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Pearl Mackie: It's about time Doctor Who had an openly gay companion

It may be official for the first time, but Pearl reckons Bill isn’t the first gay character on Doctor Who.

Doctor Who newcomer Pearl Mackie has said it is “about time” the show featured an openly gay character as the Time Lord’s official companion.

She will play new sidekick Bill Potts to Peter Capaldi’s Doctor when the new series airs this weekend.

Her role has made headlines in recent weeks as it marks the first time the show has clearly defined a character’s same-sex sexuality.

But, claiming that it is only the creators’ phrasing that has changed, Pearl told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “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?”

The creator of the show’s tenth series, Steven Moffat, has previously agreed that Bill’s sexuality should not be anything to “fuss” about.

According to the Mirror, he said: “Just to be clear, we are not expecting any kind of round of applause or pat on the back for that.

“The correct response should be ‘what took you so long?’”

Instead, he has told how her role will be to pose the questions about the Doctor’s history that new viewers might be asking.

“She has a different bunch of questions – what are the questions that a real person flung into the Doctor’s life would ask?” he said.

“I’ve set this challenge to all the writers – what is she going to ask him?

“The moment you open that up it starts to define her – where is the toilet on the Tardis, that’s a really reasonable question.”

The upcoming series, which broadcasts on BBC One at 7.20pm on Saturday, will be Moffat’s last as lead writer and executive producer. He will be replaced by Chris Chibnall.

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