Sarah Millican: I love babies coming out of cockneys in hats

Call the Midwife is perfect for when One Born Every Minute is a bit too real and bright and they have to pixelate ladies' bits


I’ve always loved old things. Rock Hudson films, Go West, my iPhone 3. And you should see some of the things in my kitchen cupboards. And that’s why I love Sunday-night television. Telly has moulded Sundays for me with Call the Midwife, Mr Selfridge and, to a lesser extent, Ripper Street, which is a period piece but a bit too violent for snuggly Sundays for me. I do watch it, but I just save it for midweek when I’m a bit more shouty.


Call the Midwife is perfect for when One Born Every Minute is a bit too real and bright and they have to pixelate ladies’ bits. CTM is a lot browner and a lot less hospitalier than One Born Every Minute. I like babies being born, I just sometimes prefer them coming out of cockney women in hats.

I think I’d have loved living in those times. I’d have put up with rickets and bike riding on cobbles for the pin curls and cinched waists. You could totally get boobs in those 1950s dresses. It’s not like these days when they have to fall out of the top or sneak under your arms. I have the figure of a woman in the 50s. Not her 50s. THE 50s. Important to point that out, I think.

Mr Selfridge is enjoyable guff. It’s basically shopping on the telly. With romance and arguments behind closed doors. Like a posher Are You Being Served? with less till slamming and almost no innuendo at all.

Because I wasn’t really interested in history at school, these programmes are how I learn about the past. That’s not good, I know, but it’s a start. Instead of expecting me to colour in Romans for four years, they should have just put on endless episodes of Heartbeat. I once told Richard Curtis that everything I know about history I learnt from Blackadder. He replied that he was thrilled and appalled.

Once upon a time, I used to produce audiobooks and we recorded a lot of comfy sagas. I love a comfy saga with women called Mabel who stepped up during the war. She’d usually end up killing her abusive husband and tipping him out of a pram onto a bomb site during the night. Loud, brave women with calloused hands and hearts of gold.

When I was a teenager, we used to settle my Granda in the living room to watch All Creatures Great and Small and the old men in the bath going down the hill, while we sneaked off to watch Clive James’s version of Rude Tube in the kitchen. If it was these days, I’d sit with my Granda.

The Sarah Millican Television Programme is on Tuesday at 10:00pm on BBC2


Sarah’s stand-up DVD, Thoroughly Modern Millican Live, is now available at