Steven Moffat, the head writer and executive producer of Doctor Who, is to step down from the role next year.

 

The boss of the long-running drama will be replaced by Broadchurch writer Chris Chibnall, but before he hands over the reins he will oversee one more Christmas special and a series which will air in spring 2017.

 

In 2010, Moffat took over at the helm of the show following the departure of Russell T Davies, who had overseen four series. Davies, whose other TV credits include Queer As Folk, Bob & Rose and Casanova, brought the much-loved drama back to life in 2005 after it was axed by the BBC in 1989. It featured Christopher Eccleston as the Time Lord, and Billie Piper as his time-travelling companion Rose, before David Tennant took over the role for the next three series. Piper remained in the show for one more series, and was replaced by new companions Freema Agyeman, who played Martha, and Catherine Tate, who played Donna.

 

When Moffat was brought in for the fifth series, he was responsible for introducing Matt Smith as the new Doctor and Karen Gillan as his companion Pond, later bringing in Peter Capaldi to play the 12th Doctor and former Emmerdale actress Jenna Coleman to play sidekick Clara. 

 

Moffat says it took “a lot of gin and tonic” to talk Chibnall into taking up his new position, but added: “I am beyond delighted that one of the true stars of British television drama will be taking the Time Lord even further into the future. At the start of season 11, Chris Chibnall will become the new showrunner of Doctor Who. And I will be thrown in a skip.”

 

Meanwhile, Chibnall, who admits to being a fan of the show since he was four years old, said: “It’s a privilege and a joy to be the next curator of this funny, scary and emotional family drama. I’m relishing the thought of working with the exceptional team at BBC Wales to create new characters, creatures and worlds for the Doctor to explore.”