NEW DOCTOR: Idris Elba has been touted as a potential Doctor Who (PA)
SINCE NEWS broke that current Doctor Who actor Matt Smith is to stop playing the Time Lord at the end of this year, speculation has mounted over who will next fill his shoes.
Talk of there being a black actor playing the famous role has taken off, with Idris Elba being a leading name tipped to inhabit the eccentric, time travelling hero.
Also, other black actors like David Harewood, Ashley Walters, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Richard Ayoade have been mentioned as possible candidates who would all make history as the part has never been played by anyone black.
It is not the first time Elba has faced speculation he could take the leading part in a major franchise - over the last few years there has been much talk that he could be the first black actor to play British spy James Bond after the current 007 Daniel Craig steps down.
Remaining enigmatic about the identity of the show’s next leading actor, series executive producer Steven Moffat said: “Somewhere out there... is someone who's about to become the Doctor.
“A life is going to change, and Doctor Who will be born all over again.
“After 50 years, that's still so exciting,” he added.
There has also been rumour that the role could go to a woman, with actresses such as Olivia Colman and Zawe Ashton named as potential replacements for Smith.
Bizarre suggestions have even been made that Tom Cruise, David Beckham and Simon Cowell could be the new faces of the Doctor’s reincarnation.
Bookmakers William Hill have installed Harry Potter star Rupert Grint and Being Human actor Russel Tovey as joint favourites at 10/1.
The outgoing Time Lord, Smith, is the 11th actor to have made the part his own – he took over the role in January 2010 from David Tennant.