10 Things You Didn't Know... - March 20, 2017

10 Things You Didn’t Know About… Call The Midwife
by Tom
Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About… Call The Midwife

It doesn’t get the cache or coverage that shows like Sherlock or Doctor Who does when they hit BBC screens, but there haven’t been many series in recent years that have been as successful as Call The Midwife.

The show chronicles the lives of a group of midwives living in East London in the late 1950s, specifically 22-year old Jenny, who in 1957 leaves her comfortable home to become a midwife in London's East End.

The series has starred Jessica Raine, Miranda Hart, Helen George, Bryony Hannah, Laura Main, Jenny Agutter, Pam Ferris and Stephen McGann and was created by Heidi Thomas, who'd previously written I Capture The Castle and some key episodes of Cranford.

Launched back in 2012 it’s just completed its sixth run on TV, which hits DVD shelves today (you can purchase it on the right-hand side of the page) and to celebrate we’ve had a dig around and come up with 10 things you didn’t about Call The Midwife…

 

The name Nonnatus House has very specific Latin origins…

The midwives are based in Nonnatus House, which is named after St. Raymond Nonnatus, the patron saint of pregnant women and childbirth.

 

Author Jennifer Worth always had Miranda Hart in her head for the role of Chummy…

Way before Worth's memoirs, on which the show is based, were filmed, she had spotted Miranda Hart and told friends and colleagues knew that she would be perfect to play Chummy Browne, the clumsy, six-foot tall midwife. Hearing this, Hart committed to the role before a plan was in place to take the story to the small screen.

 

But she never actually got to see the finished show…

Sadly Worth died in May of 2011, just months before the show made his debut on air. She had worked closely with the creators and crew, though, so it’s likely she’ll have seen a few previews.

 

Its ratings have been consistently high...

The show’s first season averaged an astonishing 10.61 million viewers and it’s stayed at that level ever since, going as high as 10.82 million for its fourth season.

 

Stephen McGann’s special relationship didn’t earn him any special favours…

McGann is married to the show’s creator Heidi Thomas, but that didn’t earn him special treatment when it came to finding out whether Sister Bernadette and his character were going to end up together until he got his script.

 

This is Pam Ferris’s second spell as a midwife…

Ferris, who plays the beloved Sister Evangelina, is doing her second stint as a midwife. She did the same job in hit dystopian thriller Children Of Men.

 

It’s had a Christmas special every single year…

Since it began in 2012 fans have enjoyed a Christmas special every single year, consistency that.

 

The show’s shown on PBS in the US, but not as we see it in the UK…

Quite often the show’s more explicit moments are cut out for the American version, which airs later than it does in the UK, much to the consternation of the show’s fans across the pond, who want every last detail.

 

There’s a lot more Call The Midwife on the way…

The BBC are so happy with the show that they’ve locked in three more series and Christmas specials, it’s booked until 2020 and will be on its ninth season by then.

 

But not everyone is happy about that…

Speaking in 2014 Worth's daughter Suzannah Hart said she felt that the show ought to have ended after three series when Jenny, the character based on her mother, was written out of the show but added that she believed the show was still being sensitively written and researched, it simply wasn’t the same.


The sixth season of Call The Midwife is out now and available here in hmv’s online store along with all the show’s previous series.

Call the Midwife: Series 6
Call the Midwife: Series 6 Jenny Agutter

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