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Matt Smith to leave Doctor Who

Matt Smith as Doctor Who

Story by Jack Foley

MATT Smith is to leave his role as Doctor Who at the end of this year, the BBC has announced.

The actor has spent four years playing the Time Lord on the BBC-1 show, having taken over from David Tennant in the New Year’s Day episode of 2010.

Viewers will see Smith’s Doctor regenerate in the 2013 Christmas special following the 50th anniversary celebrations that will culminate in November with a special episode that Smith has already filmed.

Reflecting on his experience in the role, the 30-year-old star said working on the show had been “the most brilliant experience”.

He added that he was “incredibly proud” of what the show had achieved over the last four years under Steven Moffat, the show’s lead writer and executive producer, and thanked fans around the world for their “truly remarkable” dedication to the show.

His full statement reads: “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.

“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.

“Having Steven Moffat as show runner write such varied, funny, mind bending and brilliant scripts has been one of the greatest and most rewarding challenges of my career. It’s been a privilege and a treat to work with Steven – he’s a good friend and will continue to shape a brilliant world for the Doctor.

The fans of Doctor Who around the world are unlike any other; they dress up, shout louder, know more about the history of the show (and speculate more about the future of the show) in a way that I’ve never seen before.

“Your dedication is truly remarkable. Thank you so very much for supporting my incarnation of the Time Lord, number 11, who I might add is not done yet – I’m back for the 50th anniversary and the Christmas special.

“It’s been an honour to play this part, to follow the legacy of brilliant actors, and helm the Tardis for a spell with ‘the ginger, the nose and the impossible one’. But when ya gotta go, ya gotta go and Trenzalore calls. Thank you guys. Matt.”

Moffat added: “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.

“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.”

The announcement of Smith’s departure now leaves the door open for a new Doctor to emerge and speculation is likely to be rife over the coming months before an announcement is made.

Among Smith’s achievements in the role include becoming the first actor to be nominated for a BAFTA in the role in 2011 and winning the most popular male drama performance award at the National Television Awards in 2012.

It was only recently announced that Smith is to make his US acting debut in Ryan Gosling directed movie How To Catch A Monster

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