Doctor Who’ showrunner Steven Moffat has stepped down as the show’s lead writer and executive producer after six series in charge. According to the Radio Times, Moffat will hand over to ‘Broadchurch’s’ Chris Chibnall at the end of the next series, scheduled to be in 2017.

Steven MoffatSteven Moffat is to step down as ‘Doctor Who’s’ showrunner.

The BBC will air Moffat’s final 12 part series in spring 2017, but he will also helm a Christmas special later this year. Chibnall’s debut series will then launch in 2018. It’s unclear wether Moffat’s Christmas special will feature the Doctor’s new companion, but sources say Jenna Coleman’s replacement will definitely appear in the spring 2017 series.

BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore told Radio Times: “I have decided to schedule Steven’s big finale series in Spring 2017 to bring the nation together for what will be a huge event on the channel. 2016 is spoilt with national moments including the Euros and Olympics and I want to hold something big back for 2017, I promise it will be worth the wait!”

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Speaking about his decision to leave the show, Moffat said: “Feels odd to be talking about leaving when I’m just starting work on the scripts for season 10, but the fact is my timey-wimey is running out. While Chris is doing his last run of 'Broadchurch', I’ll be finishing up on the best job in the universe and keeping the TARDIS warm for him.”

“It took a lot of gin and tonic to talk him into this, but I am beyond delighted that one of the true stars of British Television drama will be taking the Time Lord even further into the future. At the start of season 11, Chris Chibnall will become the new showrunner of 'Doctor Who'. And I will be thrown in a skip.”

Chibnall is a life-long ‘Doctor Who’ fan, who has also worked on shows including ‘The Great Train Robbery’, ‘United’, ‘Law & Order: UK’, ‘Life on Mars’ and ‘Torchwood’. "'Doctor Who' is the ultimate BBC programme: bold, unique, vastly entertaining, and adored all around the world. So it's a privilege and a joy to be the next curator of this funny, scary and emotional family drama,” Chibnall said.

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“I’ve loved ‘Doctor Who’ since I was four years old, and I’m relishing the thought of working with the exceptional team at BBC Wales to create new characters, creatures and worlds for the Doctor to explore."

"Steven’s achieved the impossible by continually expanding 'Doctor Who's' creative ambition, while growing its global popularity. He’s been a dazzling and daring showrunner, and hearing his plans and stories for 2017, it’s clear he’ll be going out with a bang. Just to make my life difficult."