BBC responds to Jodie Whittaker quitting 'Doctor Who' rumours

Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor (Credit: BBC)
Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor (Credit: BBC)

The BBC has refused to comment on rumours circulating that Jodie Whittaker is set to quit Doctor Who after the show's 13th season.

According to The Daily Mirror, the actress will walk away from the role once the next season of the show concludes, later this year.

An insider told the paper: “It’s all very hush-hush but it is known on set that Jodie is leaving and they are gearing up for a regeneration.

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“Her departure is top secret but at some point over the coming months the arrival of the 14th Doctor will need to be filmed. It’s very exciting.”

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However, in a statement to Digital Spy, the BBC said: “We won’t be commenting on any speculation around Jodie’s future on the show.”

A departure after three series on the veteran BBC sci-fi series would be pretty much in line with the usual tenure of actors playing the Doctor, however.

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Whittaker's predecessor Peter Capaldi left after three series, as did the likes of Matt Smith, Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy and Patrick Troughton.

The first ever Doctor, William Hartnell, also left after three seasons of the show, playing the role from 1963 to 1966.

Actor William Hartnell - the first Doctor - pictured during rehearsals at Television Centre - Studio TC1 - 10th February 1965. (Photo by Sunday Mirror/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
William Hartnell - the first Doctor - pictured during rehearsals at Television Centre - Studio TC1 - 10th February 1965. (Credit: Sunday Mirror/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

Tom Baker was the longest serving Doctor, playing the role over seven series, from 1974 to 1981, while more recently David Tennant lasted four-and-a-half years.

Whittaker became the Time Lord in 2017, the first woman to play the role, and began filming the 13th series of the show last November.

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This latest series will be three episodes shorter, though, due to limitations caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Whittaker appeared in the annual Christmas episode of the show, airing on New Year's Day, Revolution of the Daleks.

It saw the departure of both Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole's characters Graham and Ryan.

Bookies Paddy Power has odds of 3/1 for Death In Paradise star Kris Marshall to take over in the role if Whittaker does depart, with 7/1 for Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and 8/1 for both Maxine Peake and Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer.

Watch: Doctor Who - Revolution of the Daleks