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Doctor Who announcement: Has Rankin given fans a clue to the identity of the new Doctor?

Photographer may have accidentally let slip that Gallifrey's finest will still be played by a man

As anticipation bubbles over the identity of the new lead in Doctor Who, an insider appears to have tweeted fans a hint as to the actor's gender.

The BBC will unveil its newest star this evening in a live show starting at 7pm, but photographer Rankin - who did a photoshoot with the new Doctor - tweeted: "Just photographed the next Dr Who for tonight's announcement. Let me know what you think of the photo? He's going to be an ace Dr."

Unless he and the corporation are playing some kind of trick, Rankin's tweet confirms that a man will take over the helm of the Tardis for the next series. There had been some speculation that a woman might play the role, with Olivia Colman and Helen Mirren among those touted.

Betting was closed yesterday on Peter Capaldi - most famous as expletive-hurling government advisor in The Thick of It - bagging the role.

This followed a betting surge after the show's boss, Steven Moffat, revealed he had not ruled out an older Doctor. The actor's popularity convinced bookmakers he had secured the role, despite producers insisting that only 10 people knew the new Doctor's identity.

Capaldi has already appeared in the show - as the Pompeiian Caecilius in the re-booted show's fourth series.

When betting closed on Friday, the Scot'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.