CALL THE MIDWIFE
OH BABY, IT’S BACK SUN 18 APR, 8PM, BBC1
It’s 1966 and changes are afoot at
Nonnatus House, with some people happier about them than others.
Sister Julienne is trying to keep up with the times, so sends Trixie off to a posh maternity home in Mayfair to see if it would be suitable for the nuns to work at (and bring in some much-needed cash). Naturally, Trixie’s overjoyed that she gets to wear a designer uniform and work Up West, but Doctor Turner disapproves of private healthcare and falls out with Sister J. Meanwhile, Sister Hilda is giving the nuns’ habits a makeover, but Sister Frances is petrified of this newfangled idea as she might have to show her knees, and Sister Monica Joan is still doubting her faith in God. Oh, and there are some babies born as well… Welcome back!
How did this series come about?
I’m a true-crime junkie and I wanted a project that fused my passion for the genre with my mental health advocacy. But it’s always been about the “whys?” for me. Why one person would go to such lengths to murder their husband, when somebody else wouldn’t dream of it!
And often it’s “normal people” who are the perpetrators – a middle-class housewife or a pillar of the community. It stemmed from wanting to hear more about the victims.
Do you watch a lot of true crime? My husband, Lincoln, is equally enthralled by it. We travelled to Los Angeles a lot when we were able to, and we’d literally get there, and instead of going out we’d watch Dateline (a show mainly focused on true crime). I’d say, “We don’t know about the people left behind…” I’m interested in the emotional impact of surviving a dreadful crime.
Which cases stood out for you in this series?
They’re all so different… You’ve got Christopher Spry, a young man who was horrifically abused by his foster mother. What this kid and his siblings dealt with - you can’t believe what you’re hearing. And as a mother, the case of Kayleigh White stays with me. She was 17 when she was stabbed in broad daylight and nearly lost her life. She’s forgiven her attacker, and this is a wonderful story of a girl who’s not going to let what happened to her define her life.
Did you come away learning anything?
I learnt to appreciate what my life is like – and to appreciate my happy childhood. Talking to Christopher Spry – who still has internal injuries caused by the cruelty of his mother, with the judge in court describing it as the worst case of child abuse he’d ever seen – you do start to think, “When my kids moan at me about their life, I’ll start telling them what some people have been through!”
This must be a big change, going from Loose Women?
It is, and it’s just been a joy to be involved in. And I’m not just the hired help – I’m an executive producer as well, and now every time Crime+Investigation comes on, Lincoln and I try to solve the case and I say, “Well, I’m so much more informed than you because I’ve got my own show on the channel!” I still can’t believe it when the advert comes on and I see myself – so to all those people who say, “You’re over the hill when you’re 63” – no, you’re not. I’m doing it for the old birds!
And you’ve been celebrating your two-stone weight loss?
I’m proud of myself, but when I post a picture of me in a bikini, it’s not to go, “Hey, look at me!” It’s about maintaining a healthy weight, and I think the past year has proved that we do have to look after ourselves. I’m not trying to be skinny – I’m hoping
I’ll never have to put on a pair of tight jeans again in my entire life – but I do feel better than
I have ever done.