Lenny Henry has applauded 'Doctor Who' boss Russell T Davies for casting Ncuti Gatwa in the lead role.

Lenny Henry is thrilled with the latest Doctor Who casting

Lenny Henry is thrilled with the latest Doctor Who casting

'Sex Education' star Ncuti is taking over the coveted part from Jodie Whittaker and his casting marks the first time a Black actor has been hired to play the doctor.

Now Lenny has praised screenwriter and producer Russell over the move, telling Radio Times: "A lot of black fans have been looking at our watches for a while! More power to Russell T Davies."

Although the actor is thrilled with the casting, he is adamant the British TV industry still has a way to go to improve diversity.

He's is currently starring in a BBC series based on Kit de Waal’s book 'My Name Is Leon' which tells the story of a young Black boy who finds himself in social care in the 1980s, and says progress is being made slowly.

Lenny added: "With people like Kit, Steve McQueen, Malorie Blackman and our team on this ('My Name Is Leon') – writer Shola Amoo and director Lynette Linton – we’re securing a future for British drama.

"I grew up in a working-class neighbourhood in the Black Country – I want to see those stories. 'The Crown' is great, but can we see ourselves on TV too?"

Lenny previously voiced his frustration over the white actors chosen to play the lead role in 'Doctor Who' after he was offered a small role in the show.

Speaking back in 2019, he told Colourful Radio that BBC bosses needed to do more, saying: "Why have we never had a black Doctor Who? They would rather have a dog do Doctor Who than a black person. There's no black people in Doctor Who.

"When Russell T Davis was doing Doctor Who there was so many black people in the show I rang up and said there are too many black people in the show - put in some white people, it's getting embarrassing."

Ncuti, 29, will make his 'Doctor Who' debut in 2023 following in the footsteps of actors including Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant in playing the time-traveller.


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