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Doctor Who's Pearl Mackie hoping to inspire minorities in new role


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Doctor Who newcomer Pearl Mackie has spoken of the importance of minorities being represented on screen, saying when she was growing up there were few people that looked like her on television.

The actress, 29, has been cast as the Time Lord’s new sidekick Bill Potts in the BBC sci-fi show and has had children dressing up as her character.

She told The Guardian: “When I was little there weren’t that many people who looked like me on TV, so it’s great to have two little kids thinking, ‘OK, she looks like me so I’m going to dress up as her, and I don’t need a different kind of face make-up, I don’t need to straighten my hair’.”

Pearl continued: “When Alicia Keys came out that was a big thing for me because she was mixed race as well.

Doctor Who (BBC)
Doctor Who (BBC)

“There were a lot of people I liked on screen, like Judi Dench, she’s wicked, but that’s very different to having someone where you think, ‘She looks like me, maybe I could do that’.”

Pearl will first be seen as the new companion of Doctor Who (Peter Capaldi) in the upcoming 10th series of the programme.

Bill is the first openly gay sidekick in the series.

The actress said: “I know not everyone is going to love Bill, and why should they?

Doctor Who
Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who with Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts in episode one of Doctor Who (BBC/PA)

“But I do, and hopefully there won’t be too much unpleasant stuff. If there is, I just won’t listen to it.”

Doctor Who returns to BBC1 tonight.

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