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


What can you tell us about episode one?

"Shelagh has got friends and neighbours who are both heavily pregnant and expecting at the same time. For one of those women, it's her second baby. But the other one had previously been trying and trying and still had no baby. So she felt really sad because next door had a baby, but nothing was happening for her. But now they can share being pregnant together. And that's been really lovely."

What's changed for Shelagh during the last ten years?

"What hasn't changed? The obvious things. She's no longer a nun, and now she's married. She's had a biological child that she didn't think she could have. And she's a step-mum and a foster parent. But the main thing is that she is just got more and more confident and comfortable in her life. She is just so utterly content and has a great job that she loves, and a really, really wonderful family, and great partner in Dr Turner. So it's quite a contrast from the unassuming, quiet, quite shy nun she was right back at the beginning."

In what way is Call the Midwife ground-breaking?

"Well, for starters, it has lots of women in it. There are one or two men around, but it is about a bunch of women and, more importantly, a bunch of women who get on with each other, who are supportive and collaborate with each other. Also, these women aren't defined by their relationships. The other massive, massive strength of Call the Midwife is that it isn't trying to be anything else. It is its own thing. People understood that and took to it immediately. I'm also really, really proud of the fact that the show champions the NHS, and it celebrates nurses and midwives."

Have you been interacting with fans online during lockdown?

"Yes. It's so nice to get feedback from people who love the show. In lockdown, we did watch parties, and we were interacting with fans on Twitter and Facebook. It's just lovely to get that immediate response from people. We have been on for ten years, but it's as though the appetite and enthusiasm for the show has grown."

What does the tenth anniversary of Call the Midwife mean to you?

"I can't quite believe that it's been ten years! It's just amazing. I still absolutely love being part of Call the Midwife. It's still a complete joy to come to work, and the scripts are still wonderful. We are going forward each year, and there are always new things to tackle and new issues to discuss. It's changing all the time. The fashions change, the look changes, so it doesn't feel old. It still feels really, really fresh. Shelagh is an example of how people's lives can change in ten years. She's gone from being a nun to being married with four children. I just feel really, really lucky. I just love it. Long may it continue. I don't want it to end!"


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