Run with Eric + TV

Doctor Who: Matt Smith the Blue Peter choice

So, Matt Smith has defied all predictions to be named the next Doctor. If your reaction was anything other than "Who?", then you're either a shrewd telly addict, a Doctor Who insider or lying. Smith's announcement came out of nowhere.

But one aspect isn't such a surprise: the new Doctor's age.

A return to the older Doctors of... old was mooted, but it was always going to go the other way. Doctor Who has always been a children's/family programme, and so the target audience is clearly children. And I don't know whether it's a recent phenomenon, but these days children prefer younger role models: less of the cool dad of Jon Pertwee or the mad perverted uncle of Tom Baker, and more David Tennant or his young sidekicks – people they can imagine themselves being.

And as such, it's natural for the producers of Doctor Who to choose a younger face. Matt Smith is only 26, and/but looks young enough for children to model themselves on him.

He's also quite posh – my online journalism blog has an interesting discussion relating to this – and therefore all set up to be much-loved by mums.

In short, he's the Blue Peter choice: someone the kids can idolise as a character and watch as an actor in CBBC interviews. I don't want to call him the safe option, because that would be na├»ve given my little knowledge of his style or what he'll bring to the role – plus the safe option would presumably be someone better-known and with more screen experience – but he is certainly the sensible choice for the BBC to make. He's young, and he's going to get people talking.

Job done.

Blog, Entertainment, Freedom, Life, and more:

Doctor Who: Matt Smith the Blue Peter choice + TV