Harrogate actor tipped to be new Dr Who as speculation grows in national press

A hugely talented young musican and actor who was originally from Harrogate is being tipped to be the next Dr Who by parts of the national media.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 3:52 pm
Speculation - Charismatic and inspirational actor and pop singer Olly Alexander is tipped to be the new Dr Who.
Speculation - Charismatic and inspirational actor and pop singer Olly Alexander is tipped to be the new Dr Who.

Speculation has been building in recent months that Jodie Whittaker is to leave her starring role in the long-running BBC show after the next series comes to an end.

The weekend has seen the rumour mill take a new spin after The Guardian and others picked up on claims in The Sun that the BBC was in talks with the trailblazing Olly Alexander, star of Russell T Davies's Channel 4/HBO drama It's A Sin, to become the next Dr Who.

The charismatic and inspirational actor and pop singer has stolen the show twice in the last 12 months, firstly for his widely-acclaimed performance as lead character Ritchie role in Channel 4's hit drama It's A Sin and, secondly, when he sang a show-stopping duet with Elton John at the Brit Awards.

What is not so well known - especially in Harrogate itself - is that Alexander was born on July 15, 1990, in Harrogate.

The son of Vicki Thornton, who co-founded Coleford Music Festival, he only spent his very early years in Harrogate before being educated at St John's Primary School in Coleford in the Forest of Dean.

A long-time advocate for - and supporter of - the LGBTQ+ community, Alexander fronted BBC documentary Growing Up Gay in 2017.

If the speculation turns out to be accurate, he would become the first out gay actor to play the Time Lord.

Before his star turn as Ritchie in It's A Sin, which has broken all records on All 4 since its premiere in January with more than 18 million views to date, Alexander, who is now 30, first won fame with Years & Years, the multi-platinum-selling band that has become a solo project in which he is lead songwriter and lead vocalist, as well as playing keyboards, piano and synthesiser.

But he has enjoyed a successful acting career ever since he left school gained an agent at the age of 16.

Even before the phenomenal success of Channel 4's It's A Sin, Alexander had made waves in literary biopic Bright Star, playing the brother of Ben Whishaw’s John Keats, Great Expectations, Le Week-End, Skins and Gulliver’s Travels with Emily Blunt and Jack Black.

His highest profile role before 1980s AIDs drama It's A Sin came when he played one of the toffs in the elitist Oxford University club in The Riot Club, the film adaptation of the play, Posh starring with Max Irons and Douglas Booth.

Since the story broke nationally, there has already been a denial published by RadioTimes.com

The Radio Times said Olly Alexander's agent, Martha Kinn,said: “Even though Olly is often contacted by Cybermen, I’m afraid I have to exterminate this speculation.

"As nice as it is to see interest in this story regenerate, it just isn’t true.”

She added: “As odd as it might sound, Olly is focusing on his music, for the time being.”

Years & Years' most recent piece of new music was the single Starstruck released on Polydor Records in early April.

The last album by Years & Years was Palo Santo which was a huge seller in 2018.

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