Departing Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi has shed some more light on his decision to hand in his Tardis keys, revealing that he was concerned that his performance in the role would suffer if he carried on.

“I was not sure how long you could keep doing this and be doing your best,” he told the Sunday Times’ Lynn Barber. “My fear was that if I went on, I’d end up phoning it in.

“Because there’s so little preparation time, you’re mostly flying by the seat of your pants – which is exciting, but I worried I might not be able to keep on doing it as well as I’d like to.”

Instead, Capaldi is leaving on his own terms on what fans hope will be a high. And though he hasn’t actually finished shooting yet (with a couple of episodes and the Christmas special left to shoot before his final day this July), the actor says his departure is already getting him a bit emotional.

“I’ve cried already – no, not really,” he joked. “But they’re such a nice group of people here, I’ll miss them terribly. And, you know, it’s the end of something. I’ve never done anything for three years before.

“Also, it’s a kind of magical thing, Doctor Who. It’s connected to my childhood and it brings this very warm response from people, children and fans of all different stripes. But then it’s over.” 

Hold back the tears, Doctor Who fans – there’s still a good eight months until we have to say goodbye for good.

Doctor Who returns to BBC1 on Saturday 15th April