Peter Capaldi speaks out amid Jodie Whittaker's Doctor Who departure

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Peter Capaldi has offered some words of comfort to Jodie Whittaker following the news of her Doctor Who departure, insisting she's capable of enduring the 'emotional turmoil' Matt Smith suffered when he left the role.

The actor, 63, played the Doctor between 2013 and 2017, following in the footsteps of Matt, 38, who took on the part from 2010 to 2013.

Peter recalled his experience of seeing Matt depart the hit BBC show in a bid to offer Jodie, 39, some support, telling the Radio Times: 'Well, Jodie’s lovely and amazing. I’m sure she can handle all of that without any advice from me. She’s brilliant.

Wisdom: Peter Capaldi, 63, (pictured 2014) insists Jodie Whittaker, 39, is capable of enduring the 'emotional turmoil' Matt Smith, 38, suffered when he quit Doctor Who in 2013

End of an era: Jodie quit the show this week and Peter said Matt suffered 'emotional turmoil' when he left the series in 2013

'It’s an odd thing that happens, that you don’t — I always remember when I took over from Matt. It was only when I left that I realised how gracious Matt had been to me, because I realised he was leaving… 

'It was while he was leaving, he was being so kind to me. He was going through the emotional turmoil of leaving, and took the time to be gracious to me.' 

Jodie confirmed she's leaving Doctor Who this week, with the BBC revealing on Thursday that her departure will play out across a three-part special. 

Troubling times: Matt who portrayed the Doctor from 2010 to 2013, was awash with emotions when he left the programme, according to Peter

In a new statement Jodie who was the show's first female Doctor, described her four-year stint manning the TARDIS as being 'the best job I ever had'. 

And although the news left many fans devastated, several stars including Olly Alexander, Michaela Coel and Richard Ayoade have already been tipped to take over from Jodie and get the keys to the Tardis.

Jodie was first said to have made the decision to leave in January, with reports at the time discussing a fall in viewership, which has been declining for five years.

Horizons new: Jodie has confirmed she is leaving Doctor Who alongside showrunner Chris Chibnall, both of whom have worked on the show since 2017

It was reported that Jodie and showrunner Chris Chibnall, who is also walking away from the show, had attracted just half the audience during their paring compaired to what the Russell T Davies-led, David Tennant-fronted version of the show did. 

The Telegraph reported at the beginning of the year that episodes were drawing in fewer than 5million viewers.  The paper added that such numbers are 'not dissimilar to when the show was axed in 1989'. 

In comparison, more than 10million viewers watched David Tennant's Doctor Who finale in 2010, according to The Guardian.   

However, episode Can You Hear Me? saw just 3.81 million viewers tuning in on the over-night ratings, which - according to website Cosmic Book News - was a 22% decrease since the first episode of Season 12, which aired ten months earlier. 

And in figures released in March 2020, the same month the series ended, Doctor Who’s ratings slipped to its lowest since the show made a comeback in 2005.

Stepping in? Following Thursday's announcement, several names were suggested to be the next star to take over the Tardis, including actress Michaela Coel (pictured in June)

New Doctor? Olly Alexander (left) and Richard Ayoade (right) were also tipped as potential replacements for Jodie on the show

New gig? Jodie Comer is another name in the running for the high-profile role in the BBC show

The season finale of series 12 had a total TV audience of 4.6million, making it the lowest Doctor Who has ever had. The previous all-time low was 4.7million in 2017.

Series 12 saw an average viewership of 5.4million. 

Following Thursday's announcement, several names were suggested to be the next star to take over the Tardis.

Bookmakers Ladbrokes placed Olly Alexander at the forefront with 3/1, I May Destroy You star Michaela Coel with odds of 5/1, followed by Richard Ayoade and Kris Marshall, both with 6/1, and Fleabag actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge.  

In May, It's A Sin actor and Years And Years hitmaker Olly hit headlines with speculation about him taking the role of the Doctor. 

He revealed he would love to replace Jodie as the next Doctor Who, but remained coy over whether or not he has been formally approached.

Statement: In a statement released on Thursday, Jodie described her time manning the Tardis as being 'the best job I ever had'

The singer and actor, 30, has become a household name thanks to his starring role in the Russell T. Davies penned It's A Sin, Channel 4's hard-hitting drama about the AIDS epidemic and its devastating impact on the gay community.

He has since been mooted as a potential replacement for outgoing Doctor Who Whittaker, with former show runner Davies - who worked closely with him on the six-part show - admitting he would be a perfect fit. 

Asked if he had been approached during a remote appearance on Capital Breakfast, Alexander said: 'I mean, if I was do you think I’d be able to tell you? It’s true I am very indiscreet but my lips are sealed.' 

The star would become the fourteenth Doctor should he replace Whittaker when she finally leaves, and he admitted it would be a 'dream role' if it did actually happen.

'I think it would be amazing,' he said. 'It’s an amazing role, and an amazing show.'

While Michaela's name has been in the ring ever since whispers of Jodie's departure began at the start of the year and the rumours are growing increasingly feverish.  

According to, these are the favourites to succeed Jodie into the Tardis... 

In January, Alex Apati of Ladbrokes predicted of the replacement: 'Jodie Whittaker's time in the TARDIS will be coming to an end and as things stand it's Michaela Coel who looks most likely to replace her.' 

The casting would be yet another string in I Will Destroy You star Michaela's bow, as she is also a screenwriter, director, producer and singer.  

And IT Crowd star RIchard Ayoade, 43, is not far behind Michaela in the odds as he looks to add to his impressive CV, which not only comprises acting but also hosting.

In a poll by Metro, 38% revealed they would like to see Richard as the Doctor earlier this year and he has speculation rising among superfans.   

The news that Jodie is bowing out of the series left Doctor Who fans devastated, with many rushing to Twitter to share their sadness.   

One explained: 'JODIE WHITTAKER IS LEAVING DOCTOR WHO I WANT TO CRY,' while another added: 'Jodie Whittaker is leaving Doctor Who and I am going to be sad about this all year.'  

Jodie will first appear in the thirteenth season of Doctor Who – set to air later this year – and then in the first special, tipped to hit screens on New Year's Day 2022. 

Devastated: Thursday's news left Doctor Who fans devastated, with many rushing to Twitter to share their sadness

A second special will air in spring 2022, with Jodie's final, feature-length appearance as the Doctor – in which she will regenerate – arriving in autumn 2022 as part of the BBC's centenary celebrations.  

Of her time on the show, Jodie said: '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.

'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.'

Jodie concluded: 'I know change can be scary and none of us know what's out there. That's why we keep looking. Travel Hopefully. The Universe will surprise you. Constantly.'

Showrunner Chris, 51, added: '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.

Co-stars: Aside from Jodie, Chris also welcomed the likes of Tosin Cole (Ryan), Mandip Gill (Yaz) and Bradley Walsh (Graham) to the beloved show 

'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!

'For me, leading this exceptional team has been unrivalled creative fun, and one of the great joys of my career. I'm so proud of the people we've worked with and the stories we've told.'

He went on: 'To finish our time on the show with an additional Special, after the pandemic changed and challenged our production plans, is a lovely bonus.

'It's great that the climax of the Thirteenth Doctor's story will be at the heart(s) of the BBC's centenary celebrations.'

Moving on: Writer Chris Chibnall, 51, is also leaving the show and said in a statement: 'Now our shift is done, and we're handing back the Tardis keys'

The British writer concluded: 'I wish our successors - whoever the BBC and BBC Studios choose - as much fun as we've had. They're in for a treat!'

Aside from Jodie, Chris also welcomed the likes of Tosin Cole (Ryan), Mandip Gill (Yaz) and Bradley Walsh (Graham) to the beloved show.

The BBC added that plans for the new generation of Doctor Who will be announced 'in due course'. 

As the first woman to play the iconic role, Jodie has thrilled audiences with her portrayal of the Time Lord, winning the hearts of Doctor Who fans across the globe.

In 2020, Jodie was voted 2nd Most Popular Doctor of all time, coming within a whisker of her friend David Tennant, in a poll of more than 50,000 fans for Radio Times.

Jodie was first reported to have made the decision to leave the show in January, however this is the first time she has confirmed she will be moving on. 

Confirmation: Jodie was first reported to have made the decision to leave the show in January, however this is the first time she has confirmed she will be moving on 

At the time, fans called for Jo Martin's iteration of the character to become the 14th Time Lord, with the Holby City star previously appearing in two episodes of the show's twelfth season alongside Jodie. 

At the time, Jo played an unknown Doctor and viewers claimed this meant she would be an 'obvious' successor for the part.

Jo's Doctor revealed her identity in Fugitive Of The Judoon after previously going by the name Ruth Clayton, and she appeared to be a former unknown iteration of the character; she also appeared in The Timeless Children.

Chris shared his support for Jo's version of the Doctor when she appeared onscreen in April last year, as he said: 'The important thing to say is – she is definitively the Doctor, there's not a sort of parallel universe going on, there are no tricks. 

Could it be? Doctor Who fans previously claimed Jo Martin's iteration of the character should return as the 14th Time Lord as she is an 'obvious' successor to Jodie

'Jo Martin is the Doctor, that's why we gave her the credit at the end which all new Doctors have the first time you see them.'

Chris went on to claim that Jo's inclusion in the twelfth series was 'very deliberate', and added: 'But as ever with Doctor Who, answers often reveal new questions.'  

Fans also took to Twitter to call for Jo to take on the mantle from Jodie as they felt she was an 'obvious' choice.

One viewer wrote: 'Jo Martin to take over as the next Doctor or we riot.'

While another claimed: 'I will only accept Jo Martin as the 14th Doctor! If it's anyone else I'll be kind of bitter!'

And one fan gushed: 'Look, IF there is to be a new Doctor Who, the choice is obvious and already has the blessing of the fandom. JO MARTIN. The Dr. End of.'

Backing: Fans took to Twitter at the Time to call for Jo to take on the mantle from Jodie as they felt she would be a great choice for the part

Jodie's latest series of Doctor Who, which aired in 2020, saw episode ratings fail to climb above 5million in the over-night ratings. The average viewership was 5.4m.

For the whole of Doctor Who's Modern Era, each season has seen a drop in ratings as they've progressed, while Christmas specials have provided many highs.

During Christopher Ecclestone's run as the Ninth Doctor, the series opener had an average of 10.81 million watching, but by the finale -where he also regenerated- 6.91 million tuned in, just shy of the series' low of 6.81 million for Bad Wolf.

The ratings also fluctuated throughout David Tennant's stint as the Tenth Doctor, where his first episode got 9.84 million, while he had a series high of 13.31 million for Voyage Of The Damned, and a low of 6.08 million for The Satan Pit.

While in Matt Smith's first season as the Eleventh Doctor the opener got 10.09 million viewers tuning in, but the ratings plummeted -much like the current season- to an average of 6.70 million for the finale.

Peter Capaldi's outing as the Twelfth had the lowest ratings for the show, by far, as his final season averaged 5.5 million viewers overall, with a high of 6.68 million viewers, and a low of 4.73 million.

The BBC's hit Sci-fi show Doctor Who was first launched by the BBC in 1963. It chronicles the journey of a Time Lord called 'The Doctor'.

He is first introduced after fleeing his home planet, Gallifrey.

The Doctor travels through time and space in his spaceship, called a TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space), which resembles a police box.

During his travels, The Doctor meets people and invites them to voyage with him. They are known as his companions. 

He also encounters several evil beings, such as Daleks and Cyberman, and is forced to defeat them sing minimal resources, such as his Sonic Screwdriver, as they try to destroy or take over other planets, including Earth.

As a Time Lord, The Doctor has the capacity to regenerate when he is wounded or dying. After regenerating, he takes on a new appearance and personality.

The concept of regenerating was added into the series after the First Doctor, William Hartnell, became ill and stepped down from his role. 

The first run of Doctor Who ended in 1989 before being revived in 2005 with Christopher Ecclestone as the Ninth Doctor. 

Below is the full list of the actors who have been cast as the Doctor from 1963 to 2017 - when Jodie Whittaker took over the coveted role.

Starting the legacy: The First Doctor William Hartnell (1963-1966)

Second and Third: Patrick Troughton (1966–1969) and Jon Pertwee (1970–1974)

Fourth and Fifth: Tom Baker (1974–1981) and Peter Davison (1981–1984)

Sixth and Seventh: Colin Baker (1984–1986) and Sylvester McCoy (1987–1989, 1996)

Eighth and Ninth: Paul McGann (1996) and Christopher Eccleston (2005)

Tenth and Eleventh: David Tennant (2005-2010) and Matt Smith (2010-2013)

Twelfth: Peter Capaldi (2013 - 2017)