I have to admit, this kind of took me by surprise. I expected Smith would leave at the end of Series 8. In fact, I could have sworn the BBC previously confirmed he would be in Series 8. But that is not the case. He is now confirmed as leaving at the end of this year, in the 2013 Christmas special. The full story is here.
The eleventh Doctor is not my favourite Doctor, but I have enjoyed Smith's performance, even if I've criticised many of the stories he's appeared in (and there are aspects of the character that bug me, particularly his dismissive attitude towards women). Indeed, Matt Smith's Doctor has often been one of the few saving graces to otherwise weak episodes.
So now the debate begins on who will be next. They may even have already decided. It's just a matter of when they'll announce it...
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