Former Doctor Who star Arthur Darvill has backed Helen Mirren to be cast as the next Doctor.

The BBC has not ruled out casting a woman as the 12th incarnation of The Doctor once Matt Smith leaves the series at the end of the year.

Oscar winner Mirren has emerged as a frontrunner and this week she said that it is "absolutely time" for a woman to play the Doctor after 50 years of men playing the famed sci-fi role.

"I suppose it could be a woman," Darvill told Anglophenia. "I don't know. I think it is a male part, though I think it's just about the person.

"I'd love to see Dame Helen [Mirren] do it - best of luck to whoever gets it, though,” added the actor who played Rory Williams, husband of Amy Pond and assistant to Matt Smith’s Doctor.