Sex Education actor Ncuti Gatwa announced as the new Doctor Who

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Ncuti Gatwa will be the first Black actor to play the lead role in British sci-fi series Doctor Who, taking over from Jodie Whittaker as the 14th incarnation of the Time Lord next year, the BBC said on Sunday.

The 29-year-old Scot, a star of Netflix hit Sex Education, posted two hearts plus a blue square, representing the Doctor's Tardis, a time-travelling police telephone box, on his Instagram account before the news was confirmed by the broadcaster.

Gatwa, who was born in Rwanda, said there weren't quite the words to describe how he was feeling.

"A mix of deeply honoured, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared," he said in the BBC's statement.

"This role and show means so much to so many around the world, including myself, and each one of my incredibly talented predecessors has handled that unique responsibility and privilege with the utmost care.

"I will endeavour my utmost to do the same."

The Doctor is able to regenerate, allowing different actors to play the role since the series was first broadcast in 1963.

Whittaker, who announced she was leaving the show last year, was the first woman to play the Doctor.

She will appear in a final special episode to mark the BBC's centenary later this year.

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