31 Jan 2017

Peter Capaldi to leave Doctor Who

12:25 pm on 31 January 2017

Actor Peter Capaldi is stepping down from the iconic lead role in the British science-fiction series Doctor Who.

Peter Capaldi, Dr Who

Peter Capaldi, Dr Who Photo: BBC

Capaldi made the announcement on a BBC Radio 2 show, and said he would leave Doctor Who at the end of the year.

"I feel it's time to move on," he said.

The 58-year-old Glasgow-born star became the 12th actor to play the Doctor in 2013, 50 years after the television programme first screened on British TV.

While speaking about the forthcoming tenth series, he said it would be his last.

"I feel sad, I love Doctor Who, it is a fantastic programme to work on," he said. "I can't praise the people I work with more highly, but I have always been someone that did a lot of different things."

He was asked to stay on after his contract ran out, but he wanted to move on to other challenges, he said.

The new series will air in New Zealand in a few months and Capaldi said his final episode will be shown at Christmas.

Peter Capaldi as the Doctor in a recent episode of the long-running BBC show.

Peter Capaldi as the Doctor in a recent episode of the long-running BBC show. Photo: BBC

In his interview, Capaldi assured listeners that he was still Doctor Who at the moment, as filming was ongoing.

The next series will also be the last with Steven Moffat, lead writer and executive producer, at the helm.

Moffat praised the star's performance in a BBC announcement: "Peter's amazing, fiery, turbulent Doctor is still fighting the good fight, and his greatest adventures are yet to come. Monsters of the universe, be on your guard - Capaldi's not done with you yet!"

He added: "Like Peter, I'm facing up to leaving the best job I'll ever have, but knowing I do so in the company of the best, and kindest and cleverest of men, makes the saddest of endings a little sweeter."

Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content, said: "He has been a tremendous Doctor who has brought his own unique wisdom and charisma to the role.

Capaldi was previously best known for his role as foul-mouthed spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker in the BBC series The Thick of It.

-BBC

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs