Steven Moffat has denied there has been ‘backlash’ over Jodie Whittaker’s appointment as the Thirteenth Doctor.

Speaking at San Diego Comic Con, the outgoing Doctor Who showrunner defended his successor Chris Chibnall's decision to cast the show's first female Doctor, claiming that the press has twisted the reaction of a ‘progressive’ and ‘enlightened’ fandom.

"There are so many press articles about a backlash within the Doctor Who fandom against the casting of a female Doctor, he said. "There has been no backlash at all. The story of the moment is that the notionally conservative Doctor Who fandom has utterly embraced that change. Completely. 80% approval on social media, not that I check these things obsessively...

"And yet so many people want to pretend there’s a problem — there isn’t. In fact, it strikes me that Doctor Who fans are more excited about the idea of a brilliant actress playing the part, than the fact she’s a woman. It’s been incredibly progressive and enlightened and that’s what really happened. I wish that every single journalist writing the alternative, would shut the hell up."

Peter Capaldi added that the show would be in "great hands" and called Whittaker a "brilliant actress".

At San Diego Comic Con earlier this week, Fifth Doctor Peter Davison divided opinion when he said that the casting choice was a "loss of a role model for boys, who I think Doctor Who is vitally important for." However, he also added that Whittaker would do a "wonderful job" in the role.

Steven Moffat’s final Doctor Who episode, Twice Upon a Time, will air on Christmas Day.