Jodie Whittaker to leave sci-fi series ‘Dr Who’ in 2022

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Jodie Whittaker, the first woman to take on the lead role in the sci-fi series ‘Doctor Who’, will be leaving the television show next year, Britain`s BBC said on Thursday.

The British actress has portrayed The Doctor – a shape-shifting alien Time Lord played by men since the show first appeared on British television screens in 1963 – since 2017.

The 39-year-old, who described the role as “the best job I have ever had”, will feature in a six-part Event Serial this autumn as well as in three specials planned for next year.

Showrunner Chris Chibnall will also leave the production in 2022.

“In 2017 I opened my glorious gift box of size 13 shoes. I could not have guessed the brilliant adventures, worlds and wonders I was to see in them,” Whittaker said in a statement.

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“My heart is so full of love for this show, for the team who make it, for the fans who watch it and for what it has brought to my life … I don`t think I`ll ever be able to express what this role has given me. I will carry the Doctor and the lessons I`ve learnt forever.”

Whittaker played the show`s 13th Doctor, a casting which when first announced sparked online debates. Last year, she was voted the show`s second most popular Doctor in a poll for listings magazine Radio Times. Actor David Tennant came first.

Who will take over the role from Whittaker has yet to be announced.