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9/01/2012 11:04:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

The Daily Mirror has this morning announced that Matt Smith has quit Doctor Who! However, the eye-catching front-page proclamation introduces an article that actually reports that he is under contract under November 2013, which would still cover any filming undertaken next year in the lead-up to the 50th Anniversary.

The paper is instead suggesting that the actor will bow out next Christmas, with "a source" saying: "Next year is the 50th anniversary so it seems right to have a ­regeneration. Matt is a ­brilliant Doctor so we will keep him for the run but a Christmas regeneration would be incredible and guarantee huge ratings."

Last night, the BBC's Head of Communications Simon Hodges commented via Twitter on the article: "Matt Smith hasn't quit - just an over excitable headline. It's taken from comments saying he won't be doing it forever. He'll be around for a good while yet."

Smith himself commented in this week's Radio Times: "We want to make it (the 50th Anniversary) as big and bold and as brilliant as we can because, we hope, it can be one of the monumental bits of TV history. But I doubt there'll be a regeneration.". The actor also told Richard Arnold on Daybreak this week: "I've always said that I'll be around for the 50th Anniversary and that's what we go into next year, so absolutely I'll be around next year - it's the most exciting year for the show and I wouldn't want to miss it."

Stories such as this by the Mirror regularly appear in the press, who love to speculate on how long main stars will remain with long-running shows such as Doctor Who. Whether Matt Smith is to really to leave post-50th Anniversary is unlikely to be officially revealed until much nearer the time.