Suranne Jones is to star in the next series of Doctor Who, screening next year.

The former Coronation Street star has appeared in the Sarah Jane Adventures last year as an evil incarnation of the Mona Lisa. But in Doctor Who she will play a young woman called Idris in an episode written by Neil Gaiman.

Suranne begins filming her role on Friday and said: “It’s hugely exciting to be cast in Doctor Who. I’m a massive fan of the show and I was blown away when I read Neil’s script and uncovered what’s in store for my character.

“However, I’m sworn to secrecy so viewers will just have to wait until next year to find out any other juicy details!”

Neil Gaiman added: “Suranne is marvellous. She’s beautiful, funny and strange. It’s the kind of role that people will remember for ever, so we needed someone who was able to pull that off, and to keep up with Matt Smith. And bite him. Suranne does all three!”