Her departure will once again open up the role of the doctor and prompt questions about a successor.
Despite My Family and Death In Paradise star Kris Marshall being linked with the role of the Doctor for a number of years and previously being favourite to replace her, he has slumped to 10/1 according to Betfair.
The bookmaker is also offering odds on Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Line of Duty’s Vicky McClure and Richard Ayoade.
But Michaela Coel – the British actress and writer best known for creating and starring in the E4 sitcom Chewing Gum between 2015 and 2017 for which she won the BAFTA Award for Best Female Comedy Performance.
The bookmakers’ favourites to replace Whittaker:
- Michaela Coel (4/1)
- Michael Sheen (6/1)
- Olly Alexander (6/1)
- Kelly MacDonald (6/1)
- Vicky McClure (7/1)
- Richard Ayoade (8/1)
- Phoebe Waller-Bridge (8/1)
- Maxine Peake (8/1)
- Natalie Dormer (8/1)
- Kris Marshall (10/1)
Chris Chibnall said: “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.
“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.
“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.
“I wish our successors – whoever the BBC and BBC Studios choose – as much fun as we’ve had. They’re in for a treat.”
Her casting was announced after the Wimbledon men’s final of 2017.
Whittaker said being named the new Doctor felt “completely overwhelming, as a feminist, as a woman, as an actor, as a human, as someone who wants to continually push themselves and challenge themselves, and not be boxed in by what you’re told you can and can’t be”.
Whittaker made history during the 2017 Christmas special when Capaldi’s version of the beloved character regenerated and she became the first female to fill the role since the show began more than five decades previously.
Her first full episode as the Doctor, which aired in 2018, was aptly titled The Woman Who Fell To Earth and drew the programme’s biggest launch viewing figures in 10 years.
Whittaker’s first series earned praise for her performance but also some complaints about “politically correct” storylines about Rosa Parks, the partition of India and witch trials.
By March 2020, the show had slumped to its lowest ratings since the programme was revived in 2005.
Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, said: “Over the last four years Chris and Jodie have made Doctor Who history and their time on the show is indelibly marked on our memories.
“From Rosa Parks to Ascension of the Cybermen, Chris and Jodie have given Doctor Who some of its most life-affirming and tear-jerking moments to date and we are beyond excited to see what they have in store for us in the new series this Autumn.
“Jodie’s final adventure to mark the BBC’s Centenary in 2022 is set to be a Doctor Who Special to remember. I’d like to thank them both for their incredible work on the show.”