Little-known actor Pearl Mackie has been revealed as the new companion in 'Doctor Who'.
The actress is set to play Bill, who will travel through time and space in the TARDIS with Peter Capaldi's incarnation of the Time Lord on the BBC sci-fi drama.
The news was announced live on BBC One on Saturday (23 April) night, during half-time of Match Of The Day's coverage of the FA Cup semi-final between Everton and Manchester United.
Fans were treated to a short scene, which saw Pearl in her new role, as Bill and the Doctor were chased by a Dalek.
Pearl, who is currently appearing in West End production 'The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night', said of landing the part: "I'm incredibly excited to be joining the 'Doctor Who' family. It's such an extraordinary British institution, I couldn't be prouder to call the TARDIS my home!
"Peter Capaldi is such a brilliant actor, and his Doctor is such a wacky and wonderful character, I can't wait to see what adventures are in store for him and Bill throughout time and space. Reading the script at the audition I thought Bill was wicked. Fantastically written, cool, strong, sharp, a little bit vulnerable with a bit of geekiness thrown in - I can't wait to bring her to life, and to see how she develops through the series.
"I always loved stage combat at drama school so I can't wait to get on set and kick some evil monsters into the next dimension!"
She added: "Shooting the trailer was absolutely mental, there were pyro technics and smoke and I met my first Dalek! I'm not sure it will ever become ‘the norm’ seeing crazy monsters on set, but I cannot wait to meet some more! The weirder the better, bring it on!”
Peter Capaldi said: “It is a genuine delight to welcome Pearl Mackie to 'Doctor Who'. A fine, fine actress with a wonderful zest and charm, she’s a refreshing addition to the TARDIS and will bring a universe of exciting new possibilities to The Doctor’s adventures.”
Steven Moffat, Lead Writer and Executive Producer, added: “A new face in the TARDIS, a new voyage about to begin: welcome aboard the amazing Pearl Mackie! This is where the story really starts.”
Pearl will replace Jenna Coleman as the Doctor's assistant, who bowed out as Clara Oswald last year having landed the role of Queen Victoria in a new ITV drama.
Many names had been in the frame to take over from her, including former 'EastEnders' actress Rakhee Thakrar and 'Game Of Thrones' star Maisie Williams, who had already appeared in 'Doctor Who' as viking Ashildir.
She will make her first appearance as Bill in the 10th season, which will be screened in 2017.
It was previously announced that only a Christmas special of 'Doctor Who' will air this year, after executive producer Stephen Moffat revealed he was leaving his post.
Filming of the 10th season - Moffat's last - will begin later this year, while 'Broadchurch' show runner, Chris Chibnall, will take the helm of the show in 2018.
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