Doctor Who: Fans await announcement

Matt Smith in Doctor Who Matt Smith will leave the series in this year's Christmas special

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Fans are eagerly awaiting the news of who will be unveiled as the new star of Doctor Who later.

The announcement on who will replace actor Matt Smith will be made during a special live show on BBC One.

Zoe Ball will host the programme, which will feature an interview with the new 12th Doctor as well as contributions from stars who have played previous incarnations of the Time Lord.

Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor will be on at 19:00 BST.

Smith and executive producer Steven Moffat will be among those appearing on the live show to give the new recruit advice, as well as Peter Davison, who played the fifth Doctor.

There will also be a video message from sixth Doctor Colin Baker and former companions Katy Manning, Anneke Wills, Janet Fielding and Bonnie Langford.

A look at the contenders for the new Dr Who

Speculation on who would take over the role has been rife since Smith announced in June that he would be leaving the sci-fi series later this year.

It has been reported that only 10 people know the new Doctor's identity, as bosses attempt to keep it a secret.

Bookmakers suspended betting on The Thick Of It star Peter Capaldi taking the role after his odds fell to 5/6 favourite.

Other stars named as possible contenders include Ben Daniels, Rory Kinnear, Idris Elba and Daniel Rigby, although some female stars have also been touted.

However celebrity photographer Rankin appeared to confirm a male actor had been cast in the role after tweeting: "Just photographed the next Dr Who for tonight's announcement. Let me know what you think of the photo? He's going to be an ace Dr."

On Friday, BBC drama controller Ben Stephenson said: "We can't wait to unveil the next Doctor with everyone live on BBC One.

"Amongst all the speculation and betting, there has been lots of fun and intrigue at work as we've been using the codename Houdini as a decoy.

"It's the biggest secret in showbiz, even those working with the new Doctor on other projects at the moment have no idea they are in the presence of the 12th incarnation."

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