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'Sex Education' star Ncuti Gatwa takes over as 'Doctor Who' lead

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'Sex Education' star Ncuti Gatwa takes over as 'Doctor Who' lead
Ncuti Gatwa is set to star in the next season of "Doctor Who." Photo courtesy of BBC

May 8 (UPI) -- The BBC has announced that Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa will be the new titular time-traveler on Doctor Who.

Gatwa takes over for outgoing lead Jodie Whittaker, who announced in July her exit from the franchise after three seasons and several specials.

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"There aren't quite the words to describe how I'm feeling. A mix of deeply honored, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared," Gatwa said in a statement Sunday.

"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 endeavor my utmost to do the same."

Russell T. Davies has returned to the series as showrunner for the foreseeable future. He previously wrote and produced the series 2005-10.

"Sometimes talent walks through the door and it's so bright and bold and brilliant, I just stand back in awe and thank my lucky stars," Davies said.

"Ncuti dazzled us, seized hold of the Doctor and owned those TARDIS keys in seconds. It's an honor to work with him, and a hoot, I can't wait to get started. I'm sure you're dying to know more, but we're rationing ourselves for now, with the wonderful Jodie's epic finale yet to come. But I promise you, 2023 will be spectacular!"

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Whittaker's final adventure as the 13th incarnation of the Doctor is expected to air this fall.

Actors typically play the character for three seasons before handing off the shape-shifting role to another star.

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