Belfast Telegraph

Daniels favourite for Doctor Who

Ben Daniels is the early favourite to be named the new Doctor Who after a flurry of bets on the Cutting It star saw his odds tumble.

Speculation started as soon as Matt Smith announced at the weekend that he was leaving the show, with gamblers also taking a punt on a woman taking charge of the Tardis, with former assistant Billie Piper 16-1 to get the job, according to bookmakers William Hill.

Rupert Adams, a spokesman for the gambling firm, said: "Just 10 years ago we were offering 33-1 for there to ever be a female Doctor Who. We are now 5-1 that the next Doctor is female and it can only be a matter of time before a woman pilots the Tardis."

Other popular bets include Broadchurch star Olivia Colman who is 25-1, but she is still far behind frontrunners including Daniels at 3-1, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, Russell Tovey and Damien Moloney, who are all at 10-1.

Matt, who will bow out in the Christmas special, has been in the role since 2010 and said it had been an "honour" to play the Doctor.

He said: "'Doctor Who has been the most brilliant experience for me as an actor and a bloke, and that largely is down to the cast, crew and fans of the show."

Matt, who recently made his directorial debut, has spoken about ambitions for a film-making career.

His most recent on-screen companion, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman, will stay with the show.

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