Matt Smith has announced he is leaving Doctor Who and the rumour mill is already in overdrive about who will replace him.
According to The Sun, producers could even recruit a woman as the 12th Doctor when Matt, 30, leaves in this year’s Christmas special.
A source said: “All actors, no matter their sex or race, will be considered. If they are good enough, the part is theirs.”
Broadchurch star Olivia Colman (pictured) emerged as the early favourite for a female Time Lord, but Merlin and Law And Order: UK star Ben Daniels, 48, is looking like the overall favourite to take the part as his odds shortened dramatically after the BBC confirmed Matt’s departure.
Also said to be in the running are Dancing On The Edge’s Chiwetel Ejiofor, Being Human’s Damien Molony, Homeland’s David Harewood and Him And Her’s Russell Tovey.
Doctor Who sidekick Jenna-Louise Coleman admitted it would be a ‘difficult goodbye’ for her and said: “I could not have imagined coming into the show without Matt as my Doctor, holding my hand, really, quite literally. I totally lucked-out in having a creative, generous, clever, and lovely fella to work alongside day after day.
“I feel so privileged to have been part of Matt’s reign, to have to been companion to what is and what I think always will be one of our greatest Doctors.”
Matt said in a BBC press release: “Doctor Who has been the most brilliant experience for me as an actor and a bloke. That is largely down to the cast, crew and fans. It’s been an honour to follow the legacy of brilliant actors and helm the Tardis. But when ya gotta go, ya gotta go and Trenzalore [home of the Doctor’s tomb] calls.”
Stephen Moffat said: “This Christmas prepare for your hearts to break, as we say goodbye to number Eleven. Thank you Matt – bow ties were never cooler. Of course, this isn’t the end of the story, because now the search begins. Somewhere out there right now – all unknowing, just going about their business – is someone who’s about to become the Doctor. A life is going to change, and Doctor Who will be born all over again! After 50 years, that’s still so exciting!”