Call the Midwife’s Pam Ferris: I want young girls to see how tough it was in the 50s

The actress who plays Sister Evangelina thinks the BBC1 period drama can teach the younger generation a thing or two about life for women in the 1950s

There’s no denying that Call the Midwife deals with some pretty serious subjects.


Underneath the period petticoats and tea and cake breaks lie issues such as poverty, neglect, abuse and abortion. There are important messages to take from the show’s plot lines, says star Pam Ferris.

“I hope that the younger ones appreciate how fast things have changed for women, that within living memory things were a lot tougher,” said Ferris, who plays Poplar nun Sister Evangelina. “And to not throw away the liberty and the freedom that the vanguard of feminism and change as brought them.”

“I want them to see this time,” she continued. “I want them to see how tough it was and where we’ve come from and understand that.” 

Ferris reckons the Sunday night period drama can teach the younger generation important lessons about what life was like for women during the 1950s, when having a job and a family was nigh on impossible, abortion was illegal and the pill was just a twinkle in a scientist’s eye.

The 65-year-old actress also thinks Call the Midwife is worth sticking with even if the show is sometimes difficult to watch, and more often than not has its viewers reaching for the tissues…

“Call the Midwife is quite cathartic,” Ferris told us. “I think that’s again an important requirement of stories, is to be cathartic, to move you.”

Call the Midwife continues on Sunday at 8:00pm on BBC1