When Matt Smith announced last weekend that he would bow out as Doctor Who in the Christmas special, many fans hoped that the BBC would use the opportunity to replace him with a woman or a black actor.
They are, however, likely to be disappointed, as Mandrake can disclose that the role of the 12th Time Lord has been offered to Rory Kinnear.
“He has been offered the part and we are waiting to hear if he will accept,” says my man in the Tardis. “He is the perfect choice.”
The 35-year-old alumnus of St Paul’s School, George Osborne’s alma mater, is the son of Roy Kinnear, the celebrated actor.
When he was asked about rumours linking him with the Doctor Who role in April, he admitted that he had never watched the programme. “I think I’m being used as a decoy on that front,” he said. “It’s the first I’ve heard.”
Kinnear was praised for his performance as Sir Denis Thatcher in The Long Walk to Finchley, a BBC drama about the early years of Baroness Thatcher’s career.
Before St Paul’s, Kinnear, who has a child with his girlfriend Pandora Colin, attended Tower House School in south-west London. Its alumni include the Hollywood stars Tom Hardy, who played Bane in The Dark Knight Returns, and Robert Pattinson, of the Twilight films. After passing his A-levels, he read English at Balliol College, Oxford, before attending drama school.
Kinnear’s father starred in The Three Musketeers opposite Oliver Reed and Michael York and was known for his appearances in such television programmes as The Dick Emery Show and Man About the House. It was during the filming of the second Musketeers sequel that he died in 1988.
His mother, Carmel Cryan, played Brenda Boyle in EastEnders, while his grandfather was the Scotland rugby player Roy Muir Kinnear. Michael Williams, the late husband of Dame Judi Dench, was his godfather.
Smith, 30, who has been the Time Lord since 2010, said it had been “an honour” to play the part. He was the youngest to win the role when he replaced David Tennant, who took over from Christopher Eccleston.