Fans of Matt Smith will have yelled "A-ha!" at their television sets last night as the Doctor Who star made a surprise cameo on This Time with Alan Partridge.
Smith, who is currently filming Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon, made his first television appearance in four years in the third episode of the Partridge comedy's second series.
He appeared as Dan Milner, described by Alan as "the man who quite simply brandishes the most acerbic left-of-centre Digital quill in wherever Fleet Street is now" – but in a surprising turn of events, the This Time host actually came out on top and turned things around on Smith's snarky journalist.
Dan started out his This Time interview by branding the show "lousy", disparaging its "chit chat and banter" and Alan's unorthodox interview with the inventor of the hand-dryer – and despite Partridge's attempts to convince him that his viewers were less interested in the big political issues of the day and more invested in "hand-dryers, speed bumps and bigger fines for dog dirt", Milner insisted that "Lord Reith will have turned in his grave so much he’s probably drilled his way to France".
The interview ended with a twist, though, as Alan turned the tables on Dan. It was, as Partridge himself said, "good telly".
Smith fans were delighted to see the actor back on the box, with his name trending on Twitter and aficionados celebrating not just this appearance but his previous work on Doctor Who and in other projects.
His This Time cameo marked Matt Smith's first small-screen appearance since the second season of Netflix's The Crown in 2017, with the 38-year-old actor having since focused on film work including Edgar Wright's forthcoming Last Night in Soho and the Marvel Comics-inspired Morbius.
However, he'll return to the small screen again in House of the Dragon (set to air on HBO and Sky Atlantic in 2022), playing the role of Daemon Targaryen, and has also lent his voice to the title character of BBC One's latest Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler animated adaptation Superworm.