Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has confirmed that a black actor was once offered the lead role on the legendary BBC show.

"I certainly don't think there's ever been a problem with making the Doctor black, which is why it should happen one day," Moffat said in an interview in the latest Doctor Who Magazine.

"I mean, we've tried. The part has been offered to a black actor. But for various reasons, it didn't work out."

In the same interview, Moffat described casting a non-white star as the Doctor's new companion as "an absolute decision".

Moffat: "Young people watching the show have to know they have a place in the future."

Pearl Mackie was announced as Peter Capaldi's new co-star back in April and will play a character named Bill in the next series of Doctor Who, which airs in 2017.

Moffatt  said: "We decided that the new companion was going to be non-white and that was an absolute decision because we need to do better on that.

"Young people watching the show have to know they have a place in the future."