Jodie Whittaker has confirmed she is leaving Doctor Who alongside showrunner Chris Chibnall, both of whom have worked on the show since 2017.
It was first announced that the actress, 39, would take up the mantle as the thirteenth iteration of the iconic time traveller four years ago, and in a statement released on Thursday, the screen star described her time manning the Tardis as being ‘the best job I ever had’.
The BBC has announced that Jodie will be seen off in a three-part special, one of which will be feature-length.
Horizons new: Jodie Whittaker, 39, has confirmed she is leaving Doctor Who alongside showrunner Chris Chibnall, both of whom have worked on the show since 2017
She 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.
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.’
Statement: In a statement released on Thursday, Jodie described her time manning the Tardis as being ‘the best job I ever had’
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.
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