David Tennant, the actor that’s been playing Doctor Who in the hit BBC show for the last several years, announced at the National Television Awards in London last night that he is leaving the show before the next season.  At the Awards accepting his outstanding drama performance prize, Tennant said he wants to “…bow out when it’s still fun, when it’s a novelty,” according to BBC News

Doctor Who is currently on hiatus between the fourth and fifth seasons of its current incarnation (see “Dr. Who Going on Hiatus”).  Tennant joined the show after the first season, when Christopher Eccleston bowed out (see “Casanova Heads for the Tardis”). 

There are five specials planned for the period between the end of the fourth season earlier this year and the beginning of the fifth in 2010, one at Christmas this year, and four in 2009.  Tennant will perform in all of those before he departs.