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She’s been a self-confessed fan since she was a little girl. Now Shobna Gulati is finally part of the Doctor Who family and she’s delighted to be playing Yaz’s mum - sorry Najia!

“How is my relationship with my daughter?”

Shobna Gulati is analysing her performance as Yasmin Khan’s mum Najia in Series 11. “I think the two of them are close,” she says, “but like any relationship that’s ready to go to the next level it has become a little strained. I’d say that Yaz is yearning for her independence because she’s a young woman who still lives at home, but she’s ready to move out. Mum doesn’t want to lose her daughter, though. As a mother, you’ve had the children at home for all these years and then suddenly, when they’re gone, what have you got to do? You’ve just got to hang out with your husband,” says Shobna, laughing.

Yaz satiates her yearning for independence not by moving out, but by travelling with the Doctor. “I’m the only one who knows that Yaz goes off on these adventures, aren’t I? The other members of the family have no idea. So I do think the bond between Yaz and her mum is really special because they keep that a secret.”

Shobna didn’t previously know Mandip, but shortly before being cast as Najia Khan she told a mutual friend that she couldn’t wait to play Mandip’s mum in something. “And then it happened,” says Shobna. “Literally as I spoke the words, it happened. I think it’s perfect casting because there’s something about Mandip and me that’s very similar – to the point where we both stick out our bottom lip. It’s a bit weird but it’s really funny.”

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Doctor Who Magazine - DWM Special 51: The 2019 Year Book
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About Doctor Who Magazine

THE DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE YEARBOOK 2019 Jodie Whittaker’s debut as the Doctor was one of the television events of 2018 and a landmark in Doctor Who’s long history. The latest Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition explores the making of Series 11 in unprecedented detail. Highlights among the exclusive interviews include: Percelle Ascott (The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos), Jonny Dixon (The Woman Who Fell to Earth), Shobna Gulati (Arachnids in the UK, Demons of the Punjab), Julie Hesmondhalgh (Kerblam!), Ed Hime (writer, It Takes You Away), Phyllis Logan (The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos), Susan Lynch (The Ghost Monument), Pete McTighe (writer, Kerblam!), Vinette Robinson (Rosa), Ellie Wallwork (It Takes You Away), Jodie Whittaker (The Doctor), Joy Wilkinson (writer, The Witchfinders)