Millions of viewers will tune in to Doctor Who at 7.30pm tonight to watch Matt Smith hand over the controls of the TARDIS to the latest incarnation of the Time Lord, Peter Capaldi.

The show’s main writer, Steven Moffat, said he is not worried about signing up self-confessed fan of the show Peter to the starring role.

“He can absolutely separate the two things. I mean, he can separate the job he’s doing from the fact he’s a fan of it,” he said.

Matt said he has no doubts about Peter either: “I don’t think anything can prepare you for the experience of what being the Doctor in Doctor Who is, but I think he’s as ready as he can be.

“I’ve just said ‘Have a good time, mate’. He’ll be great. Peter will hit the ground running and keep flying.”

Matt said he is looking forward to bowing out and that Steven has given him a great exit. “I’m really excited about Christmas. I think Steven has written a real belter for me to go out on and I had a great time filming it.

“It was quite sad at the end, obviously, when I had to leave, but I think we’ve got a really moving story, a really great sense of adventure in it which I’m pleased about because it’s obviously the last episode, but it still feels like a classic adventure episode with great monsters and a few twists.”