BlogtorWho takes a look at the new batch of Doctor Who companions starting with TV veteran Bradley Walsh.
Where do we start with Bradley Walsh, a man with possibly the most varied CV in showbiz?
On Sunday 22 October the BBC announced officially the news that had been floating around the interwebs since Jodie Whittaker was introduced to the world as the Thirteenth Doctor back in July – that Walsh would play a new Doctor Who companion. Graham.
So what do we know about the man who’ll play Graham? Let’s have a look at what he’s done so far…
He’s been a footballer
Walsh is an old-fashioned all-rounder with the kind of wildy varied career you don’t see much any more. In the late 1970s and early 80s he played professional football for teams such as Barnet and Dunstable Town before injuries ended his footballing career. Walsh played the occasional game for Soccer Aid and in 2012 and 2016 was a coach for the England team.
He was a Bluecoat
Hi-de-hi campers! Following the end of his football career, Bradders, as we may decide to call him, had a short stint as a Bluecoat in UK holiday institution Pontins. The glamorous lure of Morecambe wasn’t to last, however and he departed after three short months.
He’s a gameshow presenter
Walsh first came to fame on UK television as the host of the UK version of Wheel of Fortune. He’s since become a stalwart of daytime quiz shows on ITV, hosting programmes such as Spin Star, Odd One In and of course the hugely popular The Chase.
He’s behind you! (Oh, no he isn’t!)
Walsh has a long history of playing panto. For our non-UK fans, panto (short for pantomime) is the gloriously camp traditional Christmas plays beloved of children of all ages in the UK and famed for their audience participation. Walsh has appeared in many a classic panto, including playing iconic roles such as Wishee Washee in Aladdin, Captain Hook in Peter Pan and Buttons in Cinderella.
He can act
Bradley Walsh has appeared in an array of UK television dramas, but is probably best known as playing Danny Baldwin, the nephew/secret love child of legendary womaniser and knicker-factory owner Mike Baldwin in Coronation Street. Walsh is also well known for playing Detective Sergeant Ronnie Brooks in Law & Order:UK where his co-star was Freema Agyeman, who older readers may remember as playing Tenth Doctor companion Martha Jones.
He’s no stranger to the world of Doctor Who
As well as being a self-professed fan of the programme for 50 years, back in 2008 Walsh played Elijah Spellman, Odd Bob the Clown and The Pied Piper in an episode of Doctor Who spin-off show The Sarah Jane Adventures called The Day of the Clown.
His album outsold Zayn Malik’s
We’re not even kidding. In 2016, Walsh released his debut album Chasing Dreams, which reached number 10 in the UK album charts. It sold over 100,000 copies making it a gold album with the BPI and it was the biggest selling debut album by a UK artist in 2016, even outselling chisel-cheeked former One Directioner and teen pin-up Zayn Malik.
We can’t wait to see him in Doctor Who
No, seriously. Let’s give the man a chance. We know that Walsh can act and we know that new show runner Chris Chibnall has made some unlikely yet canny casting choices in the past. We present as Exhibit ‘A’ Will Mellor’s outstanding turn as strange telephone engineer and self-professed psychic Steve Connelly in Broadchurch. And let us never forget how Doctor Who fandom first took the news that Catherine Tate had been cast as then-new companion Donna Noble, who is now widely recognised as one of the most well-loved companions of the new era of Doctor Who. We can’t wait to see how Bradders does as our Graham.
The BBC has confirmed that the next series of Doctor Who will air in Autumn 2018 starting with a special hour-long show for the launch.