Actor Peter Capaldi is stepping down from the lead role in the BBC sci-fi series Doctor Who.
Capaldi shocked fans by making the announcement during a BBC Radio 2 show with presenter Jo Whiley.
He said he will leave Doctor Who at the end of the year. “I feel it’s time to move on,” he said.
The 58-year-old Glasgow-born star became the 12th actor to play the Doctor in 2013.
While speaking about the forthcoming 10th series, he said it would be his last.
“I feel sad, I love Doctor Who, it is a fantastic programme to work on,” he said. “It can’t praise the people I work with more highly, but I have always been someone that did a lot of different things.”
He said he was asked to stay on after his contract ran out, but he wanted to move on to other challenges.
The new series airs in spring and Capaldi said his final episode will be shown at Christmas.
In his interview, Capaldi assured listeners that he is still Doctor Who at the moment, as filming in ongoing.
The next series will also be the last with Steven Moffat, lead writer and executive producer, at the helm.
Moffat praised the star’s performance in a BBC announcement: “Peter’s amazing, fiery, turbulent Doctor is still fighting the good fight, and his greatest adventures are yet to come. Monsters of the universe, be on your guard – Capaldi’s not done with you yet!”
He added: “Like Peter, I’m facing up to leaving the best job I’ll ever have, but knowing I do so in the company of the best, and kindest and cleverest of men, makes the saddest of endings a little sweeter.”
Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content, said: “He has been a tremendous Doctor who has brought his own unique wisdom and charisma to the role.
Capaldi was previously best known for his role as foul-mouthed spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker in the BBC series The Thick of It.