Jodie Whittaker is set to quit Doctor Who after three years in the role.
The 38-year-old, who became the first female star to take on the famous character, will leave the show at the end of the next series, when she will regenerate into the 14th Time Lord.
The actress told producers she plans to stick to the tradition of giving up the role of Doctor Who after three stints, The Mirror reports.
The star is said to be is keen to take on new roles, with producers preparing for the next regeneration.
An insider told the publication: “It’s all very hush-hush but it is known on set that Jodie is leaving and they are gearing up for a regeneration.
“Her departure is top secret but at some point over the coming months the arrival of the 14th Doctor will need to be filmed. It’s very exciting.”
Filming on the current run of the BBC sci-fi show is due to finish this summer and it will air in the autumn.
Bosses have already announced the series has been cut to eight episodes due to coronavirus restrictions slowing down the production.
Other Doctors to leave after three runs include William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi.
David Tennant did the same, but extended his tenure with special shows.
Whittaker will find quitting an emotional moment as she once said: “If I even think about leaving, it makes me cry. When it happens, I can pre-empt it will be my most devastating moment.
“I absolutely adore it. At some point, these shoes are going to be handed on, but it’s not yet. I’m clinging on tight.”
Tennant, who quit in 2008, has told how the most gut-wrenching scenes he filmed as the Doctor were for his exit.
Mum-of-one Whittaker was announced as the 13th Doctor in July 2017. She made her debut in the closing scenes of the Christmas special when she regenerated from Capaldi, who was shot by Cybermen.
Whittaker will have spent nearly five years in the role once her final series airs at the end of this year, having kept her casting secret for many weeks.
She said at the time: “It was a full military operation, I basically whispered for three months. It was getting really tedious that even in my own kitchen I was still talking like that.”
The actress has revealed landing the role was as tough as battling the Daleks.
She said: “It certainly was not handed to me on a plate. There was a long process, as there should be.
“They needed to make sure I was right for the part. You want someone who’s fighting for it, because it’s such an honour. You can’t just be blasé about it.”
Whittaker has previously starred in TV thriller Broadchurch and medical drama Trust Me.
She and Mandip Gill, who plays sidekick Yaz, will be joined in the next series by Scouse star John Bishop, who has already been spotted filming with returning warrior baddies the Sontarans.
The question now remains over whether the Doctor stays in a female guise for the 14 incarnation.
Bookies are currently offering odds on Death in Paradise star Kris Marshall, Fleabag’s Pheobe Waller-Bridge, Friday Night Dinners’ Tom Rosenthal and hunky Happy Valley star James Norton – most of whom were in the running last time around.
But the show is produced out of BBC Wales, meaning David Tennant’s Staged pal Michael Sheen could be a frontrunner, along with fellow Welsh Gavin & Stacey favourite Joanna Page.
Other contenders include Ghosts actress Charlotte Ritchie, quirky Bond star Ben Whishaw and Dancing on the Edge’s Chiwetel Ejiofor.