Julie Graham on The Bletchley Circle, all-female casts… and Spice Girls nicknames on set

Star of the returning codebreaker drama says shows like Call the Midwife and Scott & Bailey show that the appetite is strong for female-led series on British TV

Television has woken up to the benefits of all-female drama, says actress Julie Graham.


Graham says dramas like ITV’s The Bletchley Circle, in which she plays one of five female leads, show that the appetite for women-heavy shows is higher than ever.

“I think [The Bletchley Circle] is breaking boundaries but I also think about bloody time,” she told RadioTimes.com ahead of tonight’s showing of the first story of series two.

Graham, whose other roles include the manipulative character Megan in At Home with the Braithwaites, says that drama like Scott & Bailey and Call the Midwife prove that the tide is turning in favour of women.

“Things have been changing, they prove that people do want to watch female-led dramas. It’s definitely changed in the last few years, thanks the Lord.”

In the second series of the drama she plays one of a troupe of former Bletchley Park codebreakers who continue to solve crimes even after World War Two has ended. Actress Hattie Morahan has joined the cast which also includes Anna Maxwell Martin and Rachael Stirling.

Stirling said that the all-female camaraderie in the cast meant that she relished coming into work.

“We all came into work with a song in our heart,” she told RadioTimes.com at the show’s press launch.

In fact she revealed that the actresses all gave each other nicknames. Stirling, the well-spoken daughter of actress Dame Diana Rigg was Posh Spice, Hattie Morahan was nicknamed Nerdy Spice on account of her obsessive interest in the real Bletchley story while the more seasoned performer Graham was nicknamed Old Spice. Red-head Anna Maxwell-Martin was nicknamed Ginger Spice.

The latest run will show two stories over four parts, however the cast is understood to be keen to make more.

Executive producer Jake Lushington said that the producers were also keen but that the final decision rested with ITV.


He defended the short run format sating that he could not envisage “twenty hours of Bletchley stories.”