Rumor of the day: Matt Smith sets his Doctor Who departure date

And the rumor mill is back at it again. Matt Smith, who plays the beloved Eleventh Doctor on the BBC's hit sci-fi series Doctor Who, is apparently set to bow out of the TARDIS sooner rather than later. So when will that happen?

According to an Insider of the Sun (so you guys take this with a bucket of salt for now), it seems that Smith will regenerate into the Twelfth Doctor during the upcoming Christmas episode, following the big 50th-anniversary special.

Their source says that the BBC already know who they want next for the role.

Filming of the Who Xmas special will get underway later while filming for the 50th-anniversary 3D special episode will start next month.

Smith’s contract expires in November, and the actor apparently doesn’t want to renew it. He has recently said on the Jonathan Ross Show last week that: “I am very happy doing it. I do the anniversary special, then the Christmas special. At the moment it’s 2013, and we will see what 2014 holds.”

The Sun insider said: “Matt has told bosses he wants to bow out at Christmas.”

The British actor has filmed his first Hollywood project by playing the lead in Ryan Gosling’s first directing effort, How To Catch A Monster, which will be released next year.

Four years ago, in 2009, when Smith nabbed the role of the famous Time Lord, Smith had gotten a £200,000-a-year deal. Now it’s believed he’s now earning £1million a year, the same salary David Tennant was making when he left the show.

The BBC has issued a statement saying: “Sorry folks but even we don’t know what’s going to happen at Christmas. It’s not been written yet! But Matt loves the show and is to start filming the unmissable 50th anniversary, and the new series starting on Easter Saturday.”

Whether there is any truth in this, we do have to tread carefully. Rumors of Smith's departure have been swirling around ever since he got cast. The same happened when Tennant was on board the TARDIS before Smith.

So what do you think? Do you guys believe it’s just another rumor with no truth to it, or do you think he Sun may have gotten this right? Do you think Matt Smith will leave the role and regenerate during the Xmas special?

(via The Sun pic via Entertainment Weekly)