Peter Capaldi looks a sure thing to take on the role of much-loved cult figure Doctor Who.
An actor famous for his expletive-ridden tirades in a show about spin doctors looks almost certain to be the next Doctor Who after bookmakers suspended betting on the cult role.
Sources close to the show say just 10 people know the actor's identity but it will be announced in a television special on Sunday in the UK - vwhich will be broadcast live in Australia on Monday morning.
Bookmakers William Hill suspended betting on the next Doctor Who when Peter Capaldi became the 5/6 favourite.
Capaldi is famed for his foul-mouthed role as Malcolm Tucker, a political "enforcer" in the television show The Thick of It and its movie spin-off In the Loop. He is a life-long fan of the show and as a teenager wrote a letter about Daleks to the magazine Radio Times .
The next Doctor will be announced on Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor, a half-hour show, presented by Zoe Ball. It will feature interviews with Smith and executive producer Steven Moffat, celebrity fans and some actors who have also played the ever-changing science-fiction hero.
“The decision is made and the time has come to reveal who's taking over the TARDIS. For the last of the Time Lords, the clock is striking 12,” Mr Moffat said in a statement.
Australian fans will not have to wait.
The national broadcaster's chief, Mark Scott, tweeted that Australians will be able to see the show at the same time as the British audience.
— Mark Scott (@abcmarkscott) August 2, 2013
ABC1 controller, Brendan Dahill said the show would be replayed at 8.30pm on Monday.
“We are extremely excited to be able to reveal the highly anticipated next Doctor to Australia as the breaking news happens live, direct from the UK – a first for the ABC,” Mr Dahill said.
An episode of The New Inventors will be pushed aside to make way for the fast-tracked broadcast at 4am.
Capaldi has previously had a role in Dr Who as a merchant who lived in the town of Pompeii at the time Vesuvius erupted. In the storyline, the merchant and his family are saved when the Doctor takes them to Rome in the doctor's time machine, the TARDIS.