New ‘Doctor Who’ star to be announced late summer/early autumn

'Skyfall' actor Rory Kinnear is current frontrunner to follow Matt Smith in the iconic role

The next star of Doctor Who might not be revealed until the autumn, according to a new report.

BBC insiders have apparently told that any announcement about the 12th Timelord is “almost certain” to take place just before filming begins on the show’s Christmas special. At present, an August or September start date is said to be looking likely.

Current Doctor Who star Matt Smith announced earlier this month (June) that he will be leaving the show at the end of this year (2013). Viewers will see his Doctor regenerate during the upcoming Christmas special.

Rory Kinnear, best known for playing MI6 officer Bill Tanner in the last two Bond movies, is the current bookies’ favourite to succeed him. Other actors linked to the iconic role include Dominic Cooper (The History Boys), David Harewood (Homeland), Julian Rhind-Tutt (The West Wing) and Richard Coyle (Coupling).

Meanwhile, Matt Smith’s Doctor will return in the show’s 50th anniversary special airing on November 23. In addition to current companion Jenna-Louise Coleman, he’ll be joined for the episode by his Doctor Who predecessor David Tennant and popular former companion Billie Piper.