Don't be scared of my gender, says first female Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker, as fans say 'girls can do anything'

Fiona Simpson, Zelah Glasson

Doctor Who fans, actors and even politicians have led an outpouring of praise for the first female Time Lord, actress Jodie Whittaker, who said today: “don’t be scared of my gender”.

The 35-year-old, who starred in Dorset-based drama Broadchurch, was revealed as the 13th Doctor – replacing Peter Capaldi – on Sunday.

The announcement sparked meltdown on social media with many claiming a female Time Lord would spell the end of the show.

However, others reacted with jubilation at the news – including many high profile faces.

Former Dr Who Colin Baker wrote on Twitter: "Well I never the BBC really did do the right thing and let the Doctor be in touch with her feminine side. As a father of daughters - result!”

He later slammed sceptics and added: “Cannot deny that I am amazed by the 'never watch it again' reaction by some viewers (I hesitate to call them 'fans'). Very sad.”

Billie Piper, who played assistant Rose Tyler, simply tweeted: “Yes” alongside an emoji of a rose.

Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon shared a picture of book ‘Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls’ added: “Lovely day with my niece on her 11th birthday. This was one of her pressies - girls can be anything, even Dr Who!”

Comedian Matt Lucas, who appeared as Nardole in the show, jokingly wrote: “Absolutely furious. Can't believe they've cast a human to play the Doctor.

He then added: “Next we'll be having a female prime minister.”

John Barrowman, who played Captain Jack, said: “CONGRATULATIONS Jodie Whittacker or should I say "Hello Doctor" History is made with bold moves. #DoctorWho13 #Doctor13 @ChrisChibnall JB.”

Karen Gillan, who played companion Amy Pond, merely tweeted: “Jodie Jodie Jodie Jodie.”

While actor, and Darlek, Barnaby Edwards said he would “look forward to exterminating” Whittaker.

The praise came as Whittaker told fans “not to be scared of her gender” and said: “As a feminist, it feels incredible.”

She told the BBC: “I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender. Because this is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change. The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.”

The actress also added that it was “very hard” to keep news of her role under wraps and revealed she and her husband used the codename “George” – after George Clooney – to chat about the exciting position.

It will see the actor team up with Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall on the hit sci-fi series as he takes over from Steven Moffat as executive producer.

Explaining how she won the part, she said: "We had a strange chat earlier this year where he tricked me into thinking we were talking about Broadchurch.

"And I started to quiz him about his new job in Wales, and asked him if I could be a baddie. And he quickly diverted the conversation to suggest I should consider auditioning to be the 13th Clooney.

"It was the most incredible chat because I asked every question under the sun, and I said I'd take a few weeks to decide whether I was going to audition.

"He got a phone call within 24 hours. He would've got a phone call sooner, but my husband was away and there was a time difference."

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