Jodie Whittaker is to step down from Doctor Who in 2022, it's been announced.
The actress alongside showrunner Chris Chibnall will depart the series following the upcoming thirteenthseries and a trio of specials in 2022.
As the Thirteenth Doctor, Jodie Whittaker stepped aboard the TARDIS to begin filming in 2017. 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.
Jodie Whittaker 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.
"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.
"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.”
Chris Chibnall 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.
"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. 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.
"I wish our successors - whoever the BBC and BBC Studios choose - as much fun as we’ve had. They’re in for a treat!"
Specials will follow on New Year's Day 2022 and Spring 2022 before a final feature-length Special, where the Thirteenth Doctor will regenerate, in autumn 2022.
Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, said: "Jodie's final adventure to mark the BBC's Centenary in 2022 is set to be a Doctor Who Special to remember. I’d like to thank them both for their incredible work on the show."
As yet there's been no official word on who could takeover from Jodie as the 14th Doctor with rumoured names having included Michaela Coel and Richard Ayoade.