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David Hollingsworth

Ncuti Gatwa: 'Surreal' taking over Doctor Who from childhood hero David Tennant

Ncuti Gatwa as the Time Lord in Doctor Who Christmas special 2023 the .

Ncuti Gatwa, Doctor Who’s 15th Doctor, says it's a "surreal" experience to be taking over from David Tennant in the TARDIS.

The hugely popular star, who will enjoy his first full adventure in the Doctor Who Christmas special 2023, says as a child David was his Doctor.

He told The Big Issue: "It feels like it's come full circle — because David was my Doctor and such a great inspiration to me as an actor.

"I would have been 13 — a pivotal time. So for him, of all people, to be handing the baton over — it just feels really surreal. Because I just loved his Doctor so much…"

Ncuti admits a range of emotions about people, at last, getting to see his Time Lord.

"It's felt like I've been the Doctor and also had to hold off from being the Doctor for most of the last two years.

"So how do I feel about people seeing it? I feel ready. But I'm sooooo nervous. It's been so long now that I'm like, 'No, no, no, no. Don't look! Nothing to see here.'"

The Doctor faces a mysterious goblin (Image credit: BBC)

The festive special will see the 15th Doctor meeting his new companion, Ruby Sunday (Coronation Street's Mille Gibson). The BBC has finally teased some plot details, saying: "The episode sees the Doctor come face-to-face with the mythical and mysterious goblins as his life collides with Ruby Sunday."

Adding: "Little is known about Ruby Sunday as she was abandoned on Christmas Eve as a baby. Now living with her mum, Carla and grandmother, Cherry her world is about to be turned upside when she encounters the Doctor and the two set off on their first adventure together…"

Davina McCall will be playing herself as she joins the cast alongside Michelle Greenidge as Ruby’s mum Carla, Angela Wynter as Ruby’s grandmother Cherry and Anita Dobson as Mrs Flood.

Davina says: "It is beyond an honor to be asked to appear in not only Doctor Who but also Ncuti's first episode as the new Doctor. It was such an extraordinary experience and Russell has written you all a Christmas delight! Now I just can’t wait for everyone to see it!"

The Doctor Who Christmas special lands on Christmas Day on BBC One in the UK (see our Christmas TV guide for all the top festive shows). It's on Disney Plus in the US.

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