13:09 08 January 2010
The BBC has defended the new Time Lord's debut on 'Doctor Who', stating that the show and the broadcaster do not have an "anti-ginger agenda".
Matt Smith's first appearance as The Doctor on the New Year's Day special saw the character cry that he was "still not ginger!" when describing his appearance after regenerating from the previous incarnation (played by David Tennant).
The line refers to a long-running joke which saw Tennant also say "I wanted to be ginger, I've never been ginger" in one of his first appearances as The Doctor.
However, the new show received 143 complaints from viewers concerned that it could lead to ginger-haired children being bullied at school.
In response, a statement issued by the BBC said: "We would like to reassure viewers that Doctor Who doesn't have an anti-ginger agenda whatsoever.
"This was a reprise of the line in the Christmas Invasion episode in 2005, when David Tennant discovers that he's not ginger, and here he is, missing out again, disappointed he's still not ginger.
"In addition, the Doctor's previous companion Donna Noble and his new one Amy Pond are both redheads."
Matt Smith is the 11th actor to play The Doctor, following Tennant and other stars such as Tom Baker, Christopher Ecclestone and John Pertwee.
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