The news that 18-year-old Millie Gibson is to play new companion Ruby Sunday has achieved that rare trick of uniting Doctor Who fans, if only in making them feel incredibly old. (Okay, Doctor Who has young fans too, please don’t write in!) But what do we know about the actor who’s set to join Ncuti Gatwa in the TARDIS for Series 14?
Born and raised in Greater Manchester in 2004, Millie’s gift for performing was honed at the Oldham Theatre Workshop, an organisation she paid tribute to during the Children in Need announcement of her casting. Despite her young age, she has built up a considerable list of television credits, starting with children’s drama Jamie Johnson for CBBC from 2017 to 2018. Another early appearance came in an episode of Kay Mellor’s Love, Lies and Records (BBC, 2017). This was followed in 2018 by the role of Lily, older sister of lead character Maxine in Butterfly, an ITV drama by Tony Marchant, about a child who realises she is a transgender girl.
Her breakout role came in 2019 when she joined the cast of British soap institution Coronation Street as Kelly Neelan, initially appearing in just five episodes before returning the following year as a regular. As Russell T Davies mentioned, her time in Weatherfield saw her “survive chases, guns, and sieges”, and Millie won praise for her performance from Gary Gillatt, the former Doctor Who Magazine editor writing in Inside Soap that he was a big fan of “hard-faced trouble magnet” Kelly.
Millie Gibson won the Best Young Actor award at the 2022 British Soap Awards and was nominated for Best Actress at the Inside Soap Awards and Serial Drama Performance at the National Television Awards the same year. She made her exit from Coronation Street in September 2022 when her character Kelly decided, not unreasonably, that she needed a new start away from Weatherfield after surviving a fraught kidnapping and murder attempt plotline.
With her former Coronation Street colleagues wishing her well, Millie is now set to make her mark in the Doctor Who universe as Ruby Sunday, first companion of the Fifteenth Doctor.