David Tennant exclusively revealed that he will be quitting as Doctor Who, as he collected his award for Outstanding Drama Performance at the National Television Awards 2008.

Speaking via video link from Stratford-upon-Avon, where he is playing Hamlet, David admitted that he will be leaving after four special adventures of Doctor Who.

He told viewers: “In January, I go back to Cardiff to make four new specials. But when Doctor Who returns in 2010, it won’t be with me. The 2009 shows will be my last playing the Doctor.”

Tennant added: “I love this part and I love the show so much but If I don’t take a deep breath now and move on, I never will and they’ll be wheeling me out in the TARDIS in my bath chair. I think it’s best I don’t outstay my welcome.”

David’s departure after the 2009 Christmas Special will coincide with that of executive producer Russell T Davies, who will be replaced by Steven Moffat.

Talking to press following the announcement, Davies said: “We’ve known for a long while now. Most of all, as an old Doctor Who fan myself, I’m just excited about the future now.”

But Steven wouldn’t be drawn on who could replace David in the iconic role, simply saying: “You’ll be hearing from us.”

Doctor Who also won the award for Most Popular Drama at the NTAs, which took place at the Royal Albert Hall on Wednesday night and were hosted by Sir Trevor McDonald.

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