Rumours of Jenna Coleman leaving have dogged her almost since she first began, but the announcement that this will be her final series seems to be the real deal. The question is, when did Steven Moffat, Peter Capaldi and the rest of the team know for sure?
“Several times,” Moffat joked to an audience at the Radio Times Festival.
“It was right up to the read-through that Last Christmas ended sadly, but she’s definitely leaving this time. There’ll be no coming back.”
“She was definitely leaving,” he explained to host Frank Skinner, “then she came round to lunch one day and said well can I do Christmas as well? And you can imagine what that was like because I had just written this heart-rending ending so I went, sure, fine. Then on the world tour…”
“I said we’ve got to do something,” added Capaldi, “we can’t let her leave!”
But how do you convince an uncertain actress to stay? Simple: a sneak attack.
“We ambushed her and tried to talk sense into her,” Capaldi said gleefully. “That it would be great fun, wonderful for your career and other lies like that.”
Sounds pretty slick, right?
“It was the worst ambush ever,” Moffat admitted. “Peter said, ‘I think there might be a chance we can convince Jenna to stay. She’s coming over! Don’t look at her!’”