Who should replace Matt Smith as the Doctor? 10 quick suggestions…

As the speculation starts, here are ten people "who" are ready to put on that cool bow tie and star in Doctor Who


What a night it’s been for Doctor Who fans – rumours began in the early evening that Matt Smith had quit, then word went round that big news was definitely coming, and then just after 10pm it was official: Smith is to go this Christmas.


Immediately that creates a vacancy in one of TV’s biggest jobs. So who’s it going to be? Nobody seems to reckon John Hurt, despite being unveiled as “the Doctor” at the end of the last series, actually is the Doctor – which leaves it wide open.

To get you started, here are ten people who fit the bill. I am deadly serious about all of them. Who’s your money on? 

Zawe Ashton
Every Doctor so far has been a) white and b) male, so let’s sort all that nonsense out in one go. Much more importantly, Ashton would be perfect as a mercurial, slightly menacing, soft-centred twelfth Doc.


Jose Mourinho
Every Doctor so far has been a professional actor, a needless narrowing of the field which, if it continues, would rule out unique personalities like The Special One. A man who’s won two European Cups isn’t going to be bothered about Davros or the Cybermen, and he left Real Madrid hours before the Matt Smith news broke. Coincidence?


Olivia Colman
She won all the Baftas this year. She’ll win all the Baftas next year. She is Britain’s favourite actor and possibly Britain’s favourite person, full stop. She’s funny. Her stint on Peep Show gives her experience in dealing with mysterious, oozing substances.


Ben Whishaw
Perhaps the most important legacy of the Tennant/Smith era is that the Doctor must now have fabulous hair. Whishaw’s hair is simply world-class. Decent actor also.


Stephen Mangan
He says this photo, tweeted this evening as the initial rumours pinged around, was just a tease. But he’d be good…


Tamsin Greig
She has the wit and the serious acting chops. And having starred with Mangan in Episodes, she knows a guy who’s got a great Doctor Who scarf.


Joe Dempsie
Adorable in Skins, captivating in Murder: Joint Enterprise and known in the US – an increasingly important part of the Whoniverse – thanks to Game of Thrones, Dempsie is terrific in everything. He’s appeared in Doctor Who in a small role already, but that didn’t stop Freema Agyeman.


Sidse Babett Knudsen
Who says the Doctor has to speak with an English accent? He’s from Mars or Krypton or wherever it is – his adopted nationality could easily change. Aliens over Copenhagen!


David Bowie
A bit old at 66, but he’s done a bit of acting here and there and could also take over the soundtrack. The main risk: no new series of Doctor Who for 12 years, then it suddenly turns up unannounced at 5 in the morning.


Jack Carroll
Jack is clearly too good for Britain’s Got Talent and whatever disappointing Saturday-night vehicle Simon Cowell will make him do next year. Instead he could be the first junior Doctor. He’s confident enough, he’s definitely funny enough and he could have some sort of awesome Tardis-technology walking aid.