Call The Midwife’s second episode of series eight may have featured a heart-wrenching sickle cell disease tragedy, but it was Annette Crosbie who stole the show.
Viewers of the BBC drama applauded Crosbie – an actress best known as Margaret Meldrew in classic sitcom One Foot in the Grave – for her performance as stubborn elderly lady Clarice Milgrove.
- Why is Call the Midwife so good at regenerating – even when major characters leave the cast?
- Call the Midwife creators dismiss rumours they’ve ‘banned’ Chummy star Miranda Hart from the show as “utter rubbish”
- Sign up for the free RadioTimes.com newsletter
The episode saw nurse Lucille (Leonie Elliott) visiting Clarice, who was suffering from a leg ulcer. And, as Lucille soon discovered, Clarice was living amongst the junk she had been hoarding for years, a mess that had authorities threatening to re-home her.
Lucille even learned that Clarice was wrapping up waste meant for the toilet in newspapers before stuffing it up the chimney.
But despite the rubbish (and smell), the two women quickly bonded, with Clarice showing Lucille a medal she had been given for her role in the suffragettes.
Viewers – including MP David Lammy – hailed the poignant scene, praising Crosbie’s tear-jerking performance.
With half of the audience left crying, Clarice’s story had a bittersweet ending. Although she was finally moved to a home, Lucille convinced her to move of her own free will, as "a woman of substance can make a life anywhere".
And that left the other half of the audience bursting into tears...
This article was originally published on 21 January 2019