Will Norfolk resident John Hurt replace UEA graduate Matt Smith as the next Doctor Who?

John Hurt is one of the names in the frame to be the next Dr Who.

John Hurt is one of the names in the frame to be the next Dr Who. - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

As one Doctor Who actor with Norfolk links announces his intention to end his days in the Tardis, there is speculation the Doctor could regenerate as another actor with Norfolk links.

Former University of East Anglia student Matt Smith announced his decision to end his role as the Time Lord over the weekend.

Smith, 30, graduated with a degree in drama from the UEA in 2005 and went on to become the youngest ever actor to play the Doctor when he took over from David Tennant in 2010.

On Saturday night, the BBC announced Smith is leaving Doctor Who and will bow out in the Christmas special, when he will be replaced by a new incarnation of the Time Lord.

National newspaper speculation has touted British film star John Hurt, who lives near Cromer, as one of the potential replacements.

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Twice Oscar nominated, Mr Hurt, star of films such as Alien and The Elephant Man, made a cameo at the end of the most recent series of Dr Who which finished last month, to set up his appearance in a special 50th anniversary episode which will be broadcast in November.

However, Mr Hurt remained coy when asked by the EDP is he could be about to succeed Smith.

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Speaking from his home in Norfolk briefly between filming commitments in Budapest, Hungary, last night, Mr Hurt said: 'I have absolutely no idea who the new Dr Who is.'

But it is Royal Shakespeare Company actor Rory Kinnear, who has appeared in the last two James Bond films, who remains the bookies' favourite.

Other actors suggested are Homeland actor David Harewood and Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens.

Meanwhile, another Norfolk man to put his name forward was TV presenter Jake Humphrey, when opening Gorefield town hall, near Wisbech, yesterday.

When asked by our reporter if he fancied the role, Mr Humphrey joked: 'I think I've done quite a few different roles from Formula 1 to football, and The One Show to a Channel 4 programme about sleep.

'I think I'm well placed for something a bit different, so I'm going to get myself a scarf and go along to the BBC.'

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