Okay, who really didn't see this one coming at all?
Rumoured as early as Tuesday this week and now confirmed by the actress herself, Jenna Coleman will be exiting Doctor Who during the ninth series. The actress who has played Clara Oswald (and various echoes) since the start of the seventh series will leave the role, presumably in the finale titled Hell Bent but as to how Clara parts company from the Doctor has not been revealed itself.
On her upcoming departure, Coleman had this to say when talking to DJ Nick Grimshaw on his show this morning ....
"It's been in the works for a very long time," she explained. "Steven [Moffat] and I sat down a long time ago - a year and a half ago, and tried to work out the best place to do it and the best place in which to tell a really good story.
"We're not going to give any details but it will happen at some point this season."
Of course it's not all bad news. Not only do viewers still have a full series of Doctor Who with Coleman to watch but this morning ITV also confirmed that Jenna will be playing the young version of Queen Victoria in their upcoming eight part miniseries, Victoria with Coleman also commenting on her new role ....
“I am delighted to be cast as Queen Victoria in this ambitious drama of her life. She is a vivid, strong, inspirational and utterly fascinating woman in British history and I can't wait to tell her story.”
Now I'll do a blog tomorrow on potential companions I'd like to see now that we know Coleman's off but for now, while now is the right time for Clara to leave the series, I will wish Jenna luck on her future projects.
Series 9 - Clara Departs: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/doctorwho/entries/2a2689a8-5c52-46af-8e69-2fad42c46da3
Victoria Casting: http://www.itv.com/presscentre/press-releases/jenna-coleman-star-queen-victoria-major-new-itv-drama-victoria
Series 9 of Doctor Who starts tomorrow on BBC1 and BBCAmerica while filming for Victoria begins in October and will air on ITV in 2016.