5 Aug 2013

New 'Dr Who' actor named

11:02 am on 5 August 2013

Actor Peter Capaldi is to be the new star of Doctor Who.

The Glasgow-born star will be the 12th actor in to play the Doctor in the BBC sci-fi series, replacing outgoing star Matt Smith.

Capaldi is best known for his role as Malcolm Tucker, a foul-mouthed spin-doctor, in The Thick of It.

The announcement was made on a live show on BBC One.

"It's so wonderful not to keep this secret any longer, but it's been so fantastic," Capaldi said afterwards.

He was the bookmakers' favourite to take on the role and all betting on him was suspended on Friday.

The BBC reports it is not the first time Capaldi has appeared on the show: he played Caecilius, a Roman merchant in an episode in 2008, The Fires of Pompeii.

At 55, he is the same age as William Hartnell when he was cast in the role as the first Doctor in 1963.

"Being asked to play the Doctor is an amazing privilege. Like the Doctor himself I find myself in a state of utter terror and delight. I can't wait to get started," he said.

The BBC said Capaldi's debut as the Doctor will be broadcast in Britain on Christmas Day.