UPDATED: Jenna Coleman IS leaving Doctor Who
UPDATED: After the ITV pre-empted the news of Jenna Coleman's departure from Doctor Who to star in Victoria, the BBC have officially announced that she will be leaving the show this year.
In their official statement, the BBC announced that: ""It’s been officially confirmed that Jenna Coleman, who plays Clara Oswald, will leave Doctor Who during the new series which starts tomorrow, Saturday 19 September.
"However, it’s not been revealed exactly when Clara leaves and the question many are already asking is how will she part company with the Doctor?
"Jenna Coleman made her Doctor Who debut on 1 September, 2012 as Oswin Oswald in Asylum of the Daleks. She returned on Christmas Day of that year, playing Clara and remained with the Eleventh Doctor from the following episode, The Bells of Saint John, onwards. She stayed on board the TARDIS for all of Peter Capaldi’s episodes to date and after filming for the last series finished, Peter commented, ‘Jenna has been absolutely brilliant. I think she’s wonderful in the show, and she’s my favourite companion.’ But Series 9 sees the Impossible Girl’s departure although the how, why and when are all questions we’ll have to watch the new adventures to find out…"
Jenna Coleman meanwhile broke the news on Nick Grimshaw's BBC 1 breakfast radio show this morning. Check her talking about a year and a half plan with Moffat and her emotional departure below...
And here's our original story from yesterday...
After playing Clara Oswald for three years - and serving as the longest-serving companion since Doctor Who was relaunched in 2005 - Jenna Coleman is looking set to bow out of the show by the end of series nine.
According to The Mirror, Coleman is moving on to star as a young Queen Victoria 19th in a new eight-part £10m drama for ITV. The show will follow the early life of Queen Victoria from the time she assumed the throne at the age of 18. It will be written by novelist Daisy Goodwin and based on Queen Victoria’s diaries, which according to Goodwin gave “an astonishingly vivid picture of her transformation from a rebellious teenager”.
ITV have said that Victoria will start filming this month, giving credence to the rumour that Coleman has already filmed her final scenes for Doctor Who. Coleman was noticeably absent from the recent press release about Alex Kingston's return as River Song for the Christmas special, currently being filmed in Cardiff.
The BBC have not yet commented. More concrete information as we have it.