Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker steps down from show

The first female Doctor Who is leaving, the BBC confirmed Thursday.

Jodie Whittaker, who played the 13th doctor, has been in the role since 2017. She will leave after her third season. She will appear in a six-part event serial as well as three specials before her time on the show is up.

“In 2017 I opened my glorious gift box of size 13 shoes. I could not have guessed the brilliant adventures, worlds and wonders I was to see in them,” Whittaker said.

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“My heart is so full of love for this show, for the team who make it, for the fans who watch it and for what it has brought to my life. And I cannot thank Chris enough for entrusting me with his incredible stories.”

She added: “We knew that we wanted to ride this wave side by side, and pass on the baton together. So here we are, weeks away from wrapping on the best job I have ever had. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to express what this role has given me. I will carry the Doctor and the lessons I’ve learnt forever.”

Showrunner Chris Chibnall, who cast Whittaker as the first female doctor in the show’s history, is also leaving the series, he confirmed.

“Jodie and I made a ‘three series and out’ pact with each other at the start of this once-in-a-lifetime blast. So now our shift is done, and we’re handing back the TARDIS keys,” said Chibnall.

“Jodie’s magnificent, iconic Doctor has exceeded all our high expectations. She’s been the gold standard leading actor, shouldering the responsibility of being the first female Doctor with style, strength, warmth, generosity and humour. She captured the public imagination and continues to inspire adoration around the world, as well as from everyone on the production. 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!”

The 13th series of Doctor Who will air towards the end of 2021.

The three specials will follow in 2022 (which also happens to be the centenary of the BBC) starting on January 1 with UK spring (March – June) and autumn (Sept – Nov) specials also in the works.

The BBC is yet to announce who will replace Whittaker in the leading role. Last month British musician and It’s a Sin star Olly Alexander denied he was in the running.

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