CALL THE MIDWIFE: INTERVIEW WITH ELLA BRUCCOLERI

Call The Midwife returns this weekend on BBC One. Here's a press interview, courtesy of BBC Media Centre.


INTERVIEW WITH ELLA BRUCCOLERI (SISTER FRANCES)

Where do you see Sister Frances in ten years' time?

"I always find that an impossible question to answer because she's still so young. She seems so sure about so many of her life decisions. But then I'm quite sceptical about that sort of thing. How sure can you be at that stage in your life? So I feel like the future could take her anywhere, and I think that's quite exciting. I feel like her faith is at the moment really strong and that she would probably remain a nun. But anything can happen. As we see, Sister Monica Joan has a crisis of faith at her age. So it can happen whenever and everything could change."


Is it a benefit that Heidi Thomas has been the showrunner since the beginning of Call the Midwife?

"Absolutely. It is amazing that she's been there from start to finish and never passed it on to someone else. For that reason, you get that consistency and that passion behind it, which was there at the start. She knows the characters and the period inside out. When you get a script written by Heidi, it really is in the voice of your character, and that's a lovely thing."


The show still has an enormous emotional impact on its audience doesn't it?

"Definitely. Even before I joined, there was been many a time when I sat and cried watching Call the Midwife. It is just the kind of show where you are guaranteed to cry at least once an episode. It's incredible to me that it still has that effect. Everybody does such an amazing job moving me and all other people who watch the show."


Do you have a favourite birth from the show?

"If I had to pick one, it would have to be the first one I did with the lovely actress Kelly Shirley. During the first season, the whole point was that Sister Frances didn't have a birth because no one would trust her enough to give her that responsibility. And then at the end of the series, she had her first birth, and had to do it by herself. It was this really momentous thing for the character, and also for me, to have a birth scene, I'd heard so much about birth scenes in Call the Midwife and I'd never had one. So it was a great experience to be in the middle of such an iconic moment."


What do you think makes Call the Midwife so special?

"It's a show led by women, run by women and created by women. I think there would have been a time when the gatekeepers might have been sceptical about whether a show like that would be successful. But now it's been successful for ten series, and we've proved that people want to see women on screen. I think that is genuinely ground-breaking."


Is there anything you'd like to say to the fans who have been with the show for a decade?

"Thank you for watching. But thank you also for supporting us. There is no way a show could continue for ten series without that really loyal fan base. So genuinely, thank you for allowing us to do it."