Jodie Whittaker has been chatting about the codename she used to keep her casting as the Thirteenth Doctor top secret.

Whilst appearing on last night’s edition of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in the US, the Doctor Who star revealed to the host that she gave the show a codeword in case she was ever overheard speaking about it before last year’s official announcement.

“Clooney! As in George, as in Dr Ross, he’s a very famous Doctor!” she said, referring to one of the Hollywood actor’s most well-known roles as Dr Doug Ross in the US medical drama ER.

On her reasoning for the codename choice, she said: “He’s a really famous doctor, Clooney, no one would link that because I’m a genius and I’ve come up with a really great, unbreakable code!”

She also revealed that the codename continues to follow her around even after her casting announcement: “So much so that Matt Strevens, the exec producer, is still in my phone as ‘Matt Clooney’ and on my first day of filming my sides that I was issued with – which is the scenes that you’re doing that day – instead of having ‘Jodie Whittaker’ embossed across the front, it was Clooney!”

She ended: “I think when I ever meet him, he’ll be delighted to hear that!”

Whittaker originally revealed her surprising Doctor Who codename as part of her first official interview after being announced as the new Doctor. At the time she explained: “To me and my husband, George is an iconic guy. And we thought: what’s a really famous iconic name? It was just fitting.”

Other topics covered by Whittaker and Colbert on last night’s The Late Show included being the first female Doctor, choosing her costume and her Yorkshire accent – and she also gave the audience a glimpse of the special stars-and-stripes shoes she was wearing in honour of her first ever appearance on a US late-night talkshow!

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs on weeknights at 11:35/10:35c. The legendary late-night talkshow has been broadcast on CBS since 1993, when it was fronted by original host David Letterman. Colbert took over from Letterman in 2015, making the move after successful and popular stints on The Daily Show and his own satirical show The Colbert Report.

Doctor Who returns to BBC America at 1.45pm EST on Sunday, October 7th with The Woman who Fell to Earth – the broadcast will be simulcast with the UK broadcast on BBC One at 6:45pm BST. Series 11 stars Jodie Whittaker (The Doctor), Mandip Gill (Yasmin Khan), Bradley Walsh (Graham O’Brien), and Tosin Cole (Ryan Sinclair). 

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