Jodie is the Thir­teenth Doc­tor

Doc­tor Who fans are di­vided over its revo­lu­tion­ary first fe­male lead. Get to know the lady be­hind the head­lines – golden girl Jodie Whit­taker

Reveal - - Contents - Re­becca Greenow

The in­ter­net prac­ti­cally broke last week when the long-awaited new Doc­tor was an­nounced.

The rev­e­la­tion of who will play the alien time-trav­eller is al­ways thrilling for Doc­tor Who fans, but what made this more of a talk­ing point is the fact that the new Time Lord is a woman – the first in the show’s 54-year his­tory.

The an­nounce­ment was made af­ter the Wim­ble­don Men’s Fi­nal and, within min­utes, Jodie Whit­taker over­took Roger Fed­erer as the top so­cial me­dia trend.

Sadly – and per­haps shock­ingly for 2017 – a large num­ber of fans were out­raged that a fe­male could take the role.

‘Who is that woman? What to­tal rubbish. I shall never watch it again. #jodiewhit­taker #trav­esty,’ one fan fumed.

‘The Doc­tor never has and never will be a woman,’ said another.

Yet the self-con­fessed fem­i­nist – who will re­place Peter Ca­paldi at the end of this year’s Christ­mas spe­cial – held her own, and asked those crit­ics ‘not to be scared by my gen­der’, adding, ‘This is a re­ally ex­cit­ing time, and Doc­tor Who rep­re­sents ev­ery­thing that’s ex­cit­ing about change.

‘The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, dif­fer­ent one, not one to be afraid of.’

Celebs rushed to of­fer their ap­proval and con­grats (see bot­tom right).

The BBC stood by their woman, with Doc­tor Who’s

new showrun­ner, Chris Chib­nall, re­leas­ing a state­ment say­ing, ‘I knew I wanted the Thir­teenth Doc­tor to be a woman, and we’re thrilled to have se­cured our No.1 choice. Her au­di­tion sim­ply blew us all away.’

Even a writer for po­lit­i­cal and cur­rent af­fairs mag­a­zine New States­man said he’d pre­vi­ously been against the idea, but in a huge U-turn is thrilled to have a fe­male Time Lord.

Jonn Elledge ex­plained, ‘I’ve looked around at all the man­ba­bies whin­ing about what a ter­ri­ble be­trayal of their child­hoods [a fe­male lead] would be, and de­cided I didn’t want to be one of those peo­ple.’

He con­tin­ued, ‘Rep­re­sen­ta­tion mat­ters: a fe­male Doc­tor will tell lit­tle girls they can play the lead, just as Won­der Woman told them they could be a su­per­hero. There’s a video go­ing round Twit­ter at the mo­ment of a girl watch­ing the BBC as the cast­ing is re­vealed, com­pletely si­lent un­til the very end. Only then does she turn to the cam­era, with the big­gest grin you’ve ever seen, and scream, “The new Doc­tor’s a girl!” That is why this is a great day, right there.’

Jodie, 35, once said she loved hav­ing a ‘chameleon face’, which al­lowed her to go about her day-to-day life un­recog­nised. But that’ll all change now. So who is she?

Brought up in Skel­man­thorpe, just out­side Hud­der­s­field, she’s the daugh­ter of a busi­ness­man and a nurse.

Jodie knew she wanted to be an ac­tress from a young age, ever since she used to line up her dolls and make them ‘speak’ in dif­fer­ent voices.

Af­ter school, she took a year out to go trav­el­ling be­fore ap­ply­ing to the Guild­hall School of Mu­sic and Drama. When she grad­u­ated, she left with that year’s gold medal award. Jodie was im­me­di­ately cast in The Storm, the first new play writ­ten for Shake­speare’s Globe the­atre.

Un­like many ac­tors, she’s rarely been out of work. ‘I’ve been re­ally jammy,’ she’s said. ‘I’ve never had huge bouts of not work­ing, Em­merdale. but that is noth­ing but luck.’

Her nephew was three-year-old Harry Whit­taker – the child ac­tor who played Mar­lon and Rhona’s son, Leo Din­gle, in

Trag­i­cally, Harry, who had Down’s syn­drome, died in July 2014.

It was at drama school that Jodie met her hus­band, Amer­i­can ac­tor Chris­tian Con­tr­eras. They mar­ried aged 26, and had their first child in 2015.

Sworn to se­crecy over her new role, Chris­tian was the only per­son she told about it. They co­de­named it Clooney.

Last week, Jodie ex­plained, ‘Ge­orge [Clooney] is such an iconic guy, and we just thought, what an iconic name.’

Jodie will make her de­but as The Doc­tor at Christ­mas

Hubby Chris­tian was the only per­son Jodie told about the Doc­tor Who role

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