Behind the scenes

Inside the Big Issue: Ncuti Gatwa is the Doctor

Regenerating onto the front cover of The Big Issue this week is Ncuti Gatwa. Dive into this week's magazine to read our interview.

The Big Issue magazine featuring Ncuti Gatwa on the cover

Ncuti Gatwa on the cover of The Big Issue. On sale: 4 December 2023

Regenerating onto the front cover of The Big Issue this week is Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa. He is having a moment. While the world has waited for his debut as The Doctor, Gatwa has been busy working with Steven Spielberg and playing one of the Kens in the blockbuster Barbie.

Now, with his unveiling upon us, he speaks exclusively to The Big Issue. This special, bumper edition, is on sale now from vendors across the country.

Inside, Gatwa talks all things Tardis. “It’s felt like I’ve been the Doctor and also had to hold off from being the Doctor for most of the last two years,” he says. “So how do I feel about people seeing it? I feel ready. But I’m sooooo nervous.”

Change a Big Issue vendor’s life this Christmas by purchasing a Winter Support Kit. You’ll receive four copies of the magazine and create a brighter future for our vendors through Christmas and beyond.

When he first found fame as Eric Effiong in Sex Education, Gatwa sat down with The Big Issue and opened up about his backstory. He talked at length, and later wrote for us, about his time sofa surfing – a period when, despite working regularly in the theatre in London and taking temp jobs – including at Harrods, the world-famous department store – he did not have a regular roof over his head.

How has opening up about this difficult time been for him?

“I’m constantly trying to find a balance of how to be open and how to be private,” he says. “But with that particular issue, I always wanted to speak out about it. Because I wanted it to be quite clear that it can happen to anyone. A majority of people are one bad incident or one bad pay cheque away from a really drastic situation. To this day I still wake up and check my bank balance and that there’s food in my fridge. And that’s because of that brief period where I was struggling.”

To read the full interview, buy a copy of this week’s magazine. Find your local vendor here.

What else is in this week’s Big Issue?

The shocking rise in people experiencing homelessness asking to be sent to jail

It’s normal for a lawyer to urge a judge to send an offender to jail. But it’s not usually the defendant’s own solicitor. On 18 November, a lawyer in Shropshire asked the court to lock up his homeless client.

“He wants to be sent to prison because the alternative is being let out on the streets in late November/early December when it’s cold and wet,” James Ashton, mitigating for Scott Mills, told Kidderminster Magistrates Court. “Please send him to prison.”

In this week’s issue, we explore just how common such cases are.

Singer-songwriter Hozier tells us about his brand new album

Quietly and unobserved by many, Irish singer-songwriter Hozier has become one of the hottest live acts on the planet. Tickets for his December tour of the UK’s arenas sold out long ago and 2024 will bring ever-bigger gigs across North and South America, along with massive summer headline outdoor shows at home.

Ten years on from his massive debut single Take Me to Church – a gospelbacked howl against institutional religion and LGBT+ oppression – the 33-year-old’s new album is connecting with audiences everywhere . In an exclusive interview, he told the Big Issue all about it.

This Is Going to Hurt author Adam Kay’ Letter to My Younger Self

Never fully convinced a career in medicine was his calling, Adam Kay ‘rolled the dice’ and ended up following his dreams.

“At 16, I was set out on a path to do medicine. Everything in my life was designed around this happening,” he said. “The first real gamble I took was at age 30 when I left medicine.”

But it hasn’t always been easy, he says. “I feel guilt for having left a profession when the country invested good money in training me up.”

Support our vendors this winter and beyond

If you can't visit your local vendor on a regular basis, then the next best way to support them is with a subscription to the Big Issue. As a social enterprise, we invest every penny we make back into the organisation. That means that with every subscription, we are supporting people in poverty to get back on their own two feet.
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