New Doctor Who cast member unveiled

A new star is joining the cast of Doctor Who – comic John Bishop.

The 54-year-old actor and funnyman, who recently tested positive for coronavirus, said boarding the Tardis was a "dream come true".

He will appear in the new series of the BBC One show, in which Jodie Whittaker reprises her role as the Time Lord, later this year.

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The Duchess of Cambridge sits with British comedian John Bishop as she listens to speeches at The Willows Primary School, Wythenshawe, Manchester where she launched a new school counselling programme to help combat the effects of drug and alcohol addiction.
Duchess of Cornwall speaks with John Bishop during the Royal Variety Performance, at the London Palladium, in central London.
Comedian John Bishop takes a photo prior to the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool.
John Bishop performing during the Teenage Cancer Trust comedy night, at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Picture date: Wednesday March 27, 2019. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/Empics
Comedian John Bishop (left) in the stands during the Premier League match at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth.
John Bishop before the 2018 British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit, Towcester.
John Bishop and Paddy McGuinness outside the door of 10 Downing Street, London, ahead of a visit to promote the Soccer Aid for Unicef charity football match, which takes place on Sunday June 10 at Old Trafford.
John Motson with his special BAFTA Award, and John Bishop, at the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards 2018 held at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London.
John Bishop performing at the Teenage Cancer Trust comedy night, at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Comedian John Bishop with his wax figure which was unveiled at Madame Tussauds in Blackpool.
John Bishop talks to guests at a reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate The Queen's Young Leaders programme and present awards to the first successful winners of the Commonwealth project.
(Left - right) Chris Pratt, Melissa McCarthy, Graham Norton, Jude Law, John Bishop and Florence Welch during filming of the Graham Norton Show at the London Studios, south London, to be aired on Friday.
The Duchess of Cambridge and comedian John Bishop visit a M-PACT (Moving Parents and Children Together) Plus Counselling programme at the Blessed Sacrament School in Islington, North London.
(left to right) Patrick Kielty, Richard Bacon, Micky Flanagan, Jason Manford, Rob Beckett, Hal Cruttenden and John Bishop backstage during the Teenage Cancer Trust series of charity gigs, at the Royal Albert Hall, in London.
Mark Wright and John Bishop during the celebrity football match between Nick Grimshaw's team Radio One-derers (white) and Olly Murs' team Tottenham Hot-murs (red), at Wembley Stadium, north London.
(Left - right) Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry, Graham Norton, Hugh Jackman, Billy Crystal and John Bishop during filming of the New Year's Eve edition of the Graham Norton show, filmed at the London Studios, London.
John Bishop who assisted the Sea Life Trust care team during the transfer of two Beluga Whales, Little Grey and Little White, from the landside care pool to the bayside care pool where they will be acclimatised to the natural environment of their new home at the open water sanctuary in Klettsvik Bay in Iceland. The two Beluga whales, named Little Grey and Little White, are being moved to the world's first open-water whale sanctuary after travelling from an aquarium in China 6,000 miles away in June 2019.
Comedian John Bishop arrives in Greenwich with Robbie Savage (right) and members of his support team on his first official stop in London, during the third of three marathons in three days on final day of his 290 mile triathlon from Paris to London called Bishop's Week of Hell in aid of Sport Relief.
(Left - right) James McAvoy, Joanna Lumley and John Bishop during the filming of the Graham Norton Show at The London Studios, south London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday October 27, 2011. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
James Corden (right) and John Bishop of Sky's A League of Thier Own with Matt Le Tissier during the half time penalty shoot out
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Bishop has already begun filming his role, but TV bosses have kept his signing under wraps until now.

He plays a character called Dan, who "becomes embroiled in the Doctor's adventures".

John Bishop in Doctor Who (James Pardon/BBC/PA)

"Travelling through space and time alongside the Doctor and Yaz, he'll face evil alien races beyond his wildest nightmares," the BBC said.

Bishop will star alongside Whittaker and Mandip Gill, who returns as Yaz.

He said: "If I could tell my younger self that one day I would be asked to step on board the Tardis, I would never have believed it.

"It's an absolute dream come true to be joining Doctor Who and I couldn't wish for better company than Jodie and Mandip."

Jodie Whittaker in the Doctor Who New Year special
Jodie Whittaker in the Doctor Who New Year special (James Pardon/BBC/PA)

Bishop is joining Doctor Who in its 13th series, which began filming in November last year.

Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole, who have now left the show, made their last appearances in the New Year's Day special episode.

Programme boss Chris Chibnall said: "It's time for the next chapter of Doctor Who, and it starts with a man called Dan. Oh, we've had to keep this one secret for a long, long time.

"Our conversations started with John even before the pandemic hit.

"The character of Dan was built for him, and it's a joy to have him aboard the Tardis."

Captain Jack Harkness, played by John Barrowman, and the Daleks (James Pardon/BBC Studios/PA)

Matt Strevens, BBC Studios executive producer, said: "It's been a total joy having John join the cast and we've been having a lot fun on set already.

"We can't wait for you to meet Dan when the show returns later this year."

The news comes after Bishop said he has been "overwhelmed" by support since revealing he tested positive for Covid-19 on Christmas Day.

Both he and his wife Melanie contracted the virus over the festive period and had been "flattened" by the illness.

He told fans the couple are "getting a little stronger" every day and promised he will be back to work in January.

The Doctor Who New Year special, Revolution Of The Daleks, aired on New Year's Day.

BBC drama controller Piers Wenger said: "We are beyond thrilled to have John Bishop joining Doctor Who.

"Alongside Jodie Whittaker and Mandip Gill, John is a wonderful addition to the show and we have no doubt that series 13 is going to be another thrilling set of adventures for the Doctor."

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