Inside Doctor Who’s Ncuti Gatwa’s life from Sex Education to imposter syndrome

Ncuti Gatwa and Russell T Davies react to Doctor Who role

Filming is underway for the fifteenth series of Doctor Who, but the main focus is on the 60th-anniversary episodes and Ncuti Gatwa making his entrance as the Time Lord for season 14.

The first Doctor Who special will air this month, with David Tennant returning to the helm of the Tardis in the leading role.

Once the specials have aired, Ncuti is set to be making his debut on the BBC sci-fi series this festive season.

Ahead of his episodes airing, has taken a deep dive into the 31-year-old actor’s life, from his battle with imposter syndrome to his success in the Netflix hit series Sex Education.

Scottish upbringing 

Scottish actor Ncuti was born in Rwanda and called his Doctor Who appointment a “unique responsibility”.

“This role and show means so much to so many around the world, including myself, and each one of my incredibly talented predecessors has handled that unique responsibility and privilege with the utmost care,” he added.

Ncuti moved to Scotland with his family in 1994 and they lived in Edinburgh and Dunfermline before the star moved to Glasgow to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

After graduating, he secured a place on the Dundee Repertory Theatre acting graduation scheme before landing roles in various productions.

Sex Education and homelessness 

Ncuti landed a role in Sex Education in 2018 as Eric Effiong and he went on to win a BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Actor in 2020.

However, before the role, he struggled with homelessness and depression which he has spoken openly about in the past.

He wrote in The Big Issue: “Being a 25-year-old man with no money or job affected my sense of self-worth. Rejection became unbearable. Auditions weren’t just acting jobs, they were lifelines.”

He added: “So my life before Sex Education was so different. To go to my audition, I had to get my friend to transfer me 10 quid so I could top up my Oyster card.”

Imposter Syndrome 

Earlier this year, the Netflix star was named the Modern Pioneer in Elle’s 2023 Style Awards.

However, he admitted he suffers from “imposter syndrome” despite his huge success.

“I have so much imposter syndrome,” he told the publication. “I have so many insecurities. I like to make other people feel happy so there’s less focus on me.

“I become this loud figure that’s cracking jokes all the time. It comes across as confidence, but at the heart of it, it’s not. Real confidence is something I have to work on daily.”

Doctor Who episodes are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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