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The new Doctor could be handed the keys to the TARDIS as early as next month BBC sources have confirmed - with insiders suggesting that Matt Smith’s replacement needs to be announced before the Doctor Who Christmas special begins filming next month.

“The search has begun in earnest and is active now,” the source said, adding that the BBC has not ruled out hiring a woman doctor to replace Matt Smith.

The decision will be made by a small team of BBC executives and kept under wraps. It will be decided by showrunner Steven Moffat, Danny Cohen, the BBC’s new head of television, controller of drama commissioning Ben Stephenson, casting director Andy Pryor and the show’s incoming executive producer Brian Minchin.

The new series, expected to be 12 episodes long begins filming in the autumn.

A BBC source also moved to squash speculation that showrunner Steven Moffat could also be calling it a day insisting that he has signed up for at least another year.

In his statement on Smith’s departure, Moffat said: "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 11. Thank you Matt - bow ties were never cooler."

Whoever takes the role one actor considered to be one of the favourite in the early betting has already ruled himself out. Episodes and Green Wing star Stephen Mangan recently told Twitter: “I see I’m 14/1 to be the new Doctor. Don’t waste your money.”

Source: Radio Times

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