John Bishop has joined the cast of Doctor Who for the beloved sci-fi show’s upcoming series 13.
The comedian, 54, will take on the role of Dan as he boards the TARDIS alongside The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and Yaz (Mandip Gill).
It comes after John vowed to return to work within weeks on Thursday amid his coronavirus battle.
Amazing! John Bishop has joined the cast of Doctor Who for the beloved sci-fi show’s upcoming series 13
Talking about the new role, the comedian said: ‘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.’
Showrunner, Chris Chibnall, said: ‘It’s time for the next chapter of Doctor Who, and it starts with a man called Dan. Oh, we’ve had to keep this one secret for a long, long time.
‘Our conversations started with John even before the pandemic hit. The character of Dan was built for him, and it’s a joy to have him aboard the TARDIS.’
Pained: It comes after John vowed to return to work within weeks on Thursday amid his Covid-19 battle, his wife Melanie is also battling the virus (the couple pictured last year)
While executive producer of BBC Studios, Matt Strevens, added: ‘It’s been a total joy having John join the cast and we’ve been having a lot fun on set already. We can’t wait for you to meet Dan when the show returns later this year.’
With Piers Wenger, controller BBC Drama, saying: ‘We are beyond thrilled to have John Bishop joining Doctor Who. Alongside Jodie Whittaker and Mandip Gill.
‘John is a wonderful addition to the show and we have no doubt that series 13 is going to be another thrilling set of adventures for the Doctor.’
John’s character Dan will find himself embroiled in the Doctor’s adventures and will face ‘evil alien races beyond his wildest nightmares’ alongside The Doctor and Yaz.
Never fear, Jack’s here! Doctor Who treated fans to an explosive New Year’s special on Friday night where Captain Jack, played by John Barrowman, made his much-anticipated return
Filming for series 13 began earlier this year in November and John is set to make his first appearance later in 2021.
Doctor Who treated fans to an explosive New Year’s special on Friday night where Captain Jack, played by John Barrowman, made his much-anticipated return.
It comes after John assured fans he is ‘getting a little stronger’ amid his COVID-19 battle and vowed to return to work next month.
The comedian, 54, took to social media on Wednesday to share a picture of the NHS notification informing him he had tested positive for the virus, describing the infection as ‘the worst illness I have ever had’.
Mystery: The comedian, 54, will take on the role of Dan as he boards the TARDIS alongside The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker – pictured in character) and Yaz (Mandip Gill)
Doctor Who’s past star companions
The following day, on New Year’s Eve, John, whose wife Melanie is also battling the virus, took to Twitter to thank fans for their ‘overwhelming’ support and confirm: ‘Every day we are getting a little stronger’.
In his update message, a touched John penned: ‘Thank you for all the messages of support regarding my recent positive Covid test…
‘I have been overwhelmed and moved by the amount of messages privately and publicly. Every day we are getting a little stronger and I will be back at work in Jan. Keep safe and Happy New Year John x’.
The previous day, he announced he is battling coronavirus after testing positive alongside Melanie over the Christmas period.
Reaching out: It comes after John assured fans he is ‘getting a little stronger’ amid his COVID-19 battle and vowed to return to work next month
With the screenshot from the NHS, he penned: ‘This came through on Christmas Day. This is the worst illness I have ever had, debilitating headaches, muscle joint and even skin pain, dizziness, nausea, no appetite, incredibly chronic fatigue’.
John, who revealed last year that he has shadows on his lungs, added that both he and Melanie are not considered to be vulnerable, concluding: ‘My wife and I are fit non smokers and it’s flattened us. I don’t wish this on anyone’.
Liverpudlian John – one of Britain’s highest paid and best loved comedians – reached out to his 3.5m Twitter followers and 690,000 Instagram followers on Wednesday.
The shocking news comes after John queried the government’s coronavirus methods in a lengthy Instagram post shared in August.
Shocking: Alongside the screenshot, he penned: ‘This came through on Christmas Day This is the worst illness I have ever had, debilitating headaches, muscle joint and even skin pain, dizziness, nausea, no appetite, incredibly chronic fatigue’
Next to a mask-clad selfie with his sister Carol, John wrote: ‘Travelling with my sister Carol …it’s incredible how the world has changed in six months…
‘Nobody is suggesting Covid 19 is not a significant problem but to change the way we all live and the damage it is doing to our young people I honestly think we need to consider if the choices being made are the right ones…
‘It seems risk assessments were made months ago when we knew significantly less than we do now and nothing has changed despite the correlation between infection and illness shifting…
‘The media reporting is one note of fear with nobody challenging the narrative. I am sure we will come out of it but I think that will happen sooner if we keep checking if what we are being asked to do makes sense… Long message but felt like getting it off my chest. Cheers’.
Open and honest: He shared a screengrab on his NHS letter
John and Melanie have been married since 1993, with an 18-month separation that began in 2000. and they share sons Joe, 26, Luke, 24 and Daniel, 22.
Last year, John spoke of his health in his memoir How to Grow Old: A Middle-aged Man Moaning, which was released in November.
He detailed how a terrifying cancer scare left him ‘contemplating death’, after he was sent for an X-ray to asses a prolonged cough three years ago.
He said: ‘I was told that unless I heard anything, I should regard everything as normal and the cough would go. I heard nothing and gradually my chest cleared, so I thought no more about it…
Questioning: The shocking news comes after John queried the government’s coronavirus methods in a lengthy Instagram post shared in August
Back in August: Next to a mask-clad selfie with his sister Carol, John wrote: ‘Travelling with my sister Carol …it’s incredible how the world has changed in six months’
‘Three months later I received a call saying the results of the X-ray had been misreported by one of the junior staff.’
After his GP suggested an emergence CT scan he began to panic, as he went on: ‘So I organised a private CT scan at the local hospital…
‘I spent a few hours alone thinking it could be the start of the end. This is because a Google search of ‘shadows on lungs’ does not make you believe the prognosis will be good.’
The funnyman explained how it was the first time in his life that he had thought about his health and death properly: ‘It was the first time I had seriously contemplated my own death…
‘I was filled with sadness for all the things I’d miss – my family, my sons getting married, my parents, becoming a grandparent, laughing, blue sky days when you are so happy that you almost feel guilty to be so lucky. Football, music, films.’
He then revealed he was with Melanie when he was given the all-clear, writing: ‘The GP called me as soon as he had the results. I had shadows on both lungs but it was nothing sinister and was caused by increased bone mass in my sternum.
‘I put the phone down grateful for the life I had ahead of me.’
His love: John and Melanie pictured in March 2012