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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
By Ellie Iorizzo, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter

Millie Gibson learned of Doctor Who audition on last day of Coronation Street

The Doctor played by Ncuti Gatwa and Ruby Sunday played by Millie Gibson (James Pardon/BBC/PA)

Millie Gibson described her Doctor Who audition as “fate” after discovering she had the opportunity to star on the BBC sci-fi series on the same day as filming her last scenes for Coronation Street.

The 18-year-old actress will feature as sidekick Ruby Sunday opposite Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa, who takes over as the 15th Doctor, with their first episodes airing over the festive period in 2023.

Gibson, who was named the best young performer for her role as tearaway Kelly Neelan in Coronation Street at the 2022 Soap Awards, said her Doctor Who audition could not have been more timely.

Doctor Who companion Millie Gibson (Danny Lawson/PA)

She told the Doctor Who magazine: “My agent rang me and said, ‘How are you doing?’. And I was like, ‘I’m a bit down, it was my last day today’, and he said, ‘Well, this will keep you occupied’.

“When he told me what it was, I just kept thinking, ‘Oh my God, this is fate, this is fate’.”

Gibson recorded a self-tape, which her manager asked her to re-do, before getting a call-back inviting her to an audition in London.

The actress recalled feeling nervous before meeting Gatwa and showrunner Russell T Davies for her audition but said they were the “most at-ease people ever”.

Speaking about auditioning alongside Gatwa, she said: “They were seeing what the chemistry was like, how we bounce off each other with the lines.

The Doctor played by Ncuti Gatwa during Doctor Who – The Power of the Doctor (BBC Studios/PA)

“That was another thing I was nervous about because you know chemistry as soon as you walk into the room. So if it doesn’t happen, you’d know straight away, and they’d know it, too.

“But what’s so great about Ncuti is, a stranger could bounce off him without even knowing him. He’s just so beautifully talented, in that aspect. He’s the perfect Doctor. And I’ll try to be the perfect companion.”

Gibson discovered she had won the part while she was getting a spray tan ahead of the National Television Awards last year.

Millie Gibson attending the National Television Awards 2022 held at the OVO Arena Wembley in London (Ian West/PA)

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She added: “I was in the room waiting to dry off when I got this WhatsApp call, asking me to join the call with all my agents. I picked up the phone and they were like, ‘Are you good at keeping secrets?’.

“I said, ‘Yeah’. They said, ‘Are you really good at keeping secrets? Cos you’ve got it’.”

Gibson, who is the youngest Doctor Who companion in the show’s history, said she used to love watching the sci-fi show with her father and Matt Smith was her favourite Doctor.

The Doctor Who Magazine issue 586 is out on Thursday January 5.

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