Call the Midwife: the most successful new drama series on BBC1 in over ten years

Writer Heidi Thomas reflects on her Sunday-night ratings hit


BBC1 ratings hit Call the Midwife ended on a series high last night with 9.2 million viewers tuning in to watch the final episode, resulting in a series average overnight of 8.7 million, which makes it the biggest new drama series on the channel since records began in 2001.


Written by Heidi Thomas and made by Neal Street Productions, the climax to series one (a second has already been commissioned for transmission next year) saw the much-loved Chummy (Miranda Hart) marrying PC Noakes in a feelgood finale.

Danny Cohen, controller of BBC1, said of the drama’s success: “Heidi Thomas and Neal Street have brought a new kind of grit and risk to period drama. It’s been wonderful to see viewers respond so warmly – and in such large numbers – to this world of babies, nuns, and extraordinary women.”

Writer Heidi Thomas reflected: “When Jennifer Worth was dying, I took her hands in mine and promised I’d do everything in my power to make her books sing as a drama. She will be looking down now from the heaven she undoubtedly believed in, and smiling. That means more to me than I can say.”


Ben Stephenson, controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, added: “Call the Midwife has been a phenomenon that has won the hearts of the nation, with last night’s finale delivering a series high making it the biggest new BBC1 drama on record! My special thanks go out to the late Jennifer Worth, the brilliant Heidi Thomas and Neal Street Productions.”