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Matt Smith suggests Rhys Ifans to take over Doctor Who from Jodie Whittaker

"I don't know if we've had a Welshman yet."

Rhys Ifans suggested as Matt Smith's top pick for Doctor Who replacement
Published: Saturday, 11th September 2021 at 11:43 am

Former Doctor Who star Matt Smith has suggested Rhys Ifans should take over the BBC's long-running science fiction series when Jodie Whittaker departs next year.


The actor played the Eleventh Doctor, taking over after David Tennant's acclaimed era on the show, and has since gone on to star in Netflix's The Crown and upcoming Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon.

Doctor Who fans have been rampantly speculating on who could inherit the mantle of The Doctor once Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall leave, with the BBC recently promising "radical" change to the series.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter to promote Edgar Wright's new film project Last Night in Soho, Smith was quizzed on who he thinks would be a good replacement in the lead role.

"You know who I think would be a brilliant Doctor Who… Rhys Ifans," he said. "Rhys would be sort of cool. I don’t know if we’ve had a Welshman yet. I’m backing Rhys!"

Ifans is currently filming the role of Otto Hightower on the aforementioned House of the Dragon, where he will share the screen with Smith's Daemon Targaryen.

Previously, he has starred in popular films Notting Hill, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One, The Amazing Spider-Man, while on the small screen, he is known for portraying Mycroft Holmes in US drama Elementary.

Numerous actors have been pitched for the role of The Doctor by passionate fans, with Michael Sheen, Michaela Coel, Olly Alexander and Kris Marshall among the most commonly suggested choices.

Sheen recently won a poll asking fans to make their top pick for the gig, with The IT Crowd star Richard Ayoade coming in a not-too-distant second place.

Speculation over who will be the next Doctor is always fun for fans but in a recent discussion of her exit, Whittaker reminded fans she still has several more adventures to come, adding: "Don't write me out just yet!"


Doctor Who is available to stream on BBC iPlayer. Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


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