News Flash: Matt Smith is leaving Doctor Who!

So there we have it. It’s official: Matt Smith is to leave Doctor Who.

The BBC announced the other day that Matt Smith is to leave Doctor Who after four years. Matt first stepped into the TARDIS in 2010 and will leave the role at the end of this year after starring in the 50th Anniversary in November. As well as enabling the show to hit new heights and become a world-wide phenomenon, he is also the first actor to be nominated for a BAFTA in the role. The Eleventh Doctor’s final episode will be this December’s Christmas Special, during which his character will regenerate into the actor’s as-yet-unnamed successor.

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Smith, in the role as The Doctor, as he appeared in Series 5 and 6

Steven Moffat, current showrunner for the show, and Smith himself have profusely denied any rumour that Smith would be leaving in the foreseeable future since rumours started. Now the news is finally out, here’s what Smith had to say on his departure:

“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 Eleven, 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.”

Matt Smith has proved himself to be an extremely talented and varied actor over the last four years; an actor who achieved what looked like the impossible by following David Tennant’s well-loved incarnation. However with the new generations of fans who have been introduced to the show, Smith with be firmly lodged in their minds as ‘Their Doctor’.

Steven Moffat accompanied Smith’s farewell words with the following:

“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.

But great actors always know when it’s time for the curtain call, so 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!”

Matt has starred alongside three different companions: Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) (who both left the TARDIS half way through Series 7) and most recently Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman). His tenure has also as developed the backstory of River Song than we could have expected while he fought Daleks and Cybermen, Silurian’s and The Dream Lord, as well as Weeping Angels in New York. Regularly heard shouting ‘run’ and ‘Geronimo’, Matt’s Doctor has introduced us to a new culinary combination – fish fingers and custard!

Matt’s spectacular exit is yet to be revealed and will be kept tightly under wraps. He will return to BBC One screens in the unmissable 50th anniversary episode on Saturday 23rd November 2013 which I personally can’t wait to see.

We will miss the madman in a box, but as the saying goes, the show must go on!

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