Matt Smith is an English actor who has appeared in a number of television, theatre and film roles. He has recently been revealed as the successor to David Tennant to play the 11th Doctor in the fifth series of Doctor Who. Smith's debut as The Doctor will be aired on 3rd April 2010, in his first full-length episode, The Eleventh Hour.
A back injury forced Smith to abandon a career as a professional footballer. After this, a drama teacher guided him toward acting and persuaded him to join the National Youth Theatre. He went on to study Drama and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia.
His first major television role was in Party Animals, a BBC drama series about a group of political researchers and advisors in Westminster. Smith played the role of Danny Foster, a "politics geek" who was stuck in his job as a researcher.
Just 26 when he was first cast, Smith becomes the youngest Doctor of the show's entire span, younger than even Peter Davison when he was cast in the role. Despite new showrunner Steven Moffat having decided on an older Doctor for the eleventh incarnation, he changed his mind when Matt auditioned for the role:
The Doctor is a very special part, and it takes a very special actor to play him. You need to be old and young at the same time, a boffin and an action hero, a cheeky schoolboy and the wise old man of the universe. As soon as Matt walked through the door, and blew us away with a bold and brand new take on the Time Lord, we knew we had our man. -Steven Moffat
Smith auditioned for the role of The Doctor on the first day of auditions for Steven Moffat and executive producer Piers Wenger. Although the auditions ran for three weeks, Moffat and Wenger agreed that it has "always been Matt" and offered him the role.
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