Helen George: ‘My husband cries at every episode of Call the Midwife!’

Call The Midwife star Helen George tells TV Times magazine about playing Trixie Franklin, the secrets of the show’s phenomenal success and resisting broody feelings…

Can you tell us more about what happens this series?
“What’s so interesting is that you see the character of Chummy [played by Miranda Hart] struggling with her desire to be a good mother to her child and look after her family, but have a career as well. By the late 1950s, women were thinking about their careers rather than  just having babies. That issue opens an interesting bag of questions in this series.”

You spend all day when you’re filming around babies! How do you resist broody feelings?
“We’re surrounded by them all the time. A lot of us are pursuing careers at the moment, but we get our baby kicks from the babies on set.”

You’re married to actor Oliver Boot. Is he a fan of the show?
“He cries at every episode of Call the Midwife. Every week he is sitting there blabbing!”

What do you think of your new, shorter hair do?
“We’re taking the series forward, so taking my hairdo into the 1960s only seemed right!”

Why do you think Call the Midwife is so successful?
“It’s a family drama that harks back to the Sunday night dramas I watched as a child, such as All Creatures Great & Small or The Darling Buds Of May. It’s bringing the family drama back. And it’s great writing, first with Jennifer Worth’s memoirs — which were extremely popular even before we began work on the series — and then with Heidi Thomas’s wonderful scripts.”

Do you all enjoy working together on set?
“We also have an amazing design team who pays an extraordinary amount of attention to period detail and a cast that works well together. When we’re together, there’s chemistry. I like to think some of that magic comes across on the screen.”

This series, feisty Trixie has a love interest in the shape of Tom the curate (played by Jack Ashton)…
“It’s good that she has finally found a man. It’s only taken her three years! But yes, after her run-in with Clifford Raines, a nice handsome vicar is great.”

What was it like filming with Jack?
“He’s great. We’re so used to it just being us girls that it always feels weird when there’s a man on set. It’s like being back at an all-girls’ school!”

What’s it like filming romantic scenes?
“I get nervous and giggle lots. I had to film a kiss the other day, and all the crew were wolf-whistling at us. It was really quite embarrassing!”

What drew you to the character of Trixie?
“I’m really fond of her as a character because she’s kind-hearted as well as a good-time girl. I also empathise with her because I like clothes and boys and gossip every bit as much as she does. So it’s a heavenly part.”

Do you think the core cast of Call the Midwife will remain the same?
“The cast are my mates now and we have such laughs, the thought of it happening without one of us is like Victoria Beckham leaving the Spice Girls. It wouldn’t be as good.”


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