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Doctor Who role for UCLan graduate

Acting alumna Mandip Gill named as a new companion for hit BBC television show

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) graduate has landed a prime role in one of the world’s most famous television programmes.

Mandip Gill, who graduated from BA (Hons) Acting in 2009, has been chosen as one of the new Doctor Who companions.

The actress, from Leeds, will play a character called Yasmin in the 11th series of the BBC science fiction show.

Mandip told the BBC she was “over the moon” to join the “iconic” Doctor Who, adding: “Certain roles seem unattainable and this is one of those, so much so I didn't believe it to be true for the first few weeks.”

After graduating from the University, Mandip starred in a number of theatre productions and in 2012 she got her first major TV role when she was cast as Phoebe McQueen in Hollyoaks. She was on the Channel Four soap for three-and-a-half years before her character met a grisly end when she became one of Lindsay Butterfield’s victims in the Gloved Hand Killer storyline.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time training on at the University of Central Lancashire. The BA (Hons) Acting course was informative, exciting and challenging; setting me up perfectly for the industry.

Since then Mandip has gone on to appear in the BBC dramas Casualty and Doctors plus the situation comedy Cuckoo. Earlier this year she featured in the ITV One drama Good Karma Hospital and BBC One viewers will soon see her play a junior registrar in Love, Lies and Records, Kay Mellor’s new BBC One programme.

Mandip said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time training on at the University of Central Lancashire. The BA (Hons) Acting course was informative, exciting and challenging; setting me up perfectly for the industry. The lecturers were supportive throughout my training and even helped me kick-start my career by introducing me to agents and industry professionals. Thanks to my training I have been able to work in the business for some years.”

Terence Chapman, Senior Lecturer in acting, said: “Mandip was a brilliant student. Really hard working, bright, positive and always very respectful. It was clear in her acting for screen classes that she had real potential so it’s no surprise to see she has done so well in TV. Hollyoaks, Doctors, Good Karma Hospital and now Dr Who.

“There has been so much in the press in recent years about the lack of diversity in the industry and in actor training. For 12 years now we have been trying to address that issue. As a young British/Asian woman from a working class background, Mandip is a great ambassador for what we are trying to achieve here at UCLan.”

She will be joined in the Tardis by presenter and actor Bradley Walsh and newcomer Tosin Cole, while Jodie Whittaker has been named as the new Doctor.


UCLan acting graduate Mandip Gill

Rachel Atkinson | 31 October 2017