Matt Smith Leaving Doctor Who

Time Lord, gentleman, please!

Matt Smiht, Doctor Who

We might have seen the Doctor’s tomb in recent episode The Name Of The Doctor, but now we really know when the fall of the Eleventh will happen: Matt Smith is set to leave Doctor Who during the Christmas special this year.

The BBC has announced that Smith, who has played the iconic Timelord since New Year’s Day 2010, will be hanging up his bow tie (which is cool) and heading out to devote more time to his burgeoning film career, which includes working on Ryan Gosling’s How to Catch A Monster.

"Doctor Who has been the most brilliant experience for me as an actor and a bloke, and that largely is down to the cast, crew and fans of the show,” Smith said in a statement released by the Beeb. "I'm incredibly grateful to all the cast and crew who work tirelessly every day to realise all the elements of the show and deliver Doctor Who to the audience. Many of them have become good friends and I'm incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the last four years.”

"Every day, on every episode, in every set of rushes, Matt Smith surprised me. The way he'd turn a line, or spin on his heels, or make something funny, or out of nowhere make me cry – I just never knew what was coming next,” said show boss Stephen Moffat "The Doctor can be clown and hero – often at the same time – and Matt rose to both challenges magnificently. And even better than that, given the pressures of this extraordinary show, he is one of the nicest and hardest-working people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Whatever we threw at him – sometimes literally – his behaviour was always worthy of the Doctor.”

Now, of course, comes the task of replacing the central character, and of finding someone to play the 12th Doctor (assuming he is still the 12th, what with all the – spoiler alert! – chatter around John Hurt). "Somewhere out there right now - all unknowing, just going about their business - is someone who's about to become the Doctor," Moffat, who has been hinting that he himself may move on sooner rather than later, said. "A life is going to change, and Doctor Who will be born all over again. After 50 years, that's still so exciting." If you're feeling nostalgic, you can listen to our chat with Matt on the podcast here. And tell us who you think the next Doctor will be in the comments and on that wibbly-wobbly twittery-wittery thing, but here are some suggestions to get you started...