TV star and former bright light of theatreland Matt Smith has been announced as the latest patron of the National Youth Theatre.

On his new appointment, Smith said “I’m proud to be part of it still and proud to be the organisation’s newest Patron, as I care very deeply about it,” also commenting that the Youth Theatre “completely transformed my life. No understatement. ”

The Dr Who actor is an NYT alumnus and had an illustrious career on stage before graduating one of TV’s best-loved roles. Show credits include On The Shore of the Wide World and The History Boys at the National Theatre, Swimming With Sharks at the Vaudeville and That Face at the Duke of York's Theatre.

His new patronage comes shortly before the NYT are due to perform a welcome ceremony to Olympic and Paralympic athletes as they arrive at the athletes’ village in Stratford.

Paul Roseby, artistic director of the NYT, said “Matt is a perfect role model for the latest generation of brave new talent… As we continue to operate in challenging economic times, like everyone in the arts, it’s always good to have a Doctor in the house.”