Jodie Whittaker’s year in TV: ‘Even if there are 13 more, I’ll always have been the Doctor’

The actor on the Doctor Who WhatsApp group, being a foodie who can’t cook, and why she’d like a part in Lord of the Rings

Jodie Whittaker, 39, was born in West Yorkshire. Her TV work includes Black Mirror and Broadchurch, and in 2017 she joined Doctor Who in the title role. Her final series aired in 2021, followed by an Easter special this year, with the last episode to air in the autumn.

We’ve seen your Doctor Who journey near its end over the past year – what have been the highs and lows of filming your final series and specials?
There are only highs for me with Doctor Who – I’ve had such an amazing time. It’s wonderful to have the specials and that Mandip Gill, who plays Yaz, and John Bishop, who plays Dan, and I are still doing the press for it – it just means that I’m pulling off the Band-Aid a bit more slowly. But even though there might be 13 more Doctors after me, I’ll always have been the Doctor. From the other people who have done it, you know that it’s one of those jobs where you are always a part of the family – you don’t get kicked out. Have I left the cast WhatsApp group? Absolutely not. And if they’ve got a new one without me, I’ll be devastated!

Who would play you in the TV show of your life?
Mandip. She’s absolutely smashed my accent. We have the same voice. Sometimes when we did additional dialogue they’d ask me to redo a line and I’d say: “That’s not me speaking!”

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing your job?
I’ve always wanted to run a wine bar or a gastropub – something to do with food and wine. Or I’d be in a really cool band … but just as a backup dancer.

Have you ever been mistaken for anybody else?
I once had the most extraordinary thing happen: someone thought I was Emily Mortimer. I was like, I wish – she’s amazing. It was a dizzy high. I can wander around pretty incognito in general, I’ve got no presence!

The TV show you can’t wait to watch in 2022?
Lord of the Rings – I loved the books and the films. I mean, that was a gig and a half, wasn’t it? You get to go to New Zealand!

Your TV guilty pleasure
MasterChef, because I’m a foodie who can’t cook. I mean, imagine cooking for Marcus and Monica – I’d shit myself.

Are you Succession’s Team Shiv or Team Tom?
Team Shiv. I just think Sarah Snook can do no wrong, she’s amazing. Shiv’s got questionable motives and behaviours, but what an actor and what a part. She smashes it.

The Virgin Media Bafta TV awards are on BBC One on Sunday 8 May at 6pm. Jodie Whittaker’s final episode of Doctor Who airs on BBC One in the autumn