Peter Capaldi has claimed he is too young for his forthcoming role as Doctor Who’s newest Time Lord – despite being one of the older actors to take on the part.

The Thick Of It star, who is 55, will make his official debut in the show on Christmas Day as current incarnation Matt Smith bows out and his Doctor regenerates.

However the actor said he did not think the change would shock the Doctor too much.

“The Doctor’s thousands of years old, they’ve never been able to find an actor old enough to play him,” showrunner Steven Moffat explained.

Peter, meanwhile, added: “I’m 1,995 years too young to play him, really. So I think he’s going to be quite happy to look his age.”

The actor added that he had not seen his debut yet, and would be tuning in on Christmas Day along with the show’s loyal fan base.

“I haven’t seen it, so I’m looking forward to my reaction. My family are all coming over to watch Matt Smith turning into me which will be interesting,” he revealed.

He also sang the praises of the character’s previous incarnations, calling them all ‘brilliant’.

“They are just one, they’re all of those actors and they’re all a delight, I think they’re all fabulous,” Peter said. “I’m lucky to have them in my DNA because I’ve watched it from the year dot, so they’re great.”

The Doctor Who Christmas special, The Time Of The Doctor, will be aired on BBC One at 7.30pm on Christmas Day.