BROADCHURCH star Jodie Whittaker will become the first woman to play the Time Lord in Doctor Who.
The new Doctor was revealed in an on-screen stunt after the Wimbledon men's tennis finals on BBC One and an the official Doctor Who Twitter feed.
Whittaker told Radio Times that she hopes fans will embrace the show's "exciting change".
"I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender" said Whittaker. "Because this is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that's exciting about change. The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one."
New showrunner Chris Chibnall added: "After months of lists, conversations, auditions, recalls, and a lot of secret-keeping, we're excited to welcome Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor," reports The Sun.
"I always knew I wanted the Thirteenth Doctor to be a woman and we're thrilled to have secured our number one choice. Her audition for The Doctor simply blew us all away.
"Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role. The Thirteenth Doctor is on her way," said Mr Chibnall.
Outgoing Doctor Peter Capaldi added: "Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker's work will know that she is a wonderful actor of great individuality and charm.
"She has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She's going to be a fantastic Doctor."
REACTIONS TO THE NEW DOCTOR
Doctor Who fans flooded social media on hearing the news Whittaker had been selected.
doctor who pic.twitter.com/VzPW5jzkyO— matty (@acrylicmxtty) July 16, 2017
Absolutely amazing. EXACTLY the right choice, for the character, for the show, and for the audience. So happy! #DoctorWho— James Moran (@jamesmoran) July 16, 2017
I'm a father of 5 young women & grandfather of 3 girls.— John Clarke (@JohnClarke1960) July 16, 2017
With #DoctorWho13 girls will have great heroes to aspire to be; not just companions.
WHO IS JODIE WHITTAKER?
Whittaker, 34, is an English actor from Yorkshire who is known for her work on shows including Broadchurch and Adult Life Skills.
She trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating in 2005.
She made her professional debut as an actor back in 2005, starring in The Storm at Shakespeare's Globe, London.
Whittaker married American actor Christian Contreras in 2008 and the pair have one child together.
Her nephew was three-year-old Harry Whittaker - the child actor who played Leo Dingle in Emmerdale.
Tragically, Harry who had Down's syndrome passed away in July 2014.
OTHER DOCTOR WHO CONTENDERS
Death in Paradise's Kris Marshall, 44, and rising star of the brilliant comedy Fleabag Phoebe Waller-Bridge, 32, were both tipped as favourites to take Capaldi's spot in the TARDIS.
Capaldi will leave the show after the Christmas special episode when the Doctor regenerates.
The BBC sent fans into a frenzy when it released a trailer which hinted at the announcement of the new Doctor.
In the trailer, the TARDIS can be seen before the camera cuts to a key buzzing with electric energy.
The number 13 is then splashed across a mobile phone screen, number 10 Downing Street, the White Cliffs of Dover and The Statue of Liberty.
Capaldi recently revealed his regeneration sequence will be "more complicated than recent ones."
Of leaving the show, the star told The Radio Times in June: "I can't go into the details. I know what happens, but I don't know how it happens.
"Certainly it's not straightforward. It's more complicated than recent ones.
"That's one of the appeals of being in the show - it has death at the heart of it. He's the only hero on TV who dies again and again."
Previous to the announcement, there were suggestions that directors of the show were looking to take it in a different direction with a woman taking on the role on the back of its 52 years of success.
Phoebe Walter-Bridge, the breakout start of the hit comedy Fleabag, was also in the running to be Doctor Who. Picture: Supplied.
Phoebe Walter-Bridge, the breakout start of the hit comedy Fleabag, was also in the running to be Doctor Who. Picture: Supplied.Source:Supplied
A source told The Sunday People: "[BBC] bosses love Phoebe. They thought she did an amazing job with Fleabag and is certainly one of the rising stars in TV and film."
- With The Sun.