Jenna-Louise Coleman has beaten hundreds of hopefuls to become the new companion to Doctor Who, it was announced today by Steven Moffat.
Twenty-five year old Jenna from Blackpool will star alongside the 11th Time Lord, Matt Smith, to mark the biggest year in the show’s history.
Best known for her roles in Emmerdale (Jasmine Thomas) and Waterloo Road (Lindsay James), Jenna will replace Karen Gillan when she and Arthur Darvill bow out of the show in a heartbreaking departure after one final series of rollercoaster voyages later this year on BBC One.
Jenna says: "I'm beyond excited, I can't wait to get cracking; working alongside Matt I know is going to be enormous fun and a huge adventure."
The Doctor will meet his new friend in a dramatic turn of events as the show builds towards its enormous, climactic 50th anniversary year - full of thrills, adventures and big surprises. Series seven is currently filming and comprises 14 big, blockbuster-movie episodes - each a brand new epic adventure featuring new monsters and some familiar foes as you've never seen them before.
Lead writer and Executive Producer, Steven Moffat, says: "It always seems impossible when you start casting these parts, but when we saw Matt and Jenna together, we knew we had our girl. She's funny and clever and exactly mad enough to step on board the TARDIS.
"It's not often the Doctor meets someone who can talk even faster than he does, but it's about to happen. Jenna is going to lead him his merriest dance yet. And that's all you're getting for now. Who she's playing, how the Doctor meets her, and even where he finds her, are all part of one of the biggest mysteries the Time Lord ever encounters. Even by the Doctor's standards, this isn't your usual boy meets girl."
Danny Cohen, Controller, BBC One, adds "As we approach Doctor Who's 50th anniversary it's great to welcome a new companion to the TARDIS. I feel confident the Doctor will look after her in his own very unique style."
In 2011 Jenna made her big screen debut in Captain America: The First Avenger and is soon to star as Annie Desmond in ITV1’s Titanic. She has just finished filming on Stephen Poliakoff's Dancing On The Edge for BBC Two.
+ Watch the BBC News interview with Jenna on her casting.