Former ‘Doctor Who’ actor Arthur Darvill says Helen Mirren should be offered role

Actor, who played Rory Williams, wants Mirren to take over Timelord mantle

Former Doctor Who actor Arthur Darvill has said that Dame Helen Mirren should take over from Matt Smith when he departs as the Timelord at the end of this year.

Smith will leave the BBC’s iconic sci-fi series at the end of this year and Darvill – who played Rory Williams, husband of the Doctor’s companion Amy Pond – said he would like to see Mirren given the role.

He told Anglophenia: “I’d love to see Dame Helen do it – best of luck to whoever gets it, though.”

Previously, Mirren scotched rumours that she could be offered the role – although she did say in an interview with the Associated Press that a female actor should be asked to play the part. “I think it’s absolutely time for a female Doctor Who,” she said. “I’m so sick of that man with his girl sidekick. I could name at least 10 wonderful British actresses who would absolutely kill in that role.”

Earlier this week, however, it was reported that Rory Kinnear – best known for playing MI6 officer Bill Tanner in the previous two James Bond movies – had been offered the role of The Doctor. “He has been offered the part and we are waiting to hear if he will accept,” said a source. “He is the perfect choice.”

The 12th Doctor will be decided by Steven Moffat, Danny Cohen, the BBC’s new head of television, controller of drama commissioning Ben Stephenson, casting director Andy Pryor and the show’s incoming executive producer Brian Minchin. A new series, expected to be 12 episodes long, is due to begin filming in the autumn.

Matt Smith first appeared as the 11th Doctor in the New Year’s Day episode in 2010, replacing David Tennant in the role. He was the youngest ever Doctor and only actor to be nominated for a BAFTA playing the character. The BBC has said Smith’s “spectacular exit” is yet to be revealed but added that it would be “kept tightly under wraps”.