Ben Caplan: Challenging story lines are what make Call the Midwife so special

The actor who plays Chummy's husband PC Noakes talks acting alongside Miranda Hart and playing a new dad

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Ben Caplan: Challenging story lines are what make Call the Midwife so special
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Ellie Walker-Arnott

You might not know the name Ben Caplan, but chances are you love his on-screen Call the Midwife character PC Noakes.

Alongside Miranda Hart, Caplan plays one half of Call the Midwife's cutest couple: Chummy and PC Noakes. The pair captured the nation's hearts from the off and now, with a tiny baby in tow, life is looking good.

"[PC Noakes] is just enjoying being a dad, enjoying being with his wife and child," Caplan tells us, when we met him for a natter on the set of the Christmas special.

"He’s very hands on," he continues. "I think he would be. He’s sort of different from a lot of the other dads... He’s really over the moon that he’s got a little boy."

So why is it that people love Mr and Mrs Noakes so much?

"Miranda and I are just really keen to kind of make them honest and real. The relationship is quite old fashioned...," says Caplan. "It’s very equal and there’s a huge amount of love and respect between the two of them.

"I’m glad that people have invested and believe in the relationship."

This year's festive special will see the Noakes family celebrate their first Christmas together, though it isn't destined to go to plan.

Not that the head of the family seems to mind. While the episode's drama - an unexploded WW2 bomb - scares the residents of Poplar, who are forced to evacuate their homes, for the policeman, it's a little more exciting. "He’s definitely found his calling suddenly," Caplan tells us. "He loves things like that, I think when there’s suddenly a civil emergency he springs into action."

Even at Christmas, Call the Midwife isn't one to shy away from tricky issues - and Caplan is quick to say that is what makes the show so "special".

"It’s what makes this series kind of special," says Caplan, "because, yes, it’s heartwarming and everything else but it also does tackle some quite challenging issues and doesn’t shy away from opening up those lines of discussion. Long may that continue."

And long may Chummy and PC Noakes stay on our telly screens, come to that. "It’s an honour to be part of the show and an honour to be working with Miranda," concludes Caplan.

Call the Midwife returns on Christmas Day at 6:15pm on BBC1


 


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