It had been reported that the 'Sherlock' star was in line to play The Master

Matt Smith has claimed to have no knowledge about rumours Benedict Cumberbatch is in line to play The Master in Doctor Who.

It was reported by the Express this week that the Sherlock star had been approached to play the evil Timelord nemesis for the sci-fi show’s 50th anniversary next year.

But now Smith, who plays the current incarnation of the Doctor, has denied knowing anything about the claims. However, he did not deny the casting completely.

He told Daybreak: “I know Ben and I’ve not heard anything about it. But he’s a wonderful actor and a mate.”

He appeared to then play down any rumours: “I think he’s a bit busy being a Star Trek villain, and he’s Sherlock Holmes of course, so he’s a busy man.”

The Master was last played in the revived series by John Simm, in David Tennant’s final episodes The End Of Time. Showrunner Steven Moffat said last year that Cumberbatch would not be in line to play the Doctor. “There is no vacancy. Matt Smith is the Doctor and he’s been an astonishing success and – who knows – maybe he’ll never regenerate again.”

Doctor Who last week resumed filming in Cardiff, for new episodes set to air this autumn.