Ruth Madeley and David Tennant on the set of Doctor Who
Doctor Who newcomer Ruth Madeley has praised the show for its approach to inclusivity.
Ruth – who was born with spina bifida and uses a wheelchair – joined Doctor Who as its new scientific adviser Shirley Ann Bingham in the long-running sci-fi show’s recent 60th anniversary specials.
After the third and final of these specials aired over the weekend, Ruth shared a post on social media enthusing about one particular tweak that was made to a Doctor Who staple to make it more accessible.
“For every disabled kid who couldn’t get into the Tardis, this ramp is forever yours,” she wrote, alongside a photo of herself posing next to the iconic Doctor Who prop.
— Ruth Madeley (@ruth_madeley) December 10, 2023
Doctor Who marks Ruth’s second collaboration with producer Russell T Davies, after previously appearing in his 2019 drama Years And Years.
Her other TV credits have included Fresh Meat, Outnumbered, The Cleaner and the drama Then Barbara Met Alan.
In an interview with The Times published on Saturday, Ruth recalled how she knew her whole life she wanted to work in television, but had ruled out acting as she hadn’t seen disabled representation on screen when she was growing up.
“I knew that I didn’t see myself on screen growing up. I knew that disabled people didn’t have storylines and even when there was a disabled character, nine times out of ten it was never played by a disabled actor,” she explained.
“I never thought acting was an option. I knew the [television] industry was something I wanted to be part of and I wanted to be part of a change but I never thought it would be in front of the camera.”
Doctor Who will return on Christmas Day with this year’s festive special, followed by a brand new series in 2024.