Matt Smith becomes the youngest actor to star in Doctor Who.

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Matt Smith has been named as the actor who will take over from David Tennant in Doctor Who, making him the youngest actor to take on the role, the BBC announced over the weekend.

At 26, Smith is three years younger than Peter Davison when he signed up to play the fifth Doctor in 1981.

Smith will first appear on TV screens as the 11th Doctor in 2010.

Smith was named as Tennant's replacement in Saturday's (Jan. 3) edition of Doctor Who Confidential on BBC One.

A broad range of people had been auditioned, but they had not set out to cast the youngest Doctor.

Smith's TV debut was in the 2006 adaptation of Philip Pullman's The Ruby in the Smoke, which starred former Doctor Who companion Billie Piper as Sally Lockhart.

He has also acted opposite Piper in the follow-up, The Shadow in the North, and in ITV2's Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

In 2007, he had a leading role in BBC Two's political drama Party Animals, in which he played a parliamentary researcher.