Former Doctor Who star Freema Agyeman has hailed the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the new Time Lord, saying “you need to have somewhere in the arts where you can see yourself reflected”.
The actress, who will soon be seen starring opposite Stockard Channing and Laura Carmichael in play Apologia at Trafalgar Studios, starred as Martha Jones, the companion to David Tennant’s Doctor.
She said she was delighted actress Jodie Whittaker will be the first woman in the title role when Peter Capaldi steps down at Christmas and praised the BBC for the “brave move”.
She told the Press Association: “We have been waxing lyrical all morning. We are overjoyed.
“We are at a point where it has not happened a moment too soon, it’s an incredible move.
“I think, judging by the backlash that has happened, it is a brave move by the BBC and I take my hat off to them.
“We need to be making more of these changes so people can see themselves reflected.
“People from all walks of life, from all backgrounds, from all sexes, however you want to identify yourself, you need to be able to have somewhere in the arts where you can see yourself reflected and so I am firmly behind her.
“She’s going to be fantastic, I think it’s a great choice and more power to her.”
Whittaker’s appointment has been widely welcomed by fans, although her casting was criticised by a small group who believe the role should be the sole preserve of a man.
BBC Director-General Lord Tony Hall has promised Whittaker will be paid the same as Capaldi after its pay report revealed a huge gender gap.
Lord Hall told the Evening Standard there would be “parity” between the two actors.
Aygeman can be seen in Apologia, which starts at Trafalgar Studios on July 29. Tickets are available at atgtickets.com.