Big Moves

Ncuti Gatwa is Leaving “Sex Education” After Season 4

Just as the fourth season of Sex Education wraps up filming, actor Ncuti Gatwa has announced that it will be the last outing for Eric Effiong, the show’s beloved gay teen.

Gatwa broke the news with an Instagram post commemorating his last day of filming, making it clear that he wasn’t just talking about the season. Posting a photo of his trailer door bearing his character’s name, he wrote, “Last day. Last time. Bye bubs, thank you for all the lessons and for all the strength.”


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A post shared by Ncuti Gatwa (@ncutigatwa)

In case that wasn’t clear enough, Gatwa followed up in his Instagram stories, “Goodbye forever baby boy.” 


Gatwa’s Eric is the best friend of the show’s protagonist Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield). But from the very beginning, he was adamant that Eric would be much more than a ‘gay best friend.’ “There is always a danger of making him a stock character because he’s Black and Otis is his best friend. He’s also gay and Otis is his best friend,” he told Vulture following the launch of the first season. “Those are two avenues whereby you could just make him comic relief.


“But he’s so much more than that. We see him struggle with his religion, parents, and heritage and, obviously, his sexuality, and accepting all those things about himself.”

Through three seasons, we follow Eric as he comes out to his religious Ghanaian-Nigerian parents and navigates a turbulent (and controversial) relationship with his bully Adam (Connor Swindells). His portrayal of the character has earned him multiple BAFTA TV nominations for Best Male Comedy Performance.

As for why he’s leaving the series, one probable cause is his recent casting in Doctor Who. Not only will Gatwa take up the mantle of the 15th Doctor, he will be the first Black and gay timelord in Doctor Who history.

“[I feel] a mix of deeply honored, beyond excited, and of course a little bit scared,” Gatwa said at the 2022 BAFTA TV awards. “Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart, but I am giving it all to this show.”

While the release date for Sex Education’s fourth season has not yet been confirmed, Gatwa will make his first appearance on Doctor Who in the 60th anniversary special sometime in November.

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