The BBC has cast Jodie Whittaker as the lead in its global sci-fi hit Doctor Who, marking the first time the role will be played by a woman.
Whittaker, best known for her work in ITV drama Broadchurch, will replace Peter Capaldi after he steps down from the role this Christmas.
New head writer and executive producer Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch), who takes over from Steven Moffat on the next series, made the decision to cast the first ever woman in the iconic role.
“I always knew I wanted the 13th Doctor to be a woman and we’re thrilled to have secured our number-one choice. Her audition for the Doctor simply blew us all away. Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role,” said Chibnall, who worked with Whittaker on Broadchurch.
Whittaker has also starred in Attack the Block and Black Mirror and is fronting the forthcoming BBC drama Trust Me.
Alongside Whittaker, UK actors Kris Marshall, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Tom Rosenthal were among those in the running to fill Capaldi’s shoes.
Capaldi joined Doctor Who in 2013, replacing Matt Smith on the drama, which has become a worldwide hit and airs on networks such as BBC America in the US, Bell in Canada and Syfy in Lat Am.
The show, which first aired in 1963, is produced by BBC Cymru Wales in association with BBC Worldwide. It was relaunched in 2005 and spawned a spin-off last year.