Peter Capaldi

Oscar winner Peter Capaldi will play the 12th Doctor Who, BBC announced Sunday during the live special Dr. Who Live: The Next Doctor.

"It's so wonderful not to keep this secret any longer," Capaldi said during the special, which aired worldwide. "For a while I couldn't tell my daughter who was on the Internet ... and they never mentioned me. I told her, 'Rise above it.'"

Doctor Who: Who should be the next Doctor?

Capaldi, who was heralded as "a hero for a new generation," revealed that he had downloaded Doctor Who scripts to practice before taking on the high-profile role.

Capaldi, 55, follows in the footsteps of Matt Smith, who announced in June 2013 that he was leaving the series after three years. "I'd like to wish my successor all the best and good luck and good on you for getting it," Smith said to Capaldi in a taped message. "The casting of it made me really excited. As a fan, I think it's a really canny choice. I think he'll be a hit. Good luck, man. It's going to be a thrill."

Matt Smith exiting Doctor Who

A Scottish actor and director, Capaldi is best known for his role in the BBC comedy series The Thick of It and its follow-up film In the Loop. His 1995 short, Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life, won the Academy Award for best live-action short film. In recent years, he has appeared on the BBC2 drama The Hour and the zombie film World War Z. Capaldi is notably 25 years older than Smith — who was the youngest actor to ever play the Doctor.

Filming on the new season begins in October to debut some time next year. In the meantime, the BBC will premiere the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special in November.

What do you think of the choice?