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Pearl Mackie (born 29 May 1987[1]) played companion Bill Potts in series 10 of Doctor Who, beginning with The Pilot and ending with a version of Bill in Twice Upon a Time.

Personal life[]

Pearl Mackie grew up in Brixton. According to an October 2016 interview, she desired to be an actor from the age of five, but found that "I didn't see many people who looked like me on TV. There were hardly any strong black women." The role models of Mackie's childhood were all "tough women, not afraid to be vulnerable": Aretha Franklin, Beyoncé, Nina Simone, Tina Turner, Ella Fitzgerald. "They made me feel someone like me could do that."[2]

In 2020, Mackie 'came out' as bisexual.[3] She later announced in 2022 that she was engaged.[4]


Mackie's first acting role was at the age of ten: playing Nancy in a school production of Oliver Twist.[5]

Like her character Bill Potts, Mackie actually went to university in Bristol, though she attended the University of Bristol, where she earned a degree in drama. Mackie further studied at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, from which she was graduated in 2010.[6]

Before Doctor Who, Pearl Mackie's work was largely in theatre; she has very few credits in either film or television. After playing Anne-Marie Frasier in one episode of Doctors[5], Bill Potts was her first starring role in a television series.

To keep secrets from spreading, the code "MEANTOWN" was used for Mackie's auditions for the companion role, rather than Doctor Who. The word is an anagram for WOMAN TEN; that is, the companion for series 10 of the BBC Wales version of the show.



Doctor Who[]


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