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Jenna Coleman Leaving ‘Doctor Who’ to Play Queen Victoria

CAMBRIDGE, England — Jenna Coleman, who plays the Doctor’s companion Clara in sci-fi show “Doctor Who,” has confirmed that she is leaving the series, and will be starring as a young Queen Victoria in a £10 million ($15.7 million) television production for ITV.

Coleman told BBC radio host Nick Grimshaw on Friday that she would depart “Doctor Who” sometime during the forthcoming ninth season, which starts to air in the U.K. on Saturday. She said: “I have left the Tardis. It’s happened. I’ve filmed my last scenes.”

Coleman, who has been in the show since 2012, said: “There’s not a lot of jobs where you get to go to work and have an alien as your best mate and get to run away from monsters… it’s been really special. I did get emotional.”

Eight-part drama miniseries “Victoria” follows Victoria’s early life, from her ascension to the throne at the age of 18, through to her courtship and marriage to Price Albert. Victoria went on to rule the U.K. for 63 years. Coleman told Grimshaw: “I need to learn to ride a horse, waltz, play Beethoven.” “It’s really fun; it’s like bootcamp.” Victoria was “a vivid, strong, inspirational and utterly fascinating woman,” Coleman said.

“Victoria” will be made by Mammoth Screen, producers of “Poldark” and “Endeavour,” and is created and written by novelist Daisy Goodwin in her screenwriting debut. Goodwin will serve as executive producer alongside Dan McCulloch and Mammoth Screen’s managing director Damien Timmer. The series will open with a 90-minute episode, followed by seven one-hour episodes. Tom Vaughan (“Starter For Ten”) opens the series as director and Paul Frift (“Doctor Who”) will produce the show.

ITV Studios Global Entertainment will handle international rights.

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