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Doctor Who's Pearl Mackie on playing first openly gay companion

pearl mackie

Doctor Who's Pearl Mackie has opened up about her role as the Doctor's new companion, Bill Potts, and said it was "about time" that they introduced an openly gay assistant. Chatting to Richard Arnold on Good Morning Britain, she commented: "I think arguably there have been lots of gay characters on Doctor Who previously. The terminology, 'the official companion' is why she's the first gay companion. It's the terminology of that that's actually the first for Doctor Who. I mean, it's about time isn't it?"

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Pearl opened up about her role

Showrunner Stephen Moffat has previously opened up about Bill's sexuality, telling Digital Spy: "I think people would say, 'why the hell did you not get around to it earlier?' – and I would absolutely agree with them. This wasn't, as some people thought, some kind of press release we made – it was just mentioned by Pearl in an interview. I didn't even know it was happening. I saw it on the internet! It's not a major plot strand. It's not even a minor plot strand. It's just there. She's not 'the gay companion' – she's Bill Potts. She barely bothers to mention the fact. It only comes up when it's relevant."

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pearl mackie© Photo: BBC

Pearl will play the first openly gay companion

The actress also spoke about shooting to fame following the announcement that she would be following in Jenna Coleman's footsteps as the companion to Peter Capaldi's Doctor. "It has been insane," she said. "That first day when I was first announced I got some friends round and then loads more people saw it, my friends were texting me, people calling, my Twitter count was going up… I was really grateful when my phone died actually. I was like, that is too much for me to deal with right now, I'm just going to put that away."

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