It’s been reported that former EastEnders star Rakhee Thakrar is in talks to join replace Jenna Coleman as the Time Lord’s companion in Doctor Who. The Radio Times’ website has been told by a source that the actress, who recently quit her role as Walford’s Shabnam Masood, is being lined up to fill the shoes left by Coleman’s character Clara Oswald, who died in the show’s 2015 Christmas Day episode.
A source told the website that auditions for the role are taking place, but BBC bosses have already set their sights on nabbing the 32-year-old actress, who left behind her EastEnders character after two years in the soap.
In January, Rakhee was nominated in the Serial Drama Performance category at the National TV Awards, but lost out to her EastEnders co-star Danny Dyer. Michael Parr, aka Emmerdale’s Ross Barton, and Alison King, best known as Corrie’s Carla Connor, were also nominated for the same award.
Rakhee received praise for her performance in episodes of the Walford soap which showed a pregnant Shabnam, and her partner Kush, deal with the news that their baby had died. In the emotional scenes that followed, viewers saw Shabnam give birth to her stillborn son.
If Rakhee gets the role, she will join the show at a time of great change because the current producer Steve Moffat is handing over the reins to Broadchurch creator and writer Chris Chibnall.
But Moffat will oversee at least 12 episodes and a Christmas special before bowing out in 2017.
Meanwhile, Peter Capaldi, who plays the current Time Lord, has hinted that he will be stepping down from the role next year to give Chris – who has previously worked on Doctor Who and its spin-off Torchwood – a “fresh start.”