John Bishop talks being an outsider on Doctor Who set with co-stars Jodie and Mandip

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

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John Bishop made his Doctor Who debut on New Year’s Day playing Dan Lewis in Revolution of the Daleks, a special festival episode. And now he’s set to return to screens as the doctor’s assistant for the 13th series.

The comedian takes on the role of an “everyday man” who is down on his luck in the upcoming season, which kicks off tonight.

He joins Jodie Whittaker, who stars as the Time Lord, and Mandip Gill, who plays the doctor’s assistant Yaz Khan.

The pair have worked together on the past two series of the BBC programme so they were already well acquainted when filming for the new series started earlier this year, leaving newcomer John feeling like “an outsider” much like his character.

The 54-year-old actor opened up about his first days on set during a new interview.

He told Radio Times: “The Doctor and Yaz have known each other for years, so Dan’s a bit of an outsider to begin with.

“In some respects that was like it was on set because Jodie and Mandip already knew each other, and because we were filming under Covid, we couldn’t socialise as we would normally.

“But without any shadow of a doubt, the friendship with them two is the thing I’ll take away the most.

“We’re now genuine friends and you don’t get that in every job,” he went on to tell the publication.

The stand up comedian also revealed that he almost didn’t get cast for the role, despite him being the first choice for the part.

He explained that he was due to go on tour when filming was originally scheduled to take place for the new series.

However, the coronavirus pandemic put an end to any type of live show going ahead and so his tour was inevitably cancelled.

Luckily for John, filming for Doctor Who had also been delayed because of Covid and, as no-one had been cast in the role of Dan, he was able to audition for the part.

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Dan replaces former companions Graham O’Brien and Ryan Sinclair played by Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole respectively.

When it was announced that he would be joining the cast of the sci-fi show, John said it was a “dream come true”.

“If I could tell my younger self that one day I would be asked to step on board the Tardis, I would never have believed it.

“It’s an absolute dream come true to be joining Doctor Who and I couldn’t wish for better company than Jodie and Mandip,” he said.

John, who was a professional football player before turning to comedy, has had a number of acting roles in TV over the years.

He previously starred in Channel 4’s Skins and BBC series Accused.

More recently the actor appeared in ITV drama Fearless.

In a BBC Breakfast interview, he said filming Doctor Who had been “brilliant”.

Read the full article in Radio Times – out now.

Doctor Who airs tonight at 6.45pm on BBC One.

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