The BBC has just announced Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor Who lead actor. A special retrospective programme on BBC One staged Capaldi's hotly anticipated announcement and interviewed him briefly about his high-profile new role. While many actors may claim to be fans of the long-running series they're joining, Capaldi actually has credible evidence of that — the BBC dug up a letter he wrote when he was aged 15 urging for more Doctor Who series to be produced.

The twelfth Doctor has arrived!

Peter Capaldi is best known for playing the foulmouthed Malcolm Tucker in the satirical series The Thick of It, so this new role in youth-friendly sci-fi marks a significant departure for the Glaswegian actor. His two most recent predecessors in the Doctor's shoes, Matt Smith and David Tennant, both enjoyed great success and popularity in rebuilding the Time Lord's following among a younger generation. The twelfth Doctor is significantly older than both, at age 55, but his loyal fandom of the now 50-year-old show will surely stand him in good stead for all the adventures that are to come.

Update: A number of readers correctly point out that Peter Capaldi has already acted in Doctor Who, opposite David Tennant in "The Fires of Pompeii," broadcast in 2008. For a flavor of his performance then and what we might expect down the line, check out the video below.