Relative unknown to take lead in BBC's 'Dr Who'
The Associated Press
Published Monday, January 5, 2009 8:14AM EST
LONDON - The BBC says little-known actor Matt Smith will take over the title role in the long-running sci-fi series "Doctor Who."
The 26-year-old is the 11th actor to star in one of Britain's most popular TV shows -- and the youngest.
Smith has appeared on the London stage and starred in the political TV drama "Party Animals," but is a relative unknown. The new role will make him a major star in Britain, where "Doctor Who" regularly draws 10 million viewers an episode.
"Doctor Who" was first broadcast in 1963 and centers on a time-traveling alien known only as The Doctor who can regenerate into new human bodies.
Current star David Tennant plans to leave the show after four special episodes this year. The BBC said Saturday that Smith will take over in 2010.