Doctor Who’s new companion Bill Potts is gay. Good.

When Doctor Who returns in a couple of weeks his new companion, Bill Potts, will be a lesbian.

Cue outrage at political correctness gone mad and discussions about whether this matters.

While I have never really been into Doctor Who, I think the news is great. Bill Potts will be the first gay main character in the iconic programme’s history. (Apparently it previously had the bisexual female River Song, as well as the bisexual male Captain Jack.)

I say the same thing every time one of these stories comes along.  In my opinion it is hugely important to see high profile LGBT figures both in real life and in fiction. Icons and role models matter, and while television has got better at depicting gay men, I still think gay women are still hugely under represented.

Actress Pearl Mackie, summed it up perfect. She told the Radio Times:

“I remember watching TV as a young mixed race girl not seeing many people who looked like me, so I think being able to visually recognise yourself on screen is important.

“[Being gay] is not the main thing that defines her character – it’s something that’s part of her and something that she’s very happy and very comfortable with.”

Spot on. So well done her, and well done the writers. Because it does matter, and it is a good thing.

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My first book "Not Buying It", looking at post-truth in media and politics, is being published by Unbound

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