With nothing but torment, the BBC1 teased people throughout the show with only the age of the new actor to play Doctor Who, as being 26. Tweeters and bloggers alike were going crazy. Some didn’t think it right that the new Doctor be younger than they are, but then, they just don’t get it then, do they?

What took me by surprise was that despite all the names that were thrown in the mix, a new one suddenly popped up as a favorite before the announcement: Matt Smith. I did my research and when it was announced, I was no longer surprised or saying what everyone else was saying: Who!?

Northampton-born actor Matt Smith has been officially announced as the new Doctor Who. Smith will appear in the iconic role starting in 2010, taking over the role from David Tennant. Smith is the 11th actor to take on the role and youngest actor ever to play the good Doctor.

Matt Smith is 26 years old and already has quite a bit of experience under his belt. Aside from Party Animals, his television experience includes the 2006 adaptation of The Ruby in the Smoke, the follow-up, The Shadow in the North, and in ITV2’s Secret Diary of a Call Girl. His stage experience includes a West End stint opposite Christian Slater in Swimming With Sharks, and other roles in the Royal Court and National Theater.

Smith was cast over Christmas. The moment the head of drama at BBC, Piers Wenger, saw his audition, he knew he was the one.

There will be a year and four specials before we see the new Doctor, but for Smith, filming starts this summer.

Now being run by a new creative team for the 2010 season, the show will be led by executive producers Steven Moffat and Piers Wenger. This casting was paramount to anything else, which obviously included the finalizations of scripts.

Though it hasn’t been quite the wait that we’ve had to endure like in other television series when they break up the final season, it was still a much anticipated announcement that the BBC1’s show, Doctor Who Confidential was going to announce the next actor that will portray the good Doctor.

The announcement was big enough that BBC1 simulcast the show live on their outdoor screens around the country in city centre locations including Hull, Liverpool, Rotherham, Swindon, Swansea, Norwich and Walthamstow.

Here’s an image of Matt as the new Dr.:

Matt Smith as the new Dr. Who

Head over to GallifreyOne.com for more and highr-res pictures of Matt as the Dr. (and thanks to regular SR reader Ash Ali for the tip on the photo above).

The web went quite stir crazy as reporters, fans and every Doctor Who site editor emailed each other and started scurrying around to decipher this information… and then we all had to wait. Wait until the Saturday broadcast to find out who will be replacing David Tennant. Arguably one of the more popular actors to portray the quirky Doctor.

The hard part was sorting through the noise of shameless websites and tweeters announcing the new doctor, incorrectly I might add, before it was officially announced. I presume to generate traffic. It does not help a harried entertainment reporter I dare say!

And now that we know who the next Doctor Who will be, the next obvious piece to this time traveling puzzle would be who will be his assistant? Could we possibly see Billie Piper again? I only ask that because she’s worked with Matt previously. Egads, the questions never stop, but that’s what I do. Stir up the pot.

Sources: BBC News, Northampton Chronicle,