John Bishop admits impossible Doctor Who role was down to Covid: It was a godsend!

Doctor Who: John Bishop says he can’t say ‘a lot’ about filming

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Fans of John Bishop, 54, may be surprised to see him fending off aliens and battling other outer-space monsters as he appears next to Jodie Whittaker in her final series as Doctor Who, which returns to BBC later this month. While the comedian admitted he originally had to turn down the offer, the Covid pandemic made it all possible.

I was so flattered. But it was just impossible

John Bishop

John recalled being offered the role as Dan, the Time Lord’s new companion.

His casting was unveiled following the New Year’s Day special Revolution of the Daleks.

But despite being extremely “flattered” he was considered for the role, he intiially had to say no.

In a new interview, the Scouser remembered the moment in early 2020 when he was asked by show runner Chris Chibnall to join the cast.

“Chris Chibnall approached me and said that he was writing a character and I kept on coming to mind,” he said.

“I was so flattered. But it was just impossible.

“My stand-up tour was already in progress, I also had another television commitment, and it just wasn’t going to work out.

“I regretfully said I couldn’t do it.”

But soon enough, Covid hit and John’s previously jam-packed diary was looking a little different.

“When the tour was pulled, I was lucky because Doctor Who’s date had moved as well,” he explained to Radio Times.

“They hadn’t started filming, they hadn’t cast anybody, so I asked them if the opportunity was still there.”

And luckily for John, it was.

“It was a godsend!” he chucked.

The funnyman completed a screen-test over videocall, and was then invited to travel down to Cardiff for a secret “chemistry test” with Jodie.

He admitted he was feeling the pressure as he boarded the Tardis for the first time as he joined forces with the first female Time Lord.

“If we’d done it in some audition space in London, it would have been a very abstract thing,” he shrugged.

“But I had to film an audition scene in the Tardis with Jodie.

“So that was, you know, a bit of pressure!”

The Doctor will return with Yaz and Dan in Series 13, returning to BBC One on 31 October.

John Bishop’s full interview is available to read now in Radio Times.

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