Pearl Mackie has been named as the new Doctor Who companion alongside Peter Capaldi's Time Lord in the TARDIS.
Mackie replaces Jenna Coleman, whose character Clara Oswald left the show in 2015.
Filming for the next series of the long-running science fiction show will start this year but air in 2017.
Mackie, who graduated from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 2010, is currently performing in the National Theatre's West End production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.
Doctor Who, which was first shown in 1963, is heading for its 10th season since it was reintroduced to schedules in 2005 after a gap of nine years.
On joining the cast in her first major television role, Pearl said: “I'm incredibly excited to be joining the Doctor Who family. It's such an extraordinary British institution, I couldn't be prouder to call the TARDIS my home!
Peter Capaldi is such a brilliant actor, and his Doctor is such a wacky and wonderful character, I can't wait to see what adventures are in store for him and Bill throughout time and space. Reading the script at the audition I thought Bill was wicked. Fantastically written, cool, strong, sharp, a little bit vulnerable with a bit of geekiness thrown in - I can't wait to bring her to life, and to see how she develops through the series.
I always loved stage combat at drama school so I can't wait to get on set and kick some evil monsters into the next dimension!
Shooting the trailer was absolutely mental, there were pyrotechnics and smoke and I met my first Dalek! I'm not sure it will ever become ‘the norm’ seeing crazy monsters on set, but I cannot wait to meet some more! The weirder the better, bring it on!”
Peter Capaldi said: “It is a genuine delight to welcome Pearl Mackie to Doctor Who. A fine, fine actress with a wonderful zest and charm, she’s a refreshing addition to the TARDIS and will bring a universe of exciting new possibilities to the Doctor’s adventures.”
Steven Moffat, Lead Writer and Executive Producer adds: “A new face in the TARDIS, a new voyage about to begin: welcome aboard the amazing Pearl Mackie! This is where the story really starts.”
Charlotte Moore, Acting Director of Television said: “It's so exciting to be revealing the much anticipated new companion to the nation in such spectacular style. Pearl brings a wonderful energy and lights up the screen. She will captivate Doctor Who fans old and new across the globe.”
Brian Minchin, Executive Producer adds: “We’re utterly thrilled to have the hugely talented Pearl join Doctor Who and I can't wait to begin her new adventures in time and space!”
Doctor Who is a BBC Cymru Wales produced drama and will return later this year with a Christmas Special. The new series will start on BBC One in 2017.
Via the BBC