Doctor Who’s first female Time Lord will be joined by three new companions, the BBC has announced.
Jodie Whittaker, who takes over as the 13th Doctor next year, will be joined by new cast regulars Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill, as well as Sharon D Clarke in a returning role.
Walsh will star as Graham, Cole will play Ryan and Gill will play Yasmin.
Walsh said he was looking forward to being part of the show – some 50 years after first becoming a fan.
The former Coronation Street actor and presenter of quiz show The Chase said: “I remember watching William Hartnell as the first Doctor. Black and white made it very scary for a youngster like myself.
“I was petrified, but even though I’d watch most of it from behind the sofa through my fingers, I became a fan…
“Am I thrilled to be part of this whole ground breaking new dawn for the Doctor? Oh yes!”
Gill, who has appeared in Hollyoaks and Casualty, said she was “over the moon” to join the “iconic” show, adding: “Certain roles seem unattainable and this is one of those, so much so I didn’t believe it to be true for the first few weeks.”
Cole, who had roles in EastEnders and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, said he was looking forward to “jumping in this Doctor Who universe”.
Chris Chibnall, the show’s new head writer, said those chosen as companions were “three of Britain’s brightest talents”.
“The new Doctor is going to need new friends,” he added.
The BBC also confirmed the series will have a 10-week run of 50-minute episodes in autumn 2018, starting with a feature-length hour show for the launch.
No details about the new characters beyond their names have yet been revealed.
Whittaker was revealed as the next Time Lord in a trailer broadcast at the end of the Wimbledon men’s singles final in July.
The Broadchurch star succeeds Peter Capaldi, who took over the role in 2013 and leaves in the forthcoming Christmas special.
The reaction to Whittaker’s casting was mostly positive – but a sizeable minority protested that the Doctor shouldn’t be played by a woman.
The appointment also sparked a war of words between two former Doctors.
Peter Davison, who played the character from 1981 to 1984, said he felt “a bit sad” the character might no longer be “a role model for boys”, but his comments were dubbed “rubbish” by his successor, Colin Baker.