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Pearl Mackie: 'It's about time Doctor Who had a gay companion!'

Pearl Mackie was thrilled when her phone battery died on the same day her Doctor Who role was announced, because it meant she didn't have to deal with all the social media well wishes.

Pearl Mackie is thrilled she has been given the opportunity to play Doctor Who's first gay companion on the sci-fi series.

The 29-year-old actress plays Bill Potts when the programme launches its tenth season on Saturday (15Apr17). It was recently revealed that Bill's "coming out" will be addressed in the premiere episode, but Pearl doesn't understand why there hasn't been a gay companion before.

"It's great isn't it?" Pearl told Richard Arnold of her character's sexuality on Good Morning Britain on Thursday (13Apr17). "I think arguably there have been lots of gay characters on Dr Who previously.

"The terminology 'the official companion', is why she's the first gay. I think it's the terminology of that that's actually the first for Dr Who as it were. It's about time isn't it?"

Pearl was a relative unknown before landing her role alongside Peter Capaldi's Time Lord in the BBC programme. But taking on such a coveted part means that the actress has also had to deal with the "celebrity" side of her job - something she's not so keen on.

In fact, she told Richard she was "grateful" that her phone battery died on the same day as the announcement was made, adding of the well wishes she had received on social media: "That's too much for me to deal with."

John Barrowman also appeared on Good Morning Britain later in the show. The actor is no stranger to the Tardis, having starred in Doctor Who and its spin-off Torchwood, and was asked if he had any advice for Pearl.

"She's in for a great roller coaster ride," John smiled. "She should grab on, put her hands in the air, and go 'woo!'. She's going to have a ball."

It remains to be seen whether or not Pearl will continue in her role as the Doctor's assistant when Peter Capaldi hangs up his sonic screwdriver at the end of the new series.

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