Since Matt Smith walked away from the role of Doctor Who last Christmas, everyone's tongues have been wagging about who will be the next Doctor (if you've already pre-empted a lot of 'who's in this article, let's just affirm it right now and move on). Everyone and their arthritic grandmother has a suggestion for who should be the next one, but there's one other less specific and possibly more divisive question at hand, could Doctor Who be a woman?

In an interview with Radio Times, Katherine Kelly of the series Mr Selfridge joked that she should be the next Doctor and sparked the debate. Dame Helen Mirren has also be suggested by the public as a possible contender though she has stated she is not in the running.

Plenty of actors' names have been hurled about in the public debate for favourite possible choice, but most have been male, such as Green Wing's Julian Rhind-Tutt and Stephen Mangan, Ben Whishaw (Skyfall), Chris Addison (comedian) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Salt). In an effort to keep the show from being staid and predictable, and with the common aim of diversifying, other less safe suggestions have been made, though Ejiofor would be a reasonably different move away from the white male image of the Doctor. Good old Mirren has ruffled a few feathers, following up her statement she is not in the running with the proposition the new Time Lord should be ‘gay, black female’. Box-ticker if we ever heard one, Mirren.

Zawe Ashton (Fresh Meat, Misfits) ticks at least two of these boxes,and certainly has the gutspah the role requires in large doses. Tamsin Gregor (OK one box, but she can act her cotton socks off) is also a name being whispered around the block. Who would you gladly hand over the Tardis to?