Skip to main contentSkip to footer

How Jodie Whittaker kept Doctor Who role secret with a code word

The first female Time Lord went to great lengths to keep quiet

jodie whittaker
Sophie Hamilton
Parenting Editor
20 August 2017
Share this:

Doctor Who fans are looking forward to watching the first female Time Lord in the upcoming series, with actress Jodie Whittaker taking the lead role. The news came as a surprise to many, so how did the star keep it quiet for so long? Jodie, 35, revealed to The Mirror that she had to be extremely careful who she told about her exciting announcement, and even chose a code name for the programme.

Jodie Whittaker is the 13th Doctor

Jodie, who is best known for playing Beth Latimer in ITV’s drama Broadchurch, told the paper that she only let her mum Yvonne and her actor husband Christian Contreras in on the news. “My dad was furious,” said Jodie. “But good news is difficult to keep secret.” She adds: “Mum kept it from the world. She was trustworthy.” The star explained that she devised a code word ‘The Clooney’ to use when speaking to her agent. “It was a full military operation. I basically whispered for three months and it was tedious even in my own kitchen.”

READ: Jodie Whittaker talks being the first female Doctor Who: 'Maybe this will open it up to some new young faces'

Jodie will appear as the 13th Doctor later this year, making history as the first ever female to play the iconic lead role and taking over from Peter Capaldi. The news was announced at the end of Wimbledon men’s singles final on the BBC. As well as Broadchurch, Jodie has also appeared in films including One Day, Attack the Block and St Trinian’s.

Broadchurch’s creator Chris Chibnall was recently unveiled as the new showrunner for Doctor Who. He said: "I always knew I wanted the 13th Doctor to be a woman and we're thrilled to have secured our number one choice. Her audition for the Doctor simply blew us all away. Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role. The 13th Doctor is on her way."

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.