Doctor Who: Jodie Whittaker ‘replaced by Michaela Coel’ as star favourite to take over

Doctor Who tease 2021 introduction for John Bishop

Jodie Whittaker became the first female Time Lord when she took over from Peter Capaldi on Doctor Who in 2017. However, after leading the Doctor’s companions Yaz (played by Mandip Gill), Graham (Bradley Walsh) and Ryan (Toisin Cole), for three years, Jodie is said to be stepping back from the role on the much-loved BBC sci-fi series. There has been much speculation over who could take her place with Michaela Coel the favourite to be the next Time Lord.

Michaela won a legion of fans from her roles in Chewing Gum and I May Destroy You, which aired in 2020.

As a result, she is hotly tipped to be snapped up by the BBC to follow in Jodie’s footsteps.

Odds of the screenwriter joining the series and stepping into the Tardis are chalked up at 5/1 with the bookmakers.

Richard Ayoade and Kris Marshall are fancied at 6/1 apiece with the firm, or there’s an 8/1 chance Phoebe Waller-Bridge takes on the lead role.

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Jessica O’Reilly of Ladbrokes said: “Jodie Whittaker’s shock exit from the Tardis means the betting is wide open, and it’s currently Michaela Coel who punters would love to see become the next Doctor.”

The BBC has declined to comment on reports Jodie is leaving the series, responding: “We won’t be commenting on any speculation around Jodie’s future on the show.”

An 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.

“Her departure is top secret but at some point over the coming months the arrival of the 14th Doctor will need to be filmed. It’s very exciting.”

Showrunner Chris Chibnall is expected to remain on the show.

Jodie previously opened up about her time on the show insisting she “absolutely adores it”.

She told Entertainment Weekly: “At some point, these shoes are going to be handed on, but it’s not yet. I’m clinging on tight!”

The actress is currently filming the 13th series of Doctor Who, which will be eight episodes instead of the usual 13 due to delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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News of Jodie’s rumoured exit comes after Bradley and Toisin stepped down as Graham and Ryan in the New Year’s Day instalment.

The pair who both joined the show at the same time as Jodie decided it was time to move on in Revolution of the Daleks.

In their place, John Bishop was confirmed to join the Doctor as new companion Dan and has already filmed his first scenes.

John said joining the show was “an absolute dream” and “would never have believed” he would be given the opportunity as a young boy.

He commented: “It’s an absolute dream come true to be joining Doctor Who and I couldn’t wish for better company than Jodie and Mandip.”

Showrunner Chris added: “It’s time for the next chapter of Doctor Who, and it starts with a man called Dan.

“Oh, we’ve had to keep this one secret for a long, long time. Our conversations started with John even before the pandemic hit.

“The character of Dan was built for him, and it’s a joy to have him aboard the TARDIS.”

Doctor Who returns to BBC One later in the year.

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