David Tennant quits Doctor Who

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In an emotional speech by live video link at ITV's National Television Awards yesterday, David Tennant revealed his plans to leave Doctor Who at the end of next year. The announcement came after Tennant was awarded the gong for Outstanding Drama Performance for his role as The Doctor in the sci-fi show. "I love this part and I love this show so much, that if I don't take a deep breath and move on now, I never will," he explained.

Tennant, who first appeared on Doctor Who in 2005, will appear in four special episodes of the show, which are due to air in 2009. "When Doctor Who returns in 2010, it won't be with me," he said. He will also appear in the 2008 Christmas special. Doctor Who currently airs in the United States on BBC America and could previously be seen on the Sci-Fi Channel.

At the awards ceremony last night, Tennant's award was collected by his costar, Catherine Tate, who was nominated alongside him in the Outstanding Drama Performance category for her part as Donna Noble. Doctor Who also won a prize for Most Popular Drama.

The BBC has confirmed that the 37-year-old actor "will continue to play The Doctor in the four specials that will make up the 2009 series, before a new Doctor takes over for Series 5." Russell T. Davies, the executive producer of Doctor Who, said: "We're planning the most enormous and spectacular ending, so keep watching!"

David Tennant was the 10th incarnation of The Doctor in the popular BBC program, which first aired in 1963. During his three years in the show, he has starred in three series and three Christmas specials. In a statement, the actor said: "I'm still the Doctor all next year but when the time finally comes I'll be honored to hand on the best job in the world to the next lucky git--whoever that may be."

Doctor Who will return to our television sets this Christmas in a special starring David Tennant, David Morrissey, and Dervla Kirwan. As yet, there have been no official reports to suggest who will take Tennant's place and become the 11th Doctor Who. Who do you think it could be?

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