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Watch: Jodie Whittaker announces Doctor Who departure
Matt Smith has revealed that he would love to see Rhys Ifans handed the keys to the Tardis as the next Doctor Who lead.
The plum telly role is set to be vacated next year, with Jodie Whittaker announcing she will step down after the 2021 series and a trio of special episodes in 2022.
Among the bookies' favourites to replace her are It's a Sin star Olly Alexander, the regularly rumoured Kris Marshall and I May Destroy You creator Michaela Coel.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter to promote his new movie Last Night in Soho, Smith — who played the Doctor between 2010 and 2013 — revealed he'd love Welsh star Ifans to take on the part.
He said: "You know who I think would be a brilliant Doctor Who — Rhys Ifans. Rhys would be sort of cool. I don’t know if we’ve had a Welshman yet. I’m backing Rhys."
Smith took on the Doctor Who leading role at a similar time of transition to what will face the new 14th Doctor.
He joined the show as Russell T. Davies handed over the showrunner gig to Steven Moffat, while the new Doctor will join forces with whoever steps up to replace outgoing head writer Chris Chibnall.
Announcing her departure, Whittaker 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."
Smith is currently on the promotional tour for Last Night in Soho, in which Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright crafts a time-bending adventure through London in both the 1960s and the present day.
"Having lived in London for 10 years, it felt like a love letter. It's home," said Smith.
He added: "It made me really proud of London — it’s got such flair and such great sense of style. [Wright has] really made it look amazing in the 60s."
Last Night in Soho will be released in the UK on 29 October after playing at the BFI London Film Festival, while Doctor Who is due to return to screens before the end of this year.
Watch: Trailer for Last Night in Soho