Odds have been slashed on Line of Duty star Kelly Macdonald replacing Jodie Whittaker as Doctor Who, according to Betfair.

The star of the current Line of Duty series, Kelly MacDonald has seen her odds slashed to become the next Doctor Who into 6/1 second favourite in the past week.

Fellow Line of Duty actress Vicky McClure is fifth favourite to become the 14th Doctor at 12/1.

The odds have been slashed following speculation that Jodie Whittaker intends to follow in the footsteps of her predecessors by stepping down after three series at the helm of the Tardis.

Both Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi – who Whittaker replaced to become the first woman to take on the role in 2017 – played the Time Lord for only three series; other Doctors to leave after three runs include William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Peter Davison, and Sylvester McCoy.

Whittaker’s possible departure as the 13th Doctor comes after co-stars Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole departed the long-running BBC One sci-fi drama at the end of the New Year special, Revolution Of The Daleks.

Despite the speculation earlier this year, the BBC refused to confirm or deny the rumours of Whittaker’s departure.

A spokesperson said at the time: “We won’t be commenting on any speculation around Jodie’s future on the show.”

But speculation surrounding who could replace the first female Doctor is rife and Kelly Macdonald’s performance in the sixth series of Line of Duty seems to have catapulted her into the front-running to be named the 14th Doctor.

The Glaswegian actress would be the second female Time Lord.

The 45-year-old has a number of impressive TV and movie roles already under her belt, including Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting.

She has since starred in hits such as Harry Potter, Brave and No Country For Old Men.

Sam Rosbottom of Betfair said: "Line of Duty fans will be excited to see Kelly MacDonald's odds slashed into 6/1 joint second favourite to become the next Time Lord, having wowed fans in the opening episodes of the current series as the scheming Joanne Davidson.

"The race to be Jodie Whittaker's replacement has heated up recently, with fellow Line of Duty star Vicky McClure at 12/1 - while Olly Alexander's is the new joint second favourite after his role in It's A Sin won plaudits.”

He added: “But the favourite in the betting is still I May Destroy You star Michaela Coel at 4/1."

Full list of odds from Betfair

  • Michaela Coel: 4/1
  • Olly Alexander: 6/1
  • Kelly MacDonald: 6/1
  • Maxine Peake: 8/1
  • Natalie Dormer: 8/1
  • Richard Ayoade: 8/1
  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge: 8/1
  • Kris Marshall: 10/1
  • Tom Rosenthal: 10/1
  • Vicky McClure: 12/1
  • Michael Sheen: 12/1
  • David Harewood: 14/1
  • Tilda Swinton: 16/1
  • Matt Berry: 16/1
  • Noel Clarke: 16/1
  • Richard Rankin: 18/1
  • Ben Whishaw: 20/1
  • James Norton: 20/1
  • Idris Elba: 20/1
  • Rory Kinnear: 22/1
  • Andrew Buchan: 25/1
  • Olivia Colman: 25/1
  • Maisie Williams: 25/1