WHO will be the next Doctor Who? Olly Alexander, Michaela Coel and Richard Ayoade lead favourites to play 14th Time Lord… as Jodie Whittaker departs amid plummeting ratings
- On Thursday, Jodie confirmed she is leaving Doctor Who months after it was reported that the show was drawing in less than 5 million viewers
- The numbers are half what the show was scoring when David Tennant led
- Tongues are now wagging over who will take on the legendary role
- Bookmakers Ladbrokes placed Olly Alexander at the forefront with 3/1 and I May Destroy You star Michaela Coel with odds of 5/1
- The actress and writer is followed by Richard Ayoade and Kris Marshall, both with 6/1, and Fleabag actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge
On Thursday, Jodie Whittaker confirmed she is leaving Doctor Who.
Naturally, news that the actress, 39, is hanging up the time traveller’s shoes left fans heartbroken but also excited as whispers began over who was set to take on the iconic role and play the 14th iteration of the doctor.
In January, it was reported that Jodie’s Doctor Who was drawing in less than 5 million viewers – half the numbers that David Tennant brought in – meaning a facelift of the cast could save the shows viewing figures.
Bookmakers Ladbrokes placed Olly Alexander at the forefront with 3/1, I May Destroy You star Michaela Coel with odds of 5/1, followed by Richard Ayoade and Kris Marshall, both with 6/1, and Fleabag actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
So WHO is set to take on the iconic role?
Who! On Thursday, Jodie Whittaker confirmed she is leaving Doctor Who leading to speculation over who is set to take over and become the 14th Docto
In May, It’s A Sin actor and Years And Years hitmaker Olly hit headlines with speculation about him taking the role of the Doctor.
He revealed he would love to replace Jodie as the next Doctor Who, but remained coy over whether or not he has been formally approached.
The singer and actor, 30, has become a household name thanks to his starring role in the Russell T. Davies penned It’s A Sin, Channel 4’s hard-hitting drama about the AIDS epidemic and its devastating impact on the gay community.
He has since been mooted as a potential replacement for outgoing Doctor Who Whittaker, with former show runner Davies – who worked closely with him on the six-part show – admitting he would be a perfect fit.
Asked if he had been approached during a remote appearance on Capital Breakfast, Alexander said: ‘I mean, if I was do you think I’d be able to tell you? It’s true I am very indiscreet but my lips are sealed.’
The star would become the fourteenth Doctor should he replace Whittaker when she finally leaves, and he admitted it would be a ‘dream role’ if it did actually happen.
‘I think it would be amazing,’ he said. ‘It’s an amazing role, and an amazing show.’
Michaela’s name has been in the ring ever since whispers of Jodie’s departure began at the start of the year and the rumours are growing increasingly feverish.
In January, Alex Apati of Ladbrokes predicted of the replacement: ‘Jodie Whittaker’s time in the TARDIS will be coming to an end and as things stand it’s Michaela Coel who looks most likely to replace her.’
The casting would be yet another string in Michaela’s bow, as she is also a screenwriter, director, producer and singer.
She is known for creating and starring in E4 sitcom Chewing Gum, for which she won the BAFTA for Best Female Comedy Performance, and most recently I May Destroy You which has scored her a BAFTA and four Emmy nominations.
The IT Crowd star, 43, is not far behind Michaela in the offs as he looks to add to his impressive CV, which not only comprises acting but also TV hosting.
In a poll by Metro, 38% revealed they would like to see Richard as the Doctor earlier this year and he has speculation rising among superfans.
He is best known for his role as awkward Maurice Moss in The IT Crowd from 2006 to 2013, for which he won the 2014 BAFTA for Best Male Comedy Performance.
Death In Paradise star Kris, 48, is another in the line-up for the role following plummeting ratings and Jodie’s departure.
He started his career playing Nick Harper in My Family, before his worldwide role as Colin Frissell in 2003’s Love Actually, his role as Gratiano in The Merchant of Venice, and as Dave in the first series of Citizen Khan.
With odds of 6/1, is Kris going to add Doctor to his CV?
Like Michaela, Phoebe is both writer and director so the esteemed role would be a dazzling jewel in her crown – and certainly has tongues wagging.
Her odds remain at a solid 8/1, despite the fact she has openly denied rumours of a role in the show – something Jodie also did when faced with rumours.
Last year, the Twitter account for her theatre company DryWrite tweeted: ‘We can confirm that Phoebe is not the next Doctor Who. Pls save the betting people their money! Thanks (sic)’
The Killing Eve star, 27, who has picked up an Emmy and a BAFTA thus far, is also one of the top names following on from her Award-winning role as Villanelle.
While she is yet to speak out on the rumours, fans are hoping Villanelle could turn good and swoop in to time travel in the Who universe.
Rising speculation has hinted that John, 29, could be preparing to swap Hollywood for Doctor Who as his odds stand at 10/1.
John is best known for his role as Finn, a stormtrooper for the First Order in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Who is odds-on to replace Jodie as Doctor Who?
According to Ladbrokes.co.uk, these are the favourites to succeed Jodie into the Tardis…
MICHAELA COEL – 5/1
Michaela, 33, won acclaim for her BAFTA-winning role in Chewing Gum and BBC/HBO drama, I May Destroy You – making her the hot favourite.
KRIS MARSHALL – 6/1
Kris, 47, was widely rumoured to be the 13th Doctor back in 2017 – could 2021 be the year he finally steps into the Tardis?
JODIE COMER – 10/1
The Killing Eve star, 27, who has picked up an Emmy and a BAFTA thus far, is also one of the top names.
REECE SHEARSMITH – 12/1
The League of Gentleman actor, 51, is currently an outside bet for the role.
RICHARD AYOADE – 6/1
The IT Crowd star, 43, is not far behind Michaela as he looks to add to his impressive CV.
PHOEBE WALLER-BRIDGE – 8/1
The much-decorated Fleabag and Killing Eve is among the favourites for the role.
JOHN BOYEGA – 10/1
The Star Wars actor, 28, has previously starred alongside current Time Lord Jodie in Attack the Block and branded her performance ‘brilliant.’
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: ‘It really is a case of Doctor ‘Who?’ at the moment following Jodie Whittaker’s announcement, and while Michaela Coel leads the betting, Richard Ayoade is close behind as a popular second-favourite.’
Other names in the frame include Line of Duty star Vicky McClure, Game Of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer, Maxine Peake, James Norton and Tom Rosenthal.
Jodie Whittaker confirms she is leaving Doctor Who after four years and will bow out with epic trio of specials set to air in 2022 after ratings plummet
Jodie Whittaker has confirmed she is leaving Doctor Who alongside showrunner Chris Chibnall, both of whom have worked on the show since 2017, with the BBC confirming Jodie will be seen off in a three-part special, one of which will be feature-length.
It was first announced that the actress, 39, would take up the mantle as the thirteenth iteration of the iconic time traveller four years ago, and in a statement released on Thursday, the screen star described her time manning the Tardis as being ‘the best job I ever had’.
Jodie was first reported to have made the decision to leave in January, with reports released in the wake of the rumours stating that although viewership has been in decline for five years, Jodie and Chris’ pairing attracted just half the audience that the Russell T Davies-led, David Tennant-fronted version of the show did.
Horizons new: Jodie Whittaker, 39, has confirmed she is leaving Doctor Who alongside showrunner Chris Chibnall, both of whom have worked on the show since 2017
The Telegraph reported at the beginning of the year that episodes were drawing in fewer than 5 million viewers.
However, October’s Can You Hear Me? episode saw just 3.81 million viewers tuning in, which – according to website Cosmic Book News – was a 22% decrease since the first episode of Season 12, which aired ten months earlier.
Jodie will first appear in the thirteenth season of Doctor Who – set to air later this year – and then in the first special, tipped to hit screens on New Year’s Day 2022.
A second special will air in spring 2022, with Jodie’s final, feature-length appearance as the Doctor – in which she will regenerate – arriving in autumn 2022 as part of the BBC’s centenary celebrations.
Statement: In a statement released on Thursday, Jodie described her time manning the Tardis as being ‘the best job I ever had’
Of her time on the show, Jodie said: ‘In 2017 I opened my glorious gift box of size 13 shoes. I could not have guessed the brilliant adventures, worlds and wonders I was to see in them.
‘My heart is so full of love for this show, for the team who make it, for the fans who watch it and for what it has brought to my life. And I cannot thank Chris enough for entrusting me with his incredible stories.’
She added: ‘We knew that we wanted to ride this wave side by side, and pass on the baton together. So here we are, weeks away from wrapping on the best job I have ever had.
‘I don’t think I’ll ever be able to express what this role has given me. I will carry the Doctor and the lessons I’ve learnt forever.’
Jodie concluded: ‘I know change can be scary and none of us know what’s out there. That’s why we keep looking. Travel Hopefully. The Universe will surprise you. Constantly.’
Showrunner Chris, 51, added: ‘Jodie and I made a ”three series and out” pact with each other at the start of this once-in-a-lifetime blast. So now our shift is done, and we’re handing back the Tardis keys.
Co-stars: Aside from Jodie, Chris also welcomed the likes of Tosin Cole (Ryan), Mandip Gill (Yaz) and Bradley Walsh (Graham) to the beloved show
‘Jodie’s magnificent, iconic Doctor has exceeded all our high expectations. She’s been the gold standard leading actor, shouldering the responsibility of being the first female Doctor with style, strength, warmth, generosity and humour.
‘She captured the public imagination and continues to inspire adoration around the world, as well as from everyone on the production. I can’t imagine working with a more inspiring Doctor – so I’m not going to!
‘For me, leading this exceptional team has been unrivalled creative fun, and one of the great joys of my career. I’m so proud of the people we’ve worked with and the stories we’ve told.’
He went on: ‘To finish our time on the show with an additional Special, after the pandemic changed and challenged our production plans, is a lovely bonus.
‘It’s great that the climax of the Thirteenth Doctor’s story will be at the heart(s) of the BBC’s centenary celebrations.’
Moving on: Writer Chris Chibnall, 51, is also leaving the show and said in a statement: ‘Now our shift is done, and we’re handing back the Tardis keys’
The British writer concluded: ‘I wish our successors – whoever the BBC and BBC Studios choose – as much fun as we’ve had. They’re in for a treat!’
Aside from Jodie, Chris also welcomed the likes of Tosin Cole (Ryan), Mandip Gill (Yaz) and Bradley Walsh (Graham) to the beloved show.
The BBC added that plans for the new generation of Doctor Who will be announced ‘in due course’.
As the first woman to play the iconic role, Jodie has thrilled audiences with her portrayal of the Time Lord, winning the hearts of Doctor Who fans across the globe.
In 2020, Jodie was voted 2nd Most Popular Doctor of all time, coming within a whisker of her friend David Tennant, in a poll of more than 50,000 fans for Radio Times.
Jodie was first reported to have made the decision to leave the show in January, however this is the first time she has confirmed she will be moving on.
Confirmation: Jodie was first reported to have made the decision to leave the show in January, however this is the first time she has confirmed she will be moving on
At the time, fans called for Jo Martin’s iteration of the character to become the 14th Time Lord, with the Holby City star previously appearing in two episodes of the show’s twelfth season alongside Jodie.
At the time, Jo played an unknown Doctor, and viewers claimed this meant she would be an ‘obvious’ successor for the part. J
Jo’s Doctor revealed her identity in Fugitive Of The Judoon after previously going by the name Ruth Clayton, and she appeared to be a former unknown iteration of the character; she also appeared in The Timeless Children.
Chris shared his support for Jo’s version of the Doctor when she first appeared onscreen in April last year, as he said: ‘The important thing to say is – she is definitively the Doctor, there’s not a sort of parallel universe going on, there are no tricks.
Could it be? Doctor Who fans previously claimed Jo Martin’s iteration of the character should return as the 14th Time Lord as she is an ‘obvious’ successor to Jodie
‘Jo Martin is the Doctor, that’s why we gave her the credit at the end which all new Doctors have the first time you see them.’
Chris went on to claim that Jo’s inclusion in the twelfth series was ‘very deliberate’, and added: ‘But as ever with Doctor Who, answers often reveal new questions.’
Fans also took to Twitter to call for Jo to take on the mantle from Jodie as they felt she was an ‘obvious’ choice.
One viewer wrote: ‘Jo Martin to take over as the next Doctor or we riot.’
While another claimed: ‘I will only accept Jo Martin as the 14th Doctor! If it’s anyone else I’ll be kind of bitter!’
And one fan gushed: ‘Look, IF there is to be a new Doctor Who, the choice is obvious and already has the blessing of the fandom. JO MARTIN. The Dr. End of.’
Backing: Fans took to Twitter at the Time to call for Jo to take on the mantle from Jodie as they felt she would be a great choice for the part
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