Call the Midwife stars talk Christmas gifts, hidden talents and karaoke
What would Helen George and Megan Cusack get their Call the Midwife characters for Christmas? Read on to find out.
It's finally Christmas and the midwives of Nonnatus House are ready for the festivities – with a talent show on the agenda this Yuletide season.
Ahead of the Call the Midwife Christmas special, airing later today, Radio Times magazine sat down with Trixie star Helen George and Nancy actress Megan Cusack to talk all things festive.
Gabriel Tate: The midwives are taking part in “Poplartunity Knocks” this year. What’s your hidden talent?
Helen George: My partner Jack once said that I’m really good at packing for holidays, so that’s probably my hidden talent! It’s useful with the family – I can get a lot in a suitcase and we’re having a mini-break this Christmas, so I’ll be using my talent then. Other than that, I sing, and have done from before I started acting. I’m about to play Anna in a touring production of The King and I.
GT: Do you sing for fun as well?
HG: For fun it’s usually a bit of jazz. Maybe Billie Holiday, but not really performing it, more for myself. I don’t think Billie Holiday should ever be replicated for karaoke; that doesn’t feel appropriate! On a night out, it would be the Spice Girls.
GT: Who is the most talented member of the Midwife cast?
HG: We’re a pretty talented bunch. Jenny Agutter [Sister Julienne] is amazing because she’s not only the most fantastic actress, but also has this incredible other life where she does so much for charity. Cliff Parisi [Fred Buckle] is obviously “Mr Showman” and fabulous. Laura Main [Shelagh Turner] is very quiet, but a different character from what you might imagine – she loves to sing and dance.
GT: What would you buy Trixie for a present this year?
HG: I’m not a fan of the new medical bags, so I’d quite like a different one of those for her. They’re supposed to be clean and wipeable, but they’re also very awkward and bulky. I much prefer my old leatherbound one, which I still have at home, actually.
GT: What would she get you?
HG: Something beautiful from Fortnum & Mason. It would be thoughtful, perfect and plush.
GT: What’s your hidden talent?
Megan Cusack: The only thing that I can think of is doing a very, very good kookaburra noise. That is literally all I’ve got for you. I don’t know where it began, I’ve just always been able to do it.
GT: When does that come in handy?
MC: At parties! One year a friend of a friend was over for a New Year’s party and he mentioned that his family had a kookaburra in their garden. He recorded me doing the bird sound, sent it to his mum, she played it and the kookaburra responded!
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GT: Can you sing?
MC: Absolutely not. I cry when I have to sing. I remember having to sing in a play once and someone said it was my natural Celtic emotion getting the better of me. Actually, I was just terrified.
GT: What are the Midwife cast’s hidden talents?
MC: Cliff Parisi flies planes, Zephryn Taitte [Cyril Robinson] is an amazing martial artist, Linda Bassett [Nurse Crane] does all sorts of crafts, Laura Main and Helen George are incredible singers. Max Macmillan [Timothy Turner] is a musician with perfect pitch.
GT: What would you buy for Nancy?
MC: A muzzle to stop her saying things without thinking? Other than that, a year’s supply of cinema tickets for her and Colette.
GT: What would she get you?
MC: Probably some jewellery. I’d be really touched but I would never wear it unless I was seeing her. I’d put it on before going into the café, have our coffee then take it off as soon as I left.
This interview originally appeared in Radio Times magazine.
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Call the Midwife Christmas 2022 special airs today at 7:55pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. Call the Midwife season 12 airs on New Year's Day at 8pm, with previous series available to stream on BBC iPlayer.
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