Miranda Hart: “I see myself more as a comedy actress than as a stand-up”

The Call the Midwife star on why she loves playing galumphing posh bird Chummy


Miranda Hart on…playing Camilla Fortescue-Cholmeley-Browne (aka Chummy)


“[Writer] Jennifer [Worth] sent me all three books, and the minute I started reading them, I was hooked.”

“She was like a fish out of water. She was very aristocratic and over-educated. And totally unworldly. She couldn’t even ride a bike!”

“It’s hard to know whether people will think… oh, it’s just me. Because being on panel shows, you are seen as yourself. But I hope people will see that what I have done with Chummy is different, and go with it. And my background is comedy acting. I see myself more as a comedy actress than as a stand-up. Playing ‘Miranda’ is playing a role.”

…playing Miranda

“I believe we are all wandering around trying to cover up the fact that we feel like idiots, most of the time. That’s what I try to latch on to in the series. That we are all fools. I’ll play the fool for everyone. So people watching will go, ‘Oh yes, I do that too, but I just try to cover it up.’ I just wanted to do it, so much. I’m very lucky that it’s worked out.”

…the real-life 1950s midwives

“I have never LIVED in the 1950s, I’ll have you know! I am VERY YOUNG. But at that time, they really were celebrating life. I’m not advocating a war in order to encourage a sense of reality, but our lives are now so comfortable, so unphysical. There is so much within us that we don’t use these days. The physical and mental strength of those midwives, it was extraordinary. Cycling around the East End, and doing that job, the thought of it is terrifying.”

“I don’t think I would have ever wanted to have been a nurse! Although you think there is something wrong in saying ‘I would have hated doing that’.” [Comedy pause] “But I WOULD have hated to do that! But what drew me to the role was the fact that Chummy was a real person. I always try and do things about real people.”

This is an edited version of an article from the issue of Radio Times magazine that went on sale 17 January 2012.


Call the Midwife continues tonight at 8pm on BBC1/BBC1 HD