The new series of Doctor Who hasn’t even started yet and there is already a claim that Doctor Who’s companion Jenna Coleman is set to leave the hit BBC drama.

Jenna, 28, is quitting her role as the Time Lord’s assistant Clara Oswald in a sensational Christmas storyline, claims a tabloid newspaper.

Her exit could bring an end to her 18 months as Clara, creating a vacancy for another sidekick to star alongside new Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi.

A source reportedly told the Mirror: “The conversations about Jenna’s exit have started, and a plan is in place which is being ironed out.

“By the time she leaves she will be one of the longest-standing companions ever. She has been absolutely brilliant in the role, but everyone agrees it is a part that should change after a period.”

The source added: “It was very much a mutual decision.

“It’s important to keep the series moving and fast-paced, and the time is just starting to feel right and the feeling is that it could be a perfect Christmas storyline.”

The Doctor’s “companion” has become a key part of the success of the iconic sci-fi series.

There have been almost 60 since the launch in 1963.

Other stars who have occupied the role include Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, ­Catherine Tate as Donna Noble and Billie Piper as Rose Tyler.

In an interview last month, Doctor Who boss Steven Moffat said that the series will become “more serious”, adding: “One of the watchwords we have this year is there are consequences for choosing to live like this.

“It’s not a fairytale – we want to make it feel that these adventures can hurt.”

Hurt…and maybe kill Clara?

The BBC refused to comment on Jenna’s exit.

Doctor Who returns to BBC1 on Saturday, August 23, 7.50pm.