What is it? A heartwarming Sunday night drama at its best, that doesn’t shy away from the grim reality that faced 1950s East End London midwives
Who’s in it? Jessica Raine alongside fellow midwives Helen George and Bryony Hannah, with a star turn from Miranda Hart with her serious hat on
Where is it? BBC1
What was the highlight? The Christmas special may not have been full of festive joy but it was the most watched drama over the holidays (aside from the soaps) and what could be sweeter than cheerfully grubby urchins crowding around a shop with a telly and a copy of Radio Times placed reverently in the window…
Why I love Call the Midwife – journalist and broadcaster Kirsty Lang
There is something wonderfully uplifting about watching babies being born. I love the characters in this series which makes me smile and cry in equal measure. But I also think Call the Midwife is a fascinating piece of social history which tells us a great deal about women’s lives in the East End of London in the 1950s. This was a critical time for Britain: as a nation we were drained emotionally and financially by the Second World War but we were embarking on this hugely ambitious social project – the building of the NHS and the Welfare state – and the midwives are at the heart of this.
Where do you normally watch it and with who? I watch it on the sofa on Sunday nights on my own. As far as my husband and son are concerned “it’s a girl thing”.
What was your favourite moment from the last series? It’s difficult to pin down a favourite moment but I was fascinated by the scene where the midwives are introduced to ‘gas and air’ as a painkiller for the first time. It struck me that the debates about pain relief in childbirth haven’t really changed that much in all these years despite medical advances.
How do you think you would have coped as a midwife at that time? I would not have coped well as a midwife because I’m extremely squeamish, but I’m full of admiration for them as a profession. I’m a feminist so I love watching these highly competent women doing their jobs with such kindness and empathy.
Which midwife are you most like? I’m loathe to compare myself to any of the midwives because they’re all such nice, decent human beings. I suppose I relate most to Jenny Lee [the protagonist based on Jennifer Worth, whose memoirs inspired the series]. She is good without being a saint and she doesn’t judge people. I love Chummy – played by comedian Miranda Hart – but I don’t think I’m like her, I was a terrible girl guide.