Bookmakers have stopped taking bets on who will play the new Doctor Who after a rush of wagers on Peter Capaldi, best known for his role as the foul-mouthed, tyrannical spin doctor Malcolm Tucker in the political satire The Thick of It.
The BBC will announce the new actor's identity later today, but Capaldi is the odds-on favourite to land the role.
The betting surge came after the show's creator, Steven Moffat, had revealed he had not ruled out an older Doctor. The actor's popularity convinced bookmakers he had secured the role. This was despite BBC producers insisting that only 10 people knew the new Doctor's identity.
When betting closed on Friday, Capaldi's odds at William Hill stood at 5/6. A spokesman for for the firm said: "We have seen people today trying to back Peter Capaldi as much as possible at every price available, and after a small gamble on Daniel Rigby overnight, it seems that Capaldi is in line to move into the Tardis."
The odds on Rigby, the Black Mirror actor, were slashed from 20/1 to 5/2. Ben Daniels followed at 7/1, while the previous favourite, Rory Kinnear, dropped to fourth place after revealing he had never seen the show. Many commentators, however, have speculated that a woman might take the role for the first time.