At 4.26pm, shortly after Roger Federer became the only man to have won eight Wimbledon singles titles, the BBC interrupted its tennis coverage to announce an even more audacious first: the casting of Jodie Whittaker to play the central character in Doctor Who as a Time Lady rather than a Time Lord.
Whittaker, 35, becomes the 13th performer to portray the intergalactic troubleshooter. She had long figured in speculation and betting because of a belief that Chris Chibnall – the new head writer and executive producer on the hit BBC1 show – might prefer an actor with whom he had worked previously. Whittaker played the pivotal role of Beth Latimer, mother of a murdered child, in Chibnall’s ITV crime drama Broadchurch.
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