Always trust a bookie. The next Doctor Who has been confirmed as Peter Capaldi, the odds-on favourite.

The Scottish actor, famous for his role as foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker in the political comedy, is a lifelong fan of the show and wrote a letter to the Radio Times about the Daleks when he was a teenager.

He said: "Being asked to play The Doctor is an amazing privilege. Like the Doctor himself I find myself in a state of utter terror and delight. I can't wait to get started."

The show's Paisley-born writer and executive producer Steven Moffat said Capaldi had been the right decision and a widely popular choice among key players. He described the new doctor as "Different from Matt (Smith, the previous doctor)."

Capaldi, 55, the Glasgow-born actor, is the first Oscar winner to take on the role.

He won an Academy Award in 1994 for the best short film (Live Action) for Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life, but really became a household name thanks to his performance as foul-mouthed spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It.

He has also written several shows including a documentary about 500 years history of Scottish portrait painting and Cricklewood Greats - a spoof about the heyday of the British film industry.

Ahead of tonight's announcement, the identity of the doctor was apparently known to just 10 people, with bosses using the codename Houdini to try and keep it a secret.

Capaldi had emerged as a favourite with bookmakers suspending bets on him taking the role on Friday after his odds tumbled.

His appointment was revealed on a special live show presented by Zoe Ball, which included interviews with predecessor Smith, who leaves at Christmas.

Speaking on the show tonight, Capaldi said: "It's so wonderful not to keep this secret any longer. But it has been absolutely fantastic in its own way, so many wonderful things have been happening.

"It was quite hard because even though I'm a lifelong Doctor Who fan, I haven't played Doctor Who since I was nine in the playground. (To help audition...) I downloaded the old scripts from the internet and read those.

"I think Malcolm has been banished from the mirror by this Doctor Who, who certainly would not put up with any of Malcolm's language or attitude.

"I think Doctor Who is an extraordinary show."

Capaldi has appeared in Doctor Who before - playing Caecilius in the episode The Fires of Pompeii in 2008.

He will film his first scenes for Doctor Who this autumn, but will appear in forthcoming films The Fifth Estate and Disney's Maleficent.

He is also currently filming new BBC One drama series The Musketeers, in which he plays Cardinal Richelieu which will launch in early 2014.