Doctor Who star Lenny Henry has claimed the BBC would rather cast a dog as the next Time Lord than use a black actor.
The actor, 61, told London‘s Colourful Radio that despite introduction of Jodie Whittaker as the first female doctor, he thinks the channel still has a long way to go when it comes to promoting diversity.
Teasing his guest appearance in the twelfth series, Lenny revealed that he gets to play a tech mogul of sorts who will leaves fans guessing whether he’s on The Doctor’s side.
Shocking: Doctor Who star Lenny Henry has claimed the BBC would rather cast a dog as the next Time Lord than use a black actor
Lenny said the BBC still needed to work on improving diversity in its shows, saying: ‘Why have we never had a black Doctor Who? They would rather have a dog do Doctor Who than a black person. There’s no black people in Doctor Who.
‘When Russell T Davis was doing Doctor Who there was so many black people in the show I rang up and said there are too many black people in the show — put in some white people, it’s getting embarrassing.’
He added: ‘We’re still a long way away. The ‘in’ group who are in charge of everything are getting complacent.’
Drama: The actor said that despite progression in recent years, BBC still has a long way to go when it comes to promoting diversity
Lenny is set to appear in Doctor Who’s 12th series as a tech mogul whose allegiance leaves viewers guessing.
Speaking about his new role, the star said he enjoyed getting suited and booted, and admitted he was grateful that writer Chris Chibnall didn’t transform him into a sinister alien.
So far little has been revealed about Who’s 12th series, except that it will begin with a two part special titled Spyfall.
Exciting: Lenny is set to appear in the new series of Doctor Who as a guest star, and teased his character is a tech mogul who will leaves fans guessing
Jodie will reprise her role as the Doctor alongside her companions Graham (played by Bradley Walsh), Ryan (Tosin Cole) and Yaz (Mandip Gill), as they go head-to-head with more sinister alien threats.
On Tuesday, fans were given a foretaste of what is to come with an epic new trailer.
The teaser hinted there could be danger on the horizon for the titular Time Lady, as she warned of a ‘big serious crisis’.
Amongst a montage of tears, drama and aliens, the Doctor also feared that ‘something is coming for her.’
Doctor Who returns on New Year’s Day at 6:55pm on BBC One.
Back soon: The new series will see Jodie Whittaker reprise her role as the first ever female Doctor, and is set to begin on New Year’s Day at 6:55pm on BBC One.