Doctor Who writer and executive producer Russell T Davies is stepping down from his role, the BBC confirmed.

Davies, who oversaw the relaunch of the sci-fi show on BBC One, is handing over to Bafta-winning writer Steven Moffatt, who has written for the show.

Davies said: “It’s been a delight and an honour working with Steven, and I can’t wait to see where his extraordinary imagination takes the Doctor. Best of all, I get to be a viewer again, watching on a Saturday night.”

Moffatt has just written the screenplay for the Tintin film directed by Steven Spielberg and has penned highly-acclaimed shows like Press Gang and Coupling.

The writer, who’ll pen the fifth series of Doctor Who for broadcast in 2010, joked: “My entire career has been a secret plan to get this job. I applied before, but I got knocked back because the BBC wanted someone else. Also, I was seven.”

BBC Fiction Controller Jane Tranter said: “The past four series have been brilliantly helmed by the spectacularly talented Russell T Davies.

“As lead writer and executive producer, he’s overseen the creative direction and detail of the 21st century relaunch of Doctor Who and we’re delighted to have his continued presence on the specials over the next 18 months.

“But the challenge and excitement of the fifth series is now being handed to Steven Moffat. The Tardis couldn’t be in safer hands.”

She said Steven’s plans for the next series are ‘totally thrilling’.

Doctor Who returns in 2009 with four specials.