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Last Updated: Thursday October 30 2008 09:14 GMT

Tennant IS leaving Doctor Who

David Tennant announcing he is quitting (Photo by: Ian West/PA Wire)

David Tennant IS leaving Doctor Who at the end of 2009, it has been announced.

But he's not giving up ownership of the Tardis just yet as he'll be back at Christmas, and will be filming four more special episodes in January.

David Tennant said: "I've had the most brilliant, bewildering and life changing time working on Doctor Who. I have loved every day of it."

He made the announcement after winning the outstanding drama performance prize at the National Television Awards.

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Tennant took over from Christopher Ecclestone as the Time Lord in 2005, for the start of the second series.

Tennant added: "It would be very easy to cling on to the Tardis console forever and I fear that if I don't take a deep breath and make the decision to move on now, then I simply never will.

"You would be prising the Tardis key out of my cold dead hand. This show has been so special to me, I don't want to outstay my welcome."

Some actors being talked about to take over:
Paterson Joseph
Paterson Joseph (pictured)
David Morrisey
James Nesbitt
John Simm

Doctor Who boss Russell T Davies - who is also leaving in 2009 - said: "I've been lucky and honoured to work with David over the past few years - and it's not over yet, the Tenth Doctor still has five spectacular hours left!

After which, I might drop an anvil on his head. Or maybe a piano. A radioactive piano. But we're planning the most enormous and spectacular ending, so keep watching."

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