'Heartbreak' end to Dr's assistant
Karen Gillan is to leave Doctor Who during the next series.
The actress - who plays Amy Pond - will be written out in a "heartbreaking" storyline, show boss Steven Moffatt said.
A new companion for The Doctor is being lined up but producers said they would give no clues about their identity.
Karen and her screen husband Arthur Darvill - who plays Rory - will both be written out. The Scottish actress, who will soon be seen in a BBC drama as model Jean Shrimpton, has had a starring role for two series and has become hugely popular.
Steven said: "The final days of the Ponds are coming. It's during the next series. I'm not telling you when and I'm not telling you how. That story is going to be a heartbreaking one."
He said that The Doctor would be "taking a new friend", adding: "I'm not going to tell you anything about he, she or it."
Matt Smith said he would miss his co-star, who joined the programme at the same time as him.
He added: "We took over the show and we really had to hold hands and help each other through it. It's very disappointing. But this show is about change and regeneration."
It's understood that the decision for Karen to leave the show was mutual.
Steven was speaking at a screening of the Christmas edition of the show which will be broadcast on December 25.