Billie Piper has called for a female actor to take on the lead role of the Time Lord in popular sci-fi series Doctor Who, saying it would otherwise "feel like a snub". Speaking to the BBC, the 34-year-old - who played companion Rose Tyler from 2005 to 2013 - explained her reasons: "I've always supported the original format but I don't know where they can go from here. I think it would be great [to have a female Doctor] given the spirit of the world at the moment. I think it would be timely."
Her comments came after Peter Capaldi announced he is stepping down from the lead role at the end of the year after four years. The mother-of-two also rejected the idea of taking on the role herself, saying: "I don't know. It's a lot of work. It would be a lot of time in Cardiff [where Doctor Who is filmed]."
Billie Piper has called for a female Time Lord in Doctor Who
Peter, who plays the 12th Doctor, will return for a new series of the show in April, with his final episode shown at Christmas. He made the shock announcement that he was leaving during an interview with BBC Radio 2 presenter Jo Whiley on Tuesday. "I feel it's time to move on," he explained. "I feel sad, I love Doctor Who, it is a fantastic programme to work on. I can't praise the people I work with more highly, but I have always been someone that did a lot of different things." The 58-year-old actor also revealed that he was asked to stay on as the 12th Doctor after his contract ran out, but that he wanted to pursue other challenges.
Peter Capaldi announced he is stepping down from the lead role at the end of the year
Lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat previously hinted that a future regeneration of the Doctor could be a woman. He said: "I think the next time might be a female Doctor. I don't see why not." The bookies' favourites for the next actor to take over the role of the Time Lord are James Bond star Ben Whishaw and Grantchester's James Norton. Bets are also being taken for Gemma Arterton, Helen Mirren, Maisie Williams, and Downton Abbey stars Michelle Dockery and Joanne Froggatt. "We've yet to see a female Doctor Who and perhaps the time is here for a woman to take on the prestigious role," said Katie Baylis, Betfair spokesperson.