Doctor Who legend Paul McGann urges Ncuti Gatwa to 'enjoy every day' on the show

'Doctor Who' legend Paul McGann - who played the Eighth Doctor - has told new star Ncuti Gatwa is to "enjoy every day" he gets to be the Time Lord.



Paul McGann stars in new Big Finish adventure Audacity
Paul McGann stars in new Big Finish adventure Audacity

Paul McGann has urged new 'Doctor Who' star Ncuti Gatwa to "enjoy every day of it".

The 63-year-old actor played the Eighth Doctor in the 1996 television movie and, just like the fans, he is excited to see what the 'Sex Education star brings to the role in his debut series as the Fifteenth Doctor in 2024.

McGann insists he can't give Ncuti, 31, any advice on playing the Time Lord because he is already such a fabulous actor, but he would tell him to make the most of it while it lasts because before he knows it his tenure in time and space will be over.

Speaking to BANG Showbiz, he said: "I don’t think he needs any advice. I’ve not met him yet, but I have met lots of people who have met him, he doesn’t need any advice from anybody. He seems like a complete natural. He seems confident, friendly, everybody seems to adore him.

"I would say just enjoy it. Try and enjoy every day of it. How could you not?”

'Doctor Who: The Movie' was a co-production between BBC Worldwide and Universal Studios and was made as a quasi pilot with the intention it would spawn a new TV series after the sci-fi show was cancelled by the BBC in 1989.

Despite attracting almost 10 million viewers in the UK the film didn't perform well in North America meaning the show stayed off television until Russell T Davies revived it in 2005.

Since then, McGann's incarnation of the Gallifreyan alien has only appeared on screen on two occasions; once in the mini episode 'The Night of the Doctor', which aired before the 50th anniversary special 10 years ago, and most recently in Jodie Whittaker's final episode as the character in the 2022 adventure 'The Power of the Doctor' in which the Eighth Doctor had a cameo along with past regenerations of the Time Lord.

McGann has built up a loyal fanbase as the Doctor thanks to the audio stories he has appeared in from Big Finish Productions.

The former 'Holby City' star says that without Big Finish and the novelisations 'Doctor Who' would not have survived during the wilderness years when it was off TV and he is proud to be part of that branch of the Whoniverse.

He said: "Big Finish has been very good to me and to all of us, really. Imagine had Big Finish not existed, what would have happened over the last 20 years? I would have had a lot more time on my hands that’s for sure.

"The Eighth Doctor has lived and existed and flown almost entirely on Big Finish for 20-odd years.

"I first met them in 2000 or 2001. That was a full five years until the TV series came back. There has been the novelisations and comics and everything else, but Big Finish has really been a mainstay. Working on it has been a joy, it’s become best gig in town."

Over the years, McGann has worked on Big Finish adventures with major names and stars from the 'Doctor Who' TV series, including Jason Watkins, the late Bernard Cribbins and Carole Ann Ford - who played Susan Foreman, the granddaughter and original companion of the First Doctor William Hartnell when the show began in 1963.

He added: "Some of our very best actors have joined in. Chiefly because it’s a good gig, everybody knows they will be well looked after, the standard is high, the craic is mighty, and the stories are fantastic.

"We’ve had the likes of Bernard Cribbins, there’s nobody better in fact. It’s been a joy. We’ve always worked with the best people and the best people have always wanted to work with us."

McGann is back as the Eighth Doctor in new Big Finish adventures 'Audacity' and the 60th anniversary audio special 'Once and Future' - in which he stars with multiple Doctors, including Tom Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker and Peter Davison, as well as Carole Ann Ford, Alex Kingston, Michael Maloney and Maureen O'Brien.

They are available to purchase as a download and in CD format from