Dr-Who_10th-Doctor-largerThe BBC is today announcing that Matt Smith is to leave Doctor Who after four years on the BBC One sci-fi series. It ends months of speculation.

Matt first stepped into the TARDIS in 2010 and will leave the role at the end of this year after starring in the unmissable 50th Anniversary in November and regenerating in the Christmas Special.

During his time as the Doctor, Matt has reached over 30 million unique UK viewers and his incarnation has seen the show go truly global. He was also the first actor to be nominated for a BAFTA in the role.

Matt was voted Best Actor by Readers of Doctor Who Magazine for the 2010 season. He also received a nod for his first series at the National Television Awards, before winning the Most Popular Male Drama Performance award in 2012. Some ‘who fans’ were not taken with Smith. Those not impressed suggested that his acting was ‘childish’, with performances verging on farce – they however appear to be in the minority.

Despite mixed views, it can’t be argued that Matt has played one of the biggest roles in TV with a huge fan base across the UK, USA and Australia.

Matt Smith says: “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.

“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.”

Having starred alongside three different companions, Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) and most recently Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), Matt’s Doctor has fought Daleks and Cybermen, as well as Weeping Angels in New York.

He will return to BBC One screens in the 50th anniversary episode on Saturday the 23rd of November 2013.

Steven Moffat, lead writer and executive producer, says: “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.

“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!”

The full press release can be seen here.

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