Doctor Who’s who: why the series’ stars love Muswell Hill and Crouch End
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Jodie Whittiker may be the first woman to play Dr Who, but she’s not the first Time Lord to live in north London
Actress Jodie Whittaker made TV history yesterday when it was announced she will play the 13th Doctor Who in the long running BBC series.
She will be the first woman to play the role, news that has been welcomed by fans, feminists and female Sci-fi fanatics alike.
There has been some consternation expressed from a small, dank corner of the internet where some male fans are concerned the casting decision will lead to the TARDIS being filled with bras.
Apparently making a time travelling alien with two hearts who flies around in a converted police box spaceship a woman is an imaginative leap too far for some.
But whilst Whittiker has broken the gender roles mould as the premier lady Time Lord she joins a long tradition of Dr Whos who live in north London.
She’ll be taking over the role from Peter Capaldi, who lives nearby in Crouch End.
The actor dubbed the area ‘Crouch Angeles’ due to its popularity with celebrities and joked to the Evening Standard magazine that he wants his obituary to read “Don’t let me die in Muswell Hill.”
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The eleventh doctor was played by Matt Smith, who lives in Tufnell Park and likes to drink in Highgate Village at the Flask or prop up the bar at The Engineer in Primrose Hill.
David Tennant, who played the tenth doctor, also lives in Crouch End with his wife and fellow thespian Georgia Moffett.
Moffett is the daughter of Peter Davison, who played the fifth Doctor in the early 1980s. The couple met on the Doctor Who set.
The seventh doctor is also a local. Scottish actor Sylvester McCoy, who manned the Tardis from 1987 to 1989, lives on Haverstock Hill in Belsize Park.
So what is it about north London that attracts these time travelling alien actor types?
Whittaker moved to London to attend Guildhall drama school, having grown up in Skelmanthorpe, a village in West Yorkshire.
In a 2013 interview she told the Independent: “I had wanted to live in London for as long as I can remember – where you could wear bright red shiny Doc Martens and no-one would give a shit. London is a melting pot, and Yorkshire isn’t.”
Having made her way to Muswell Hill the actress hasn’t budged for over a decade, only moving from one street to another and persuading her childhood friends to move nearby.
She’s a big fan of the independent shops the area is famed for, as well as that village-in-a-city feel that so many Londoners crave.
“I just love it there, it’s like living in a village,” she told the Resident magazine. “I am never going to live in the north of England again, but I did love being in a place where you’d walk in a shop and they’d know you – and that’s something I like about being in Muswell Hill.”
The creativity of the capital combined with the comforting familiarity of a tight knit local community has clearly proved a winning combination.
Whittaker has previously professed to be a fan of the Bloody Mary’s and extensive wine list at the Red Lion & Sun in Highgate Village.
You’ll find her popping in for pasties at Sable D’Or on The Broadway, or browsing for a bottle of Ridge Lytton Springs at Prohibition Wines on Fortis Green Road.
She also loves to spend a Sunday browsing the stalls of the Farmers’ Market at Alexandra Palace.
With her new role surely set to catapult her to inter-galactic levels of fame it’s unlikely that Whittaker will be able to continue to potter about Muswell Hill without being recognised.
Luckily north London has more than its fair share of celebrity residents and locals are relatively unfazed by famous faces, although we certainly wouldn’t turn down the opportunity for a selfie with the sonic screwdriver.
Want to park your own big blue box in N10? Read our guide to Muswell Hill here.