Christopher Eccleston wishes they’d cast a female Doctor in 2005

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“Rose should have moved up to become the Doctor …but it was just too early.”

As we twiddle our thumbs waiting for the next series of Doctor Who, once again starring Jodie Whittaker as the first female Time Lord, former Doctor Christopher Eccleston reckons the casting of an actress in the part should have happened a long time ago – even at the expense of his own opportunity back in the mid-00s!

“It’s ridiculous we weren’t thinking of a female Doctor at that time,” Eccleston remarked recently at Rose City Comic Con. “In 2004, in me they picked yet another white skinny male to be the Doctor. If somebody had said in 2004 it should have been a woman, there’d have been outrage. But only 14 years later it’s acceptable.”

Eccleston believes that things could have been a lot different if the people behind the series had been prepared to make the move at the time.

“I think it’s time for white middle-aged males to step aside. And if Billie Piper ever wants to play the Doctor I’ll [be her companion]. Who wouldn’t? I think that’s what they should have done, I was saying backstage. Rose should have moved up to become the Doctor …but it was just too early.”

The actor, who also recently revealed that he has been struggling with anorexia all his life, went on to address the slow shift in storytelling away from male-dominated narratives.

“Genuinely, joking aside, certainly in my country I think we’re all tired of [seeing] how difficult it is to be a white male,” he said. “As a 55-year-old bloke, I don’t think I should be carrying dramas any more. I know I’m putting myself out of work, but I have a daughter. I have a son who needs to see that the world is not patriarchy any more. And the idea of males being marginalised in dramas is going to throw up interesting roles for men.”