Matt Smith to leave Doctor Who in Christmas special

Matt Smith is leaving Doctor Who and will bow out in the Christmas special when he will be replaced by a new incarnation of the Time Lord, the BBC has announced.

Smith, who has been in the role since 2010, said it had been "an honour" to play the role.

Matt Smith has played Doctor Who since 2010. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

The actor said: "Doctor Who has been the most brilliant experience for me as an actor and a bloke, and that largely is down to the cast, crew and fans of the show.

"I'm incredibly grateful to all the cast and crew who work tirelessly every day, to realise all the elements of the show and deliver Doctor Who to the audience. Many of them have become good friends and I'm incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the last four years".