News just in earlier today - in an epsiode of Dr Who Confidential on BBC1 tomorrow, 3 Jan, at 17:35 the actor to play the new regenerated Dr Who will be announced.
Look at these carefully chosen words from new Head of Drama at BBC Wales, Piers Wenger, on CBBC Newsround:
"We are so pleased to have been able to cast this person as the new Doctor.
"We believe the actor is going to bring something very special to the role and will make it absolutely their own – I just can't wait to tell everyone who it is – it has been a nail biting Christmas trying to keep this under wraps!"
Note the lack of clue – or attempt to deliberately hide – the sex of the actor. I will not be surprised if this Dr turns out to be a woman!
Casting was confirmed over Christmas and filming of the 2010 series with the new Doc begins in the summer 2009. The last of Tennant's four "specials" is expected to air in early 2010 and filming for this starts later in Jan (for which Tennant is expected to be ready after his back surgery).
The hot tip this year is that we will see the first black Dr Who, with three names in the running led by actor Paterson Joseph. Joseph has been in two previous episodes of Dr Who – a good start – as well as recently in Survivors and previously in Casualty and William & Mary as well as some crime faves such as Dalziel and Pascoe, Silent Witness, A Touch of Frost, and Waking the Dead. But I first noticed this actor back in 2001 in William Boyd's Armadillo. As they say in Barry (or Gavin & Stacey): "Lush he is, too". Lovely expressive eyes and with muscles a Doc could well need.
So if they don't break the mould and regenerate the Doc into a woman for a (long-outstanding and very brave) change, I'll be more than happy with Paterson Joseph. I hope I won't be disappointed. But if it is PJ, I won't be; he's a great actor and he will make Dr Who his own.
Names in the frame have included, in addition to Joseph: James Nesbitt (ever Nesbittly-samey-bland); John Simm (bland); David Morrissey (bland until I saw him in the Dr Who Christmas Special and started an on-screen love affair – but not too deep, you understand; and I don't see him as the Doc either).
Ooh, it's so exciting. I now have to plan my hours before the 17:35 show tomorrow…
(Photo of Paterson Joseph by Tristram Kenton from The Guardian website.)