Doctor Who: Jodie Whittaker announced as 13th Doctor

The next star of Doctor Who has been announced after intense speculation – and the person stepping into the role of Time Lord is Jodie Whittaker.

She is the first woman to take on the role, playing the 13th Doctor. Whittaker, who rose to fame in Broadchurch, had been touted as one of the contenders.

Debate has been whirring over who will play the next Doctor ever since Peter Capaldi announced in January that he was leaving the programme.

On 4 July, BBC2’s current affairs programme Newsnight appeared to reveal the identity of the new doctor. Presenter Evan Davis said: “Bookies’ favourite Phoebe Waller-Bridge has denied claims that she’s going to be the first female Doctor.

“But then, Joanna Lumley has already played the role for Comic Relief, so that would technically be true.”

Emily Cook, editorial assistant from Doctor Who magazine, said: “I am very excited about this. As soon as saw Jodie Whittaker appear on the video in the BBCclip announcing her it just felt right – she just felt like the Doctor. Having a female Doctor is really exciting and significant. I cannot wait to see what she does with the role and where she takes the show.”

She added: “She will bring a freshness. She is younger than Peter Capaldi and being a woman she will have a different approach to the role. It’s completely new territory for the show and that is very exciting. Whittaker has worked with David Tennant on Broadchurch and St Trinian’s so there is a strong Doctor Who connection there.”

Her words were echoed by Erica Lear, social secretary at the Doctor Who Appreciation Society, who said: “I think it’s very brave but she is a brilliant actress. I did not expect it but I think it’s brilliant.”

“My only wish was that we have a good actor and that is what we have, so very excited,” she added.

But Lear noted that the appointment might divide opinions. “It will spark debate and split fandom, there will be lots of people not happy with the decision but is’t up to the new series to change their mind.”