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Doctor Who actress Jenna-Louise Coleman has entered the debate over who the next Time Lord should be – saying she would be perfectly happy with a woman in the role.

Speculation over the identity of Matt Smith’s replacement has been rife since he announced a week ago he was quitting – with Helen Mirren and Miranda Hart in the frame as potential candidates to become the first female Doctor.

And Jenna-Louise – who currently plays sidekick Clara Oswald – admitted she would not have a problem with it.

“I’m not opposed to it,” she said. “It’s about story ideas and what works.”

The actress added that she understood Matt’s decision to leave Doctor Who – but said she was looking forward to continuing to work with him in the 50th anniversary episode and the Christmas special,

“We’d spoken about it so it wasn’t a surprise. It’s right for him. He’s done three series,” she said.

“Of course I’m sad and it’s going to be difficult. We spend so much time on set together but we’ve still got a long way to go before he finishes filming.”