Helen George was pregnant while filming Call the Midwife – but you wouldn’t know it.
The actress, who plays Nurse Trixie Franklin, gave birth to her daughter Wren in September 2017. But Nonnatus House’s most glamorous midwife never revealed any kind of baby bump. So how did they do it?
At a screening in London, George explained: “I was pregnant in the series, so you just kind of see me walk across the screen sometimes with odd fashions, or I’d sit down a lot, or I’m wearing lots of capes.”
“It was difficult to cover it up,” she added, “because it wasn’t a correct storyline to choose for the character, as well. It wasn’t right for Trixie to be pregnant. So we just did our best to cover it up. I just get a bit larger and my boobs get a little bit bigger.”
Take a look at the first episode of the new series, and – once you know about George’s pregnancy – you become a little more aware of the costume departments’ trickery.
Like this rather fetching cape…
This suitably shapeless shawl:
And this snug and bulky fur coat.
Heidi Thomas, who created and writes the drama, alludes to the benefits of a skilled costume and props department: “It’s amazing what you can do with a swing coat and a clipboard”.
The show even enlisted the talents of the actress’s Call the Midwife co-stars to help cover her seven month baby bump…
George – who has appeared on Call the Midwife since it first aired in 2012 – will take a break from screens mid-series to account for her maternity leave. And despite years of acting with babies, she says she still wasn’t exactly sure what to do when it came to her own:
“We’ve done the show for a long time now, and you think you know everything about babies because you’re an actress, and all about midwifery, and actually you realise that you don’t know anything about it. It’s quite hard work. So it’s prepared me well.”
According to Thomas, the new addition – with co-star Jack Ashton, who plays Reverend Tom – is already part of the Call the Midwife family.
“Jack and Helen’s baby is the most Call the Midwife baby there’s ever been, because they’re both in it, but over the years you would not believe how many babies we’ve had born to cast and crew on the show.”
She added: “We were so excited but so sworn to secrecy, because quite rightly it was Helen and Jack’s business. But it was sort of family business. Oh, she is the prettiest sweetest little thing. I bought her this little baby grow, I’m hoping sometime I’m going to get a picture of her in it, but it’s white velvet with three dimensional gold wings on the back! All I want is to see Baby Wren in that.”
It looks like she got her wish:
Call the Midwife airs on Sundays at 8pm on BBC1