of the colour of his skin.
‘Simply the best actor walked into the room, the showrunner told reporters at the Baftas on Sunday.
He added: ‘I’m aware that all this comes with it. I think if you’re six, you don’t care. And that’s genuinely the fundamental reason for me.
‘Because I watched it when I was six, I’m here making it. So six-year-olds watching it now will be making it in 50 years’ time.
“It’s been emotional!” Ncuti Gatwa is feeling the love after his Doctor Who news was revealed ðŸ˜ #VirginMediaBAFTAs pic.twitter.com/LcI1cP7UO6
— BAFTA (@BAFTA) May 8, 2022
‘Having said that, I think once cast, those things are very important. I think diversity and representation are very important.’
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 added of his new role. ‘A mix of deeply honoured, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared.
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‘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.’
Doctor Who will return to BBC One this autumn.
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