THERE’S no doubt that success has changed Chris Chibnall’s life.

Not least because the writer of the hugely successful Broadchurch series now has a secretary to organise his life and can’t spare time for tea and a bun with a News reporter as he did at the end of filming the last series.

But what hasn’t changed is the gratitude he feels to his fans and the people of Bridport, his admiration for the Broadchurch actors, his abiding love for the area, and above all love of telling stories.

It’s a love he’s had since a teenager and it’s still somewhat of a surprise to find himself with a smash hit on his hands and being wooed by the BBC to write Dr Who.

He said: “When I began writing never in my wildest imagination did I think we’d be in this situation.

“It’s quite hard to wrap your mind around. I think what’s been amazing is people’s appetite for stories that’s taken me most by surprise.

“What has really knocked me off my feet with this show is the fact that people respond to a story and characters and it really becomes a talking point and part of people’s lives.”

Given that Broadchurch has consumed his life for so long how does he feel to say goodbye to his baby?

“I feel a mixture of emotions – it is bitter sweet but it was my decision to stop.

SERIES FINALE: The cast of the final series of Broadchurch Pictures: ITV Plc

“I feel that the stories I wanted to tell in this world, I’ve told and I don’t have another one.

“I thought once we’d finished filming the third series I’d think ‘oh no I have just thought of another story’ but I don’t .

“It feels like the right place to end it and everybody who worked on the show feels like that too.”

That’s not to say he won’t miss it – the actors and the filming in his beloved Bridport.

“I am not sitting around thinking I wish we could do more but equally I’ll miss all those amazing actors – to not be working with David Tennant and Olivia Coleman and Jodie Whittaker and Andy Buchan – I do wake up thinking why am I not writing for them, it is madness!

FINAL CASE: David Tennant as DI Alec Hardy and Olivia Colman as DS Ellie Miller

“I have never taken them for granted and they have always over delivered and they are delightful people as well.

“And then not filming around Bridport and West Bay every other year I am really going to miss that.

“It is a wrench.”

He is also amazed that locals haven’t got fed-up with the film crews taking over the area, clogging up parking spaces and generally getting in the way.

“What has always taken me by surprise in the most brilliant way is how welcome we have been made to feel.

“Every series I’ve thought people are just going to get fed up and they haven’t. There has always been a lovely atmosphere around.

VICTIM: Julie Hesmondhalgh playing Trish Winterman

“All the cast and crew talked endlessly about how they feel welcome here, how they love the job because of being down here in Dorset and because of the people here.

“That feels like one of the biggest wrenches and not showcasing the area to the rest of the world “But I also feel like we have done our job well and we are really proud of this series.”

But all good things must come to an end and far from taking life easy – as he’d planned to do – Chris is embarking on a trip to new frontiers.

He had planned to maybe write a play for the Salisbury Playhouse and was talking to Broadchurch executive producer Jane Featherstone about a new show.

But the BBC came calling and he couldn’t resist.

“It was a long process of their wooing and me resisting for quite a while.

“It is a big commitment and a big job. It will take over my life and my family’s life.

“I thought I’ve done the big show of my career and I might just write small little pieces for TV, quietly noodling away in my house.

“Then the BBC offered me all of time and space and that’s a very hard offer to turn down in the end.”

Unsurprisingly he steadfastly refused to give even the smallest hint about who might take over as the Dr – or even what type of character the time traveller would have.

“It is too early for me to say anything – anything I say to you will be a global news headline even if I say one word! “ He didn’t even want to say how the role would be cast.

“Processes are hard to describe. As soon as you start to describe them they can sound quite stark and that can come back to bite you.

“That’s why I am hesitant to talk about the process. It is always surprising and a little bit magical and there is just an alchemy that happens.

“Whatever preconceptions you go in with you will probably have them challenged and changed.

“The moment of casting that you look forward to most is when a person walks into a room and just knocks you off your feet and it is always surprising.”

He knows though, the importance of getting the casting right – as he has in Broadchurch.

PARENTS: Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan as Beth Latimer and Mark Latimer

“I have ideas for what I want to do then we will go out and find a person who would match that.

“People love actors and people turn on shows for actors.

“So you want to find an actor who people are going to be interested in and delighted and intrigued by in that role.

“The joy of the casting process is that often the first people you have in your mind are not necessarily the people you end up getting and then you can’t imagine once you start working with them anybody else doing it.”

He’s looking forward to writing with a team again – Broadchurch is the only thing he’s ever written completely on his own.

STAR NAMES: Sarah Parish as Cath and Lenny Henry as Ed

“I really like that and in some ways it is less pressure than writing eight hours by yourself.

“It will be a very different process and experience in every way and in the end that turned out to one of the appeals of the job.

“That and why would you want to do anything else – you can basically tell any story in the universe.”