01/02/2018 17:10 GMT | Updated 05/02/2018 10:26 GMT

Pearl Mackie On The Fan Encounter That Made Her Realise How Important Bill Pott's Sexuality Was

'It still makes me quite emotional thinking about it now.'

Pearl Mackie has reflected on her time in ‘Doctor Who’, revealing one moment that helped her realise the positive impact her character, Bill Potts, was having. 

Bill was the Time Lord’s first ever openly-gay, full-time assistant and at one Comic-Con event in Berlin, one fan explained how important this was to her. 

Mike Marsland via Getty Images
Pearl Mackie 

Speaking to HuffPost UK on BUILD, Pearl explained that a woman at the event told her: “I love watching you on ‘Doctor Who’, it’s my favorite show.

“Watching you play a gay character who was completely comfortable with her sexuality - she wasn’t grappling with it and didn’t need to come out, it wasn’t a big secret, just ‘i like girls, that’s it’.

“That helped me to come out to my family. Without that I wouldn’t have been able to do it.”

“That was pretty amazing,” Pearl admitted. “I didn’t really think of the significance of it, until that. That grounds you. It still makes me quite emotional thinking about it now.”

Pearl, Peter Capaldi and David Bradley in the 2017 Christmas Special 

“The way I thought about it was, I’m very lucky to be from an open-minded liberal family,” the actress continued. “I was born in Brixton, its very diverse there are people form all walks of life.

“My family existence has been like that since I was a kid i’m very grateful for it.

“But this program is aired all around where the world, where being gay is not so accepted.

“People have very different experiences in their own family life. The representation is crucial, especially on a mainstream show.”

Pearl is currently treading the boards in ‘The Birthday Party’, in a special 60th anniversary production of the Harold Pinter play. 

Watch her full BUILD interview below...