Over the last year the rumour mill has been in overdrive trying to find out if Jodie Whittaker will be leaving Doctor Who. She’s onto her third series playing the legendary character but, if she does leave, who is going to be the next Doctor Who? The Broadchurch star will leave behind some big shoes to fill and there seems to be one actor who has taken top position in the polls to be the next occupant of the Tardis.
Rumours that Whittaker would leave the show began in December 2020. A “show insider” told the Mirror, “It’s all very hush-hush but it is known on set that Jodie is leaving and they are gearing up for a regeneration.” At the time the BBC said it wouldn’t “be commenting on any speculation around Jodie’s future on the show” beyond the next season. However, that hasn’t stopped fans guessing. John Hill from betting site Coral told Metro, “Kris Marshall has recently been shining on Death In Paradise but this series could be his last in Saint Marie as he is the favourite to replace Jodie Whittaker as the next Doctor Who.”
It’s likely you’ll recognise Marshall from Love, Actually but he’s also been in shows such as Citizen Khan and Sanditon. And he isn’t a totally random prediction for the next Doctor. Back in 2017, The Sun reported that Marshall was speculated to replace Peter Capaldi before Whittaker took on the role. One fan wrote on Twitter, “Kris Marshall comic genius and I couldn’t think of anyone better suited for the role” while others noted that Marshall has had his name attached to the show as a potential lead for years.
Marshall isn’t the only actor that has been hinted as taking on the role of the Doctor. The Express reported that bookmakers Ladbrokes have put Michaela Coel and Richard Ayoade alongside Marshall as potential future Time Lords.
A Ladbrokes spokesperson said, “the odds suggest it might be a three-horse race between Michaela Coel, Kris Marshall, and Richard Ayoade to play Doctor Who next. But there are a handful of surprising names sitting in and among the frontrunners to replace Jodie Whittaker.”
The Guardian also listed Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Paapa Essiedu, Ben Whishaw, Michael Sheen, and Camille Cottin as good regenerations of the Doctor.
In early 2021, rumours started to circulate that Years & Years singer Olly Alexander could take on the role following his huge success in the Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin. Alexander addressed the rumours during an appearance on Radio 2 on April 8, saying “I mean, it’s an amazing role, but I don’t know… I mean, it’s a really great rumour but I don’t think I’m going to be doing it this year.”
When rumours started to resurface in June 2021, Alexander’s agent Martha Kinn responded and put the speculation to bed in a hilarious way. “Even though Olly is often contacted by Cybermen, I’m afraid I have to exterminate this speculation. As nice as it is to see interest in this story regenerate, it just isn’t true,” she told Radio Times. “As Ood as it might sound, Olly is focusing on his music, for the time being.”
The BBC is yet to comment on when Whittaker will be leaving the show and who will be stepping into the pretty big shoes of the Doctor when she does.
This article was originally published on