Varada Sethu to join Doctor Who in role as second companion

<span>Sethu, left, with Gatwa and Gibson after being announced in the role. She said it was an ‘honour’ to be part of the BBC series.</span><span>Photograph: James Pardon/Bad Wolf/BBC Studios</span>
Sethu, left, with Gatwa and Gibson after being announced in the role. She said it was an ‘honour’ to be part of the BBC series.Photograph: James Pardon/Bad Wolf/BBC Studios

Varada Sethu will join Doctor Who as one of the Doctor’s two companions for Ncuti Gatwa’s second series in the role, it has been confirmed.

She will appear onscreen in 2025, alongside the former Coronation Street actor Millie Gibson after speculation over her character Ruby Sunday’s future on the sci-fi show.

Sethu, who recently appeared in the Disney+ Star Wars series Andor, said it was an honour to be part of the long-running BBC series.

She said: “I feel like the luckiest person in the world. It is such an honour to be a part of the Whoniverse, and I’m so grateful to the whole Doctor Who family – because that is what they are – for welcoming me with open arms and making me feel so at home.

Related: Doctor Who Christmas special review – Ncuti Gatwa is so charismatic you want to leap into the TV with him

“I couldn’t ask for a better team than Ncuti and Millie to be with on this adventure. This is so much fun.”

Sethu, who also counts Jurassic World Dominion, Annika and Strike Back among her acting credits, was pictured at a table read with Gatwa and Gibson in a photo released by the BBC on Friday.

The showrunner, executive producer and writer Russell T Davies added: “I first worked with Varada on a BBC production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and it’s a joy to welcome her onboard the Tardis.

“Right now in the studio, shooting for 2025, we’ve got Ncuti, Millie and Varada fighting side by side – we need all three, because the stakes are higher than ever.”

Details about Sethu’s character have yet to be released. Gatwa and Gibson were first seen together in the show’s Christmas special, The Church on Ruby Road, last year.

Related: Ncuti Gatwa: ‘I know many a gay man who’s exactly like the Doctor’

Their first full series in the roles is due to air next month, with Gibson having previously described playing the Doctor’s companion as a “dream come true”.

Speaking after being announced in the role, she said: “Whilst still being in total disbelief, I am beyond honoured to be cast as the Doctor’s companion.

“It is a gift of a role, and a dream come true, and I will do everything to try and fill the boots the fellow companions have travelled in before me.”

Doctor Who will return to screens on 11 May, premiering on BBC iPlayer before being broadcast on BBC One later the same day.