Call the Midwife series 4: Charlotte Ritchie on her “tragic” and “triumphant” character

The Fresh Meat actress talks playing Nonnatus newbie Nurse Barbara Gilbert - and hating those little red hats...

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Charlotte Ritchie is really quite excited about being Nonnatus House’s newest recruit. The 25-year-old, who you’ll probably recognise from roles in Fresh Meat and Siblings, is set to join the cast of Call the Midwife in the first episode of the period drama’s fourth series. 

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“I really love it. I’ve got to stop feeling like a competition winner,” the star, who plays newbie nurse Barbara Gilbert, told RadioTimes.com. 

Ritchie is reluctant to give away too much about her character, who has been described as naive and chaotic, but she did say her part “involves some triumphant and some really catastrophic moments.”

“She begins quite badly and sort of redeems herself a bit later on,” she says, adding: “She has a couple of really tragic moments which is awful and then she kind of gets into her stride a bit more – but she still continues to make mistakes along the way.”

“To be honest, she’s a nurse and I kind of think nurses are amazing so if she makes a few mistakes I don’t blame her!”  

Ritchie is keen to say she’s enjoying it all, from getting to know the cast to wearing those vintage costumes. Well, everything apart from those midwife hats…

“The hats are ridiculous. They actually look good on other people so I’m hoping that they look fine on me, but when I wear it I feel like I’ve got a jam jar on my head.”

And little red hats aren’t the only headwear Ritchie has to contend with… 

“My character wears hairbands a lot and I’ve stared wearing hairbands, like I’m 10 again. But it’s really really nice because it’s actually really useful – it keeps your hair off your face. I’ll probably wear one today actually…” 

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Call the Midwife returns in early 2015