Jodie Whittaker has said she avoided reading the reviews of her performance in Doctor Who because it would not be good for her "soul".

However, the Broadchurch star, who appeared in the first episode of the new series of the BBC One sci-fi programme as the first female Doctor on Sunday, said she was excited by fans' response to the episode.

Whittaker told fans on an Ask Me Anything thread on Reddit: "(I'm) excited that the fans have responded so passionately to all this hard work.

"I think there's a dangerous line for me to start reading what's been said.

"Positive or negative, it wouldn't have the best reaction to my soul."

Whittaker, who first appeared as the Time Lord in last year's Christmas episode when she took over from previous Doctor Who lead Peter Capaldi, made her official debut in the new series to great fanfare.

She received largely positive remarks from critics and fans alike, and the episode was a ratings success.

Whittaker, 36, pulled in more viewers than predecessors Capaldi, Matt Smith and David Tennant for the debut episodes of their first series, as an average of 8.2 million tuned in, according to overnight ratings.

Asked who her role models are, the actress replied: "I think I've always been inspired by ordinary heroes.

"It doesn't take fame and a public voice for me to find inspiration from people, but on a public platform, I'm continually in awe and inspired by Michelle Obama."

Doctor Who continues on Sunday at 6.55pm on BBC One.