Following the announcement that Peter Capaldi is stepping down as the star of BBC sci-fi Doctor Who, speculation has been rampant about who could be his replacement as the time-travelling Doctor.

And now former series guest star David Harewood has thrown his own hat into the ring, acknowledging some fans’ suggestion that he take over from Capaldi while also stating he believes that the next Doctor should be played by an ethnic minority actor or a woman (an idea suggested by many prominent voices associated with the series in recent weeks including Billie Piper and Mark Gatiss).

"It's nice to be in the running," Harewood (who appeared as the villainous Joshua Naismith in 2009/10 double episode The End of Time) told BBC News at the Independent Spirit Awards.

"It needs to do something different, so I think it's either going to be a black person or a woman. It would just bring a different flavour to it."

Referencing his current role as hero Martian Manhunter on superhero drama Supergirl, he added: "I'm already playing an alien so maybe I could switch and play a Time Lord - who knows what's going to happen?

"It's nice to be in the running. It's an iconic role."

Still, Harewood also thought that bookies’ favourite Tilda Swinton would be an excellent choice to take over the Tardis.

"She's extraordinary anyway so I think she'd be great," he said. "It would be a very different Doctor and maybe that's what it needs."

Only time (and space) can tell if he’ll turn out to be right.

Doctor Who returns to BBC1 on Saturday 15th April