Doctor Who

Nicola Coughlan confirmed for Doctor Who role

The Bridgerton star is set to appear in the Doctor Who 2024 Christmas special.

Nicola Coughlan wearing a green suit standing on a staircase
Dave Benett/Getty Images

We’re now in November, and you know what that means – we’re only a number of weeks away until the much-anticipated Doctor Who 60th anniversary episodes land on our screens.

The three brand new instalments signal the return of Russell T Davies as Doctor Who showrunner, and will lead rather nicely into the upcoming season, which will be helmed by Ncuti Gatwa.

Well, while we have the imminent 2023 Christmas special to also look forward to, it looks as though fans have even more to get excited about – as a major 2024 cast addition has just been announced.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press at a Q&A after the premiere of 60th anniversary episode, The Star Beast, Davies was pressed for information about any names attached to the next series that he could tease.

“Oh, they’ll tell me off. Can we say anyone?” the showrunner posed, before saying, “Nicola Coughlan at Christmas. Not this Christmas, next Christmas. We’re shooting Christmas 2024 now.”

So, there we have it – the first cast member for Doctor Who’s 2024 Christmas special has been announced, with further details naturally being kept under wraps for now.

While we know that production will continue on that special now, we’ll just have to wait and see who else has been lined up for a role in the festive episode.

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton wearing a pink dress, leaning on wooden railings
Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton. Liam Daniel/Netflix

Of course, Coughlan is best known for her roles in Channel 4’s Derry Girls and Netflix’s Bridgerton, and most recently starred in box office hit Barbie alongside the new Doctor, Gatwa.

Coughlan is set to next appear in brand new Channel 4 comedy Big Mood with It’s a Sin’s Lydia West, so the Davies connections continue.

As for what we can expect in the anniversary episodes, which are set to air later this month, they will mark the return of Catherine Tate and David Tennant, this time as the Fourteenth Doctor and not his former Tenth.

The three upcoming specials, which are The Star Beast, Wild Blue Yonder and The Giggle, will also feature Yasmin Finney as Donna’s daughter, Rose Noble, and it has been confirmed that Miriam Margolyes will be the voice behind Beep the Meep.

Neil Patrick Harris will star as the villainous Celestial Toymaker, too, a character that first appeared in 1966.

The 2023 Christmas special is set to air on 25th December, and will be titled Doctor Who Holiday Special: The Church on Ruby Road, according to Disney Plus.

The episode will mark the introduction to Gatwa’s Doctor and Millie Gibson as his companion, Ruby Sunday.

Additional reporting by Louise Griffin.

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