Doctor Who’s Mandip Gill: “One day the Doctor will be played by a woman of colour”

Gill praises the series for being "open" and "forward-thinking".

Doctor Who

There’s still no official suggestion that Jodie Whittaker will be leaving Doctor Who any time soon, but that hasn’t stopped the exit rumours from swirling, leading to inevitable speculation about who will play the coveted role in the future.

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Even Mandip Gill, who plays loyal companion Yaz, has been chatting about who might steer the TARDIS in the years to come.

Chatting to Meera Syal, in character as Granny Kumar for her Radio4 show, ‘Gossip and Goddesses with Granny Kumar’, Gill says she believes the Doctor will one day be played by a woman of colour.

Syal asks directly if Gill thinks an actress of colour will ever play the Doctor, to which she says, “Yeah, I do. I think there’s a long way to go but there’s definitely room for change. And actually I think at the BBC and at Doctor Who they are very open and forward-thinking, so yes.”

Of course Jo Martin became the first woman of colour to play an incarnation of the Doctor last year, appearing in two episodes of the show’s 12th series, but Doctor Who has never had a BAME star play the Doctor as the show’s lead. Yet.
Syal also asks Gill if she is aware that she inspires young girls in her role as Yaz, to which she says, “I am very, very aware there are little people who are watching.”

Gill, who appears alongside actress Josette Simon on the show, also reflects on how excited she was to be cast in Doctor Who in the first place. “I couldn’t believe my luck. I’d filmed Casualty the January before and that was in the same building,” she says.

‘We were at the top of the hallway and when I finished Casualty, they walked us to the canteen and they were like, ‘Don’t go in that door, that’s for the Doctor Who people!’. There and then I thought I’d never be in Doctor Who… Cut to six, seven months later and you know what? I’m like ‘Don’t go up there… that’s for Casualty!’”

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You can hear the full interview with Mandip Gill on ‘Gossip and Goddesses with Granny Kumar’ tonight at 6:30pm on Radio 4, and on BBC Sounds. Check out our dedicated Sci-Fi page for more Doctor Who stories, or to find out what’s on telly tonight have a look at our TV Guide.