Following the rumours which started circulating last week, started by the Mirror, that Bradley Walsh may have been cast as the companion of the Thirteenth Doctor, Freema Agyeman has remarked in an interview with the Guardian that she thinks the 57 year old actor, game show host and former professional footballer – who’s previously featured in a Sarah Jane Adventures story – would be “brilliant” in the role.
The rumours have not yet been confirmed. After the Kris Marshall ‘incident’ earlier this year (the tabloids reckoned he’d been cast as the next Doctor) we should be very cautious about believing any apparent casting leaks.
However, what’s remarkable about this interview in The Guardian is that both the interviewer and Agyeman are already taking the ‘announcement’ as being a fact. Gavin Haynes, the interviewer, added as a footnote to Freema’s comment “is it true that Bradley Walsh is going to be the new assistant?” that “It is.”
It seems everyone, even the broadsheets, is taking the rumour as a fact – another Guardian article reporting specifically on the Bradley Walsh rumour features an image caption which reads “Bradley Walsh is to join Doctor Who as Jodie Whittaker’s assistant”.
So the press is pretty certain that the source who informed The Mirror of the casting ‘news’ is reliable, but I’d be very careful about believing leaks like this, particularly as we had no hurried announcement from the BBC following the publication of the story, as has happened in similar situations in the past.
Only time (and space!) will tell, I suppose, but until Jodie Whittaker’s companion is officially announced, it seems the media are going to stick by the story they’ve decided to make ‘official’.