Just over 14 hours ago the BBC announced on Doctor Who Confidential that 26 year old actor Matt Smith was going to be taking over the role as the Eleventh Doctor in the long running BBC series Doctor Who. Since that time, a lot of people everywhere have been wondering, exactly who is Matt Smith? Since the series was brought back by Russell T. Davis we’ve had both Christopher Eccleston and David Tenant in the role of the Doctor, both of whom are at least reasonably well known actors. In the run up to the time of this announcement well known actors such as Chiwetel Ejiofor, Paterson Joseph and even Stephen Fry’s names have been thrown around. So it came as a massive surprise when a relatively unknown actor became the youngest actor ever to be cast in the role of the Doctor.
Growing up in Northampton, Smith originally had plans to be a professional footballer before a serious injury prevented him from continuing. Switching to acting, he studied both drama and creative writing at the University of East Anglia.
Smith’s professional stage work has included stints at the National Theatre and the Royal Court. His West End debut was as the role of Guy in Swimming with Sharks, which also starred Christian Slater.
Smith’s biggest role to date has been in the BBC dramedy Party Animals in which he plays Danny Foster, a parliamentary research analyst. His television debut was in 2006’s The Ruby and The Smoke, in which he played opposite former Doctor Who companion Billie Piper. Smith has since then appeared with Piper in Secret Diary of a Call Girl. Smith also appeared in the 2008 movie In Bruges.
In the summer of 2009 Matt Smith will be joining new show runner Steven Moffat and his Cardiff crew on the latest series of Doctor Who. On being offered the role of the Eleventh Doctor Smith has said: “The challenge for me is to do justice to the show's illustrious past, my predecessors, and most importantly, to those who watch it. I really cannot wait." And frankly, neither can we!