Amy Pond fans, brace yourselves for a shock: Karen Gillan, the actress who plays the Time Lord's plucky assistant in Doctor Who, is set to leave the show during the next series.
And she’ll be joined by Arthur Darvill, aka Rory Williams, who has been a regular companion since series five, and who is also set to depart the programme at the same time.
The show's executive producer Steven Moffat made the announcement tonight at a press screening of the Christmas episode The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe, saying: "The Ponds will be rejoining us next series.
"But the final days of the Ponds are coming, I am not telling you when and and I won’t say how. But that story is going to come to a heartbreaking end.”
He added: "And then the Doctor is going to meet a new friend and I am not going to tell you about he, she or it."
The series' official Twitter feed revealed that the departure would come during Doctor Who's seventh season, saying: "Steven Moffat announces 'The final days of the Ponds are coming during the next series'."
A quote attributed to Matt Smith, who plays the Doctor, was also posted on the feed, which said: “The show will miss the Ponds brilliantly played by Karen & Arthur but the great thing about #DoctorWho is its ability to change.”
A further tweet from the show’s official account promises that more information about the Doctor’s new companion will be announced tomorrow.