Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa has been chosen as the next Doctor on Doctor Who, the BBC announced Sunday, making him the first Black actor to portray the iconic role.
"There aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling," the 29-year-old Rwandan-Scottish actor said in a statement. "A mix of deeply honoured, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared.
"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," he added. "I will endeavour my upmost to do the same."
Gatwa will take control of the TARDIS from Jodie Whittaker, who was first announced as the 13th Doctor (and first woman in the role) in 2017. In the almost 60-year history of Doctor Who, all the other actors to portray the regenerating protagonist have been white men.
Russell T. Davies, who was responsible for the 2005 revival and who returned this year as showrunner, posted a picture on Instagram of himself with Gatwa at the BAFTA TV Awards in London on Sunday.
In a statement, Davies said the actor had immediately impressed him during an audition.
"Ncuti dazzled us, seized hold of the Doctor and owned those TARDIS keys in seconds," Davies said. "It’s an honour to work with him, and a hoot, I can’t wait to get started."
Speaking on the red carpet, the two said the casting had been finalized in secret in February.
Gatwa is best known for playing gay high school student Eric Effiong in Netflix's Sex Education, a role for which he won a BAFTA Scotland Award.
Last month, it was announced he would also appear in the movie Barbie, along with his Sex Education costars Emma Mackey (Maeve Wiley) and Connor Swindells (Adam Groff).
Prior to Whittaker, actors Peter Capaldi, Matt Smith, David Tennant, and Christopher Eccleston had all portrayed the Doctor.
No date has yet been set for Whittaker's last episode.