Doctor Who’s first female Time Lord will be joined by three new companions, the BBC has announced.

Jodie Whittaker, who takes over as the 13th Doctor next year, will be joined by new cast regulars Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill, as well as Sharon D Clarke in a returning role.

Walsh will star as Graham, Cole will play Ryan and Gill will play Yasmin.

Walsh said he was looking forward to being part of the show – some 50 years after first becoming a fan.

The former Coronation Street actor and presenter of quiz show The Chase said: “I remember watching William Hartnell as the first Doctor. Black and white made it very scary for a youngster like myself.

“I was petrified, but even though I’d watch most of it from behind the sofa through my fingers, I became a fan…

“Am I thrilled to be part of this whole ground breaking new dawn for the Doctor? Oh yes!”

Gill, who has appeared in Hollyoaks and Casualty, said she was “over the moon” to join the “iconic” show, adding: “Certain roles seem unattainable and this is one of those, so much so I didn’t believe it to be true for the first few weeks.”

Cole, who had roles in EastEnders and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, said he was looking forward to “jumping in this Doctor Who universe”.

Chris Chibnall, the show’s new head writer, said those chosen as companions were “three of Britain’s brightest talents”.

“The new Doctor is going to need new friends,” he added.