Following his hilarious appearance in The Husbands of River Song, Matt Lucas returns to Doctor Who in the opening episode of Season 10 which starts filming next week in Cardiff (Monday June 20). The actor will be returning as Nardole, a member of the human colony at Mendorax Dellora, who worked for River Song (Alex Kingston). Here's what the actor had to say in a statement about his return to Doctor Who.

"I'm chuffed to bits that Nardole is returning to the TARDIS for some more adventures. I loved acting with Peter and I'm excited to work with Pearl."

Bringing her energy and zest to the show, Pearl Mackie embarks on her first week of filming on the BBC series, as she takes up the role of the Doctor's companion. In her first major television role following her West End appearance in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, she'll be bursting on to screens in the opening episode. Here's what Steven Moffat, lead writer and Executive Producer, had to say in his statement.

Related: Doctor Who Season 11 Premiere Date Announced, Big Change Revealed

"Delighted and slightly amazed to be welcoming Matt Lucas back on to the TARDIS - and this time it's not just for Christmas, he's sticking around. One of the greatest comedy talents on planet Earth is being unleashed on all of time and space."

Stephanie Hyam will play a guest cast role in the new series and is recognized for her performance as Lily Clarke in Jekyll & Hyde. She's also appeared in Peaky Blinders, Murdered by My Boyfriend and Sherlock. The opening episode of season 10 is written by Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat, executive produced by Brian Minchin, produced by Peter Bennett and directed by Lawrence Gough.

The second episode in the new series has been crafted by award winning screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce. Block 2 writers are Sarah Dollard (writer of acclaimed episode Face the Raven) and Mike Bartlett (multi award winning Doctor Foster). Doctor Who is a BBC Cymru Wales produced drama for BBC One. It will return in December 2016 with a Christmas Special, followed by the new series in 2017.

In related news, BBC is also bringing the spinoff series entitled Class to the airwaves later this year, which is being crafted by award-winning young adult author Patrick Ness. The show will be set in modern-day London at The Coal Hill School, which has long been a part of the show's history in its 50-year run. Earlier this week, Patrick Ness was asked on Twitter if there will be any LGBT characters in Class. Although he was going to keep it a secret, the showrunner said that, in the wake of the tragic Orlando shooting at a gay nightclub, he decided to spill the beans. Here's what he had to say below.

"Been asked if Class will have LGBT representation in it. Will a lead character with a boyfriend who he kisses & sleeps with & loves do? We were keeping that secret, but today that secret doesn't seem very important. There's way more than one character on the show, of course; lots of stories to be told. with aliens & terror & emotions & stuff!!! So I can't wait for you to meet the characters of Class, all of em, all their sorrows & joys & goofiness & loves & losses. Roll on Autumn..."

He went on to add that he was "astounded" about how his statement was picked up by several media outlets, adding that it shouldn't be a "big deal" that his show has an LGBT lead character. He also stated that the show has five lead characters, and there will be plenty of different stories to tell when the show debuts. Take a look at Patrick Ness' tweets below, and stay tuned for more on both Doctor Who and the spinoff Class.

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