Jessica Raine: We are a sisterhood on the set of Call the Midwife

The star of the hit BBC1 period drama and her on-screen boyfriend Leo Staar talk series three, "bossy" Jenny Lee and working on an ego-free set

Call the Midwife, the period drama following the bicycle-riding midwives of the East End, is picking up speed. Hot on the heels of a hit Christmas episode, the third series has now premiered on BBC1 to record ratings.


We caught up with the show’s star Jessica Raine and her on-screen boyfriend Leo Staar at the Radio Times Covers’ Party to talk series three and beyond… 

“I still struggle put my finger on quite what it is that makes it so popular but I’m very pleased that it is so popular,” Raine said, of Call the Midwife’s success. 

“I found this a really interesting series to play because there were so many elements,” she continued. “You get [to see Jenny] obviously caring for her patients a lot but with a boyfriend there are a lot of other things you see that we haven’t seen before.”

“Medium bossy. Very bossy. A little bossy…” joked Leo Staar, who plays Jenny’s new boyfriend Alec.  

Of joining the established, and very female heavy, cast, Staar said: “Honestly, everyone is so friendly on set. I know everyone says that but it really is the case here. It was a joy.” Before Raine chipped in, saying: “There doesn’t seem to be any egos on our set. It’s really cool. There are a lot of women and there’s a sisterhood feeling.”

Talking of Raine, the actress is somewhat in demand at the moment. After starring in Doctor Who and An Adventure in Space and Time last year, she’s set to appear in the second series of Line of Duty, and is heading to Iceland to film Sky’s new crime drama Fortitude next month. So will Raine have time to keep bringing new life into the world in Poplar?

“That is an unfair question! I couldn’t possibly answer,” she laughed. “You just want to keep watching the third series to find out what happens…” 

Watch the interview:

Call the Midwife series three continues on Sundays at 8:00pm on BBC1.