Page last updated at 12:46 GMT, Thursday, 30 October 2008

Doctor Who: The runners and the riders

Speculation has already started over who will replace David Tennant as Doctor Who.

The 37-year-old star announced he would no longer play the Time Lord after next year's specials.

Here is a selection of some of the favourites to succeed him.

Paterson Joseph
Joseph is the bookmakers' favourite to succeed Tennant

The actor is the bookmakers' favourite to succeed Tennant.

If he lands the part, the 44-year-old will become the first ever black doctor.

The star has already appeared in two episodes of the show playing Roderick alongside previous doctor, Christopher Eccleston.

He is a popular comic actor and has appeared in Peep Show, Jekyll and Green Wing.

David Morrissey
Morrissey starred in the much-derided Basic Instinct 2

Already appearing as a character called the other Doctor in the show's Christmas special, The Next Doctor, Morrissey is another favourite to win the part.

In 2003 the 44-year-old was nominated for a Bafta award for his starring role in political drama State of Play.

More recently he appeared with Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson in the Hollywood film The Other Boleyn Girl.

Sean Pertwee
Sean Pertwee is reportedly eager to follow in his father's footsteps

Ignored by the bookmakers, but a strong contender according to Doctor Who fansites, the 43-year-old actor could follow in his father's footsteps.

Jon Pertwee, who also played Worzel Gummidge, was the third Doctor from 1970-1974, before Tom Baker took over the role.

The Event Horizon star has revealed he would be interested in appearing in the show, according to reports.

James Nesbitt
Nesbitt first came to popular attention in the Cold Feet series

The former Cold Feet star is another high-profile star favoured by the bookmakers.

The 43-year-old actor, born in Northern Ireland, has starred in a long list of TV dramas, including Murphy's Law, Jekyll and The Passion.

However, according to reports, Nesbitt has announced he is not interested in the role.

Russell Tovey
Russell Tovey is the first choice of Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies

Last year the actor appeared as Midshipman Frame in the Doctor Who Christmas episode, Voyage of the Damned.

The 27-year-old, who appeared in The History Boys and Gavin and Stacey, is the youngest contender believed to be under consideration.

In September, Doctor Who writer Russell Davies suggested Tovey should be Tennant's successor.

The creator, who leaves the show next year as lead writer and executive producer, said he thought Tovey was "going to be huge" and is "amazing".

James McAvoy
McAvoy won the Bafta Rising Star Award in 2006

The star has begun to build a successful film career in Hollywood.

He has landed starring roles in the Oscar-winning movies Atonement, The Last King of Scotland and The Chronicles of Narnia.

The 29-year-old is married to his former Shameless co star Anne-Marie Duff.

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