A British soap star has been chosen to step into the coveted role of Doctor Who's assistant in the next series of the hit sci-fi TV show.

Actress Jenna-Louise Coleman will replace Karen Gillan, who has played Time Lord Matt Smith's onscreen companion since 2010.

Gillan decided to leave last year after reaching a mutual agreement with BBC bosses.
 
Coleman, who appeared in U.K. soap Emmerdale, says, "I am beyond excited. I can't wait to get cracking."