When Matt Smith announced his departure from Doctor Who on 1st June 2013, speculation began as to who would be cast in his place. On Tuesday 30th July 2013, Radio Times published their issue for the week beginning Saturday 3rd August 2013. These listings displayed Celebrity Mastermind as being scheduled for Sunday 4th August 2013 at 19:00 on BBC One. On Friday 2nd August 2013, Doctor Who’s press office announced that Smith’s replacement would be revealed in Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor, which was to broadcast in that timeslot instead of Celebrity Mastermind. Smith’s departure and Peter Capaldi’s casting were announced within two months of each other.
Capaldi announced his departure on 30th January 2017. Names suggested for his replacement include Tom Ellis (who was included on a Newsnight montage of the different Doctor Who actors), Kris Marshall (who announced his departure from Death in Paradise in the same week), Rudi Dharmalingam (who Tweeted good wishes toward his agent in the weeks following) and Vicky McClure (who’s recently starred in The Replacement). Bookkeepers William Hill hold McClure at 25/1, Ellis at 12/1, Marshall at 8/11 and haven’t listed Dharmalingam.
Word has now emerged that, following rumours of the next Doctor Who having been contracted between Monday 27th February 2017 to Sunday 5th March 2017, the BBC want to announce the casting as soon as possible in order to prevent a leak. The rumour says that William Hill have announced a voting cut off date of Friday 31st March 2017, making Saturday 1st April 2017 or Sunday 2nd April 2017 the most likely date for the reveal to take place – especially given that Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor was broadcast on a Sunday and announced on the previous Friday.
The issue of Radio Times for the week beginning Saturday 1st April 2017 is published on Tuesday 21st March 2017. Any Saturday evening timeslots on Saturday 1st April 2017 and Sunday 2nd April 2017 will be the key programmes to suspect as likely red herrings for another BBC One New Doctor Who Special – especially if one of them is Celebrity Mastermind.