Pearl Mackie plays DS Jen Rafferty in The Long Call cast
TV

The Long Call and Doctor Who star Pearl Mackie: Who did she play in Friday Night Dinner? Is she married?

She played Bill Potts, Doctor Who's first openly gay main companion, in 2017

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DS Jen Rafferty in new ITV drama The Long Call is played by Pearl Mackie.

Immediately recognisable to Doctor Who fans, Pearl was cast as Bill Potts in the BBC sci-fi series, best remembered as the first openly gay companion in the Doctor Who universe.

Despite having performed such an important role, it isn’t the only part Pearl is known for.

Here’s a little more about what other shows you may have seen Pearl in, and her life away from work.

Pearl Mackie played Bill Potts in Doctor Who
Pearl Mackie played Bill Potts in Doctor Who (Credit: BBC America YouTube)

The Long Call cast: Is Pearl, like DS Rafferty, from London?

Pearl did indeed grow up in London – Brixton, to be precise.

Her grandfather was TV screenwriter Philip Mackie, who penned Raffles and Jemima Shore Investigates.

Read more: The Long Call on ITV: Our Girl and Fleabag actor Ben Aldridge leads the cast

Pearl, 34, studied Drama at University of Bristol and later graduated from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

Where else have you seen Pearl Mackie on TV?

As well as her role in Doctor Who, TV viewers may also recognise Pearl from her appearances in Doctors and Sky Arts’ Urban Myths.

She also had a recurring role in Channel 4 comedy Friday Night Dinner.

Pearl played Lucy 1, Jonny’s girlfriend, in two episodes of the series.

Pearl Mackie played Lucy 1 in Friday Night Dinner
Pearl Mackie played Lucy 1 in Friday Night Dinner (Credit: Channel 4 Comedy YouTube)

Is Pearl Mackie single?

Pearl’s relationship status is not confirmed.

However, in June 2020 she told Instagram fans she is bisexual.

Pearl wrote: “Proud to be bisexual. Proud to be Black. Proud of all my LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters and everyone in between.

“We matter. You matter. Big love and ’nuff respect. Happy Pride everyone!”

She has reflected that both her and Ben Aldridge being members of the LGBTQ+ community was beneficial to working together on The Long Call.

Pearl said: “It felt very comfortable and harmonious to be so accepted within this ‘family’ that you make on set when you’re filming over a long period of time. And I think it really benefitted the work too.

“As members of the LGBTQ+ community, we were also both absolutely delighted to be part of a mainstream drama that was focusing on a gay man at the centre of a detective thriller.”

Who else is in the cast of The Long Call?

Ben Aldridge as DI Matthew Venn leads the investigation alongside DS Rafferty in The Long Call.

Theatrical star Juliet Stevenson plays Dorothy Venn and Inspector George Gently actor Martin Shaw portrays Dennis Stephenson.

EastEnders Charlie Cotton actor Declan Bennett is DI Venn’s husband Jonathan.

Read more: The Long Call: ITV confirms start date for Ben Aldridge crime drama from Ann Cleeves

But there’s another Walford legend involved, too, with Anita Dobson as Grace Stephenson.

Men Behaving Badly and Line of Duty favourite Neil Morrissey has a role as Christopher Reasley.

And former Coronation Street and Versailles actress Jenny Platt plays Bryony Chorley.

The Long Call airs over four nights on ITV1, starting on Monday October 25 at 9pm.

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