Bradley Walsh Didn’t Have to Audition for Doctor Who Role

There’s a small chance that you’ve heard that Bradley Walsh will be a regular star in Doctor Who Series 11, alongside Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor, and now Walsh has revealed that he didn’t even have to audition for the part of Graham!

Walsh, best known for presenting the quiz show, The Chase, was on evening magazine programme, The One Show and was naturally quizzed about being in the upcoming series. Questioned how he got involved – “I just got asked!” – he was then asked if he auditioned – and he made this revelation:

“No, Chris Chibnall, who runs it, asked if I fancy being in the show, so we went down to meet.”

He recalled the first script read-through at BBC Cymru:

“I’d go through a scanner, then you were taken into this big, big room. Massive like a warehouse room, painted black. There was eight of us sitting round the table, right in the middle with a light on top. [We had] black envelopes with a script in them, with your name embossed in gold. We had to open them at the same time. You’ve never seen anything like it.”

Presumably, this first session was attended by Chibnall, Whittaker, and Walsh as well as Mandip Gill (Yasmin) and Tosin Cole (Ryan). Guest stars might have also been there, but more likely, the Executive Producers, Matt Strevens and Sam Hoyle. Presumably, director, Jamie Childs finished the line-up.

Honestly, it’s a bit of a shock that Walsh didn’t have to audition. I can’t think of the last person who didn’t. Steven Moffat had earmarked Peter Capaldi for the role of the Twelfth Doctor, but even he auditioned (albeit at Moffat’s house).

On one hand, you can say that at least Chibnall knows exactly what he wants, possibly wrote the part with Bradley in mind, and Walsh has proven himself in such TV shows as Law & Order: UK and The Sarah Jane Adventures. On the other, it seems pretty unprofessional.

So what do you think, dear readers? Which side of the fence do you find yourself? Or are you firmly placed on top of it until Series 11 rolls around (in Autumn 2018)?

  • The Lazy Womble

    You do know that the stuff about the scanner and all opening the scripts simultaneously is almost certainly a joke, right? Just after he talks about them all singing “Delilah”.

    • Philip

      Ah, well, actually, the scanner bit isn’t. During the last set of TARDIS Tours from the DW Experience, the studios added scanners at the entrance. They even patted you down just in case you were carrying a concealed Chumbley. Seriously!

      • The Lazy Womble

        I believed him up to the scanner bit. It then got a little less likely and then “Delilah”

  • The Lazy Womble

    This fence has borne my weight with great strength. That is where I am staying.

    • DonnaM

      Good on you, Womble! I’m finding it harder to retain my balance but will keep fighting!

      • The Lazy Womble

        I agree Donna. It is getting increasingly difficult. But as Churchill said, keep on b*****ing on.

  • Turd Ferguson’s Doggy

    Well, at least we know that the casting of Whittaker was likely full on cronyism given that Walsh was a cast member on Law & Order UK and has just strolled into a role here. .

    I have made my peace with a female Doctor, but Chibnall is continuing to bother me. I can’t stand the fact that Walsh and Whittaker seem to have beaten out others purely because they have worked with Chibnall before, just as I hated the fact that Chibnall decided on a female doctor without auditioning any men. The complaint was always that both men and women should have a shot, but all we got was one gender being kept out in favour of another, which was exactly what the point of opening it up to both genders should have meant to avoid. Now that it’s obvious we have cronyism on top I feel very uncomfortable about Chibnall’s stewardship. He’s coming across more virtue signallers who’s happy to play the “jobs for the boys” (so to speak) game rather than casting his show in the spirit of best talent for the roles that opening the Doctor up to female candidates was meant to bring.

  • Planet of the Deaf

    I imagine most of the “big(ish)” guest stars didn’t have to audition, and were probably just asked if they wanted to be in the show?

    Being a Companion is a step up though, and it does still seem quite random for Chibs to specifically pick Bradley Walsh for a major role…

    • Jack Ashcraft

      I’ve had my doubts all along that J.W. had to audition at all. If Chibnall signs on one actor without so much as an audition, I have no reasonable expectation that Jodie, whom he had worked with, had to audition either.

      This show is going to tank after the first 2 or 3 episodes.

  • DonnaM

    Desperately trying to remain positive by telling myself the part was deliberately written to the actor’s strengths, but with each new revelation I feel that fence creaking more under the strain. The best I can do is maintain that lowered expectations should at least allow the possibility of a pleasant surprise…

    I groaned when Mr Chibnall was presented as the bright, bold future of the show. Here’s hoping his scripts do what his early leadership choices haven’t…

  • Jack Ashcraft

    No surprise there at all. The train wreck continues.