Doctor Who boss Chris Chibnall reveals why he won’t choose next showrunner

Chibnall said the decision was "way above the pay grade of an incumbent showrunner."

Doctor Who boss Chris Chibnall (BBC)

The question of who will be the next Doctor Who showrunner is likely to prompt much speculation until an official announcement is made – but one thing we know for sure is that Chris Chibnall won’t have a hand in the matter.

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The current showrunner – who announced last month that he would be leaving the sci-fi juggernaut in 2022 – has explained that the decision as to his replacement is “way above the pay grade of an incumbent showrunner.”

Writing in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine, Chibnall said: “The big change that happened during our tenure has been Doctor Who being produced through BBC Studios, rather than the BBC’s in-house Drama Department.

“It’s a difference which won’t really have affected how you view the show, but it affects the process by which the programme is made, managed and planned strategically.

“The appointment of a new showrunner is a commercially sensitive decision (way above the pay grade of an incumbent showrunner) so it’ll be a joint decision between BBC Studios and the top decision-makers at the BBC.”

Chibnall arrived as showrunner back in 2018 and has so far helmed two series, with another season and a trilogy of specials to go before he hands over the reins to the next boss.

He revealed in late July that he would be stepping down, explaining, “I can’t imagine working with a more inspiring Doctor – so I’m not going to!”

“I wish our successors – whoever the BBC and BBC Studios choose – as much fun as we’ve had. They’re in for a treat!”

Speculation as to who might replace him is rife with the likes of Sally Wainwright and Pete McTighe among the names to have been mentioned so far.

We currently don’t have too much indication as to when an announcement will be made, beyond the fact that the BBC has said that they “will announce plans for the new generation of Doctor Who in due course – watch this space.”

Of course, as well as showrunner, that new generation will also include a brand new Doctor, with Jodie Whittaker having revealed that she will be leaving the TARDIS behind at the same time as Chibnall.

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Doctor Who Magazine issue 568 is out now.

Doctor Who returns to BBC One this autumn. Want more? Check out our dedicated Sci-Fi page or our full TV Guide.