The question of who will be the 12th incarnation of Doctor Who will be answered this weekend in a live TV special, the BBC has declared.
Milking the appointment of the latest Time Lord for all it's worth, the Corporation will dedicate 30 minutes to the matter on BBC 1 on Sunday from 7pm. Fronted by Zoe Ball, the programme "will feature an interview with the new lead, as well as 11th Doctor Matt Smith and executive producer Steven Moffat".
Moffat said: "The decision is made and the time has come to reveal who's taking over the Tardis. For the last of the Time Lords, the clock is striking twelve."
Exactly who will be Who has prompted plenty of fan speculation. Our own readers came down in favour of Benedict Cumberbatch, with Richard Ayoade and Hugh Laurie also attracting plenty of support.
Back in June, bookies William Hill named "former Harry Potter star Rupert Grint and Russell Tovey from BBC Three's Being Human as their joint 10/1 favourites to named the next Doctor".
They were also offering odds on Billie Piper, Twenty Twelve and Broadchurch star Olivia Colman and Fiona O'Shaughnessy from Channel 4 drama Utopia as contenders to be the first female to pocket the keys to the Tardis.
The BBC's drama controller, Ben Stephenson, said: "Amongst all the speculation and betting, there has been lots of fun and intrigue at work as we've been using the codename Houdini as a decoy.
"It's the biggest secret in showbiz, even those working with the new Doctor on other projects at the moment have no idea they are in the presence of the 12th incarnation."
Matt Smith will bow out in a "spectacular" 2013 Christmas special. His penultimate appearance will be a 50th TV anniversary special due to hit screens on 23 November, half a century to the day since the show's first airing in 1963.
Smith will be joined by David Tennant, John Hurt and Billie Piper to do battle against the Daleks and the shape-shifting Zygons. ®