It's a sad day for Doctor Who fans as the BBC confirm that Jenna Coleman is indeed leaving the TV show during the new series.
Not many details have been released yet about how or why Coleman's character, Clara Oswald will part from the Doctor, but the fact that she leaves "during" series 9 and not at the end could mean we don't have long to wait before we find out.
Coleman's had an unusual journey throughout the show, first making her debut in 2012 as Oswin Oswald in Asylum Of The Daleks and then returning as Clara in the Christmas special. She joined the Doctor permanently in the following series as another incarnation of Clara and has been companion to both Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi.
The actress spoke about her departure on Radio 1 (opens in new tab) this morning, confirming she's filmed her last scenes and saying: "I think I'm in denial... I kind of believe I still have a key to the Tardis, which I might do, because I kind of stole it."
Peter Capaldi added in the BBC's announcement: "Jenna has been absolutely brilliant. I think she’s wonderful in the show, and she’s my favourite companion." Although he could be bias given she's the only companion he's ever had.
No news yet on how Clara Oswald will be leaving the show, but SFX Editor, Richard Edwards reckons it's going to pretty exciting, despite the fact we know it's coming.
"It would have been great for Clara's departure to have come out of the blue, but despite Steven Moffat's best efforts to keep things secret, he can't really stop his lead actor going off and getting another job. Or her new employers from shouting about it.
"And does knowing this really change that much? Probably not. There have been rumours of Jenna Coleman quitting for over a year, and half the fun is working out how and when Moffat's going to write her out – just as it was when Karen Gillan left the show. It's going to be an interesting 12 episodes..."
Doctor Who series 9 starts on 19 September 2015.
❤️ pic.twitter.com/LaTVvXF1i3September 18, 2015
What we said on September 16 2015...
It feels like we've been here before, but the rumours that Jenna Coleman has quit Doctor Who have resurfaced after she's reportedly won a role in a new ITV drama about Queen Victoria.
Last year there were whispers that the actress was leaving her role as the Doctor's companion, Clara Oswald following the series 8 finale. Showrunner Steven Moffat confirmed this was the original plan in a recent interview with Doctor Who magazine, but said that Coleman changed her mind about leaving the show.
"The truth is I never wanted her to go. And with Last Christmas, I'd already written the alternative version where she stayed, and I preferred that version." He explained.
So Clara Oswald remained by the Doctor's side for another series, but according to the this will most definitely be her last. Definitely. Maybe.
The publication reported that Jenna Coleman has already filmed her final scenes for Doctor Who and is set to take on a new role as a young Queen Victoria in a new £10 million ITV drama. The series will be calledVictoria (surprisingly!) and is written by novelist, Daisy Goodwin and comes from the same producers as Poldark.
An anonymous source told the Mirror: "Jenna clinched the role of Victoria a while ago but it’s been a very closely guarded secret." Adding: "There is a lot of excitement about this series, which has Sunday night written all over it."
This is all still speculation at the moment, but Doctor Who companions do come and go with Coleman even admitting to the Radio Times earlier this week, "you're in Doctor Who knowing it will never last". Say it isn't so!
Doctor Who series 9 starts on 19 September 2015. Watch the trailer below...