Charlotte Ritchie on seeing ghosts in her new sitcom Ghosts, which is on BBC1 at 9.30pm this evening, and how she’s enjoying watching Call the Midwife…
Sadly, for fans of Call the Midwife, there’s no chance of much-loved nurse Barbara Hereward returning from the dead following her heartbreaking demise in the seventh series of the hit show. But for Charlotte Ritchie, who played the newlywed midwife, her latest TV role means being surrounded by dead people!
In BBC1’s new comedy series Ghosts, written by and starring the team behind the award-winning shows Horrible Histories and Yonderland, Charlotte plays Alison, who unexpectedly inherits a crumbling stately home called Button House from a distant relative.
Alison and her husband Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe) immediately decide to do the place up and run it as a hotel.
But what they don’t realise is that Button House is already occupied by the spirits of some of the people who’ve died there over the centuries and who don’t want anyone else in their ancestral home.
Their attempts to scare the new owners into leaving prove unsuccessful but then one of them unintentionally pushes Alison out of a window and she technically dies for a few minutes. The result of her accident is that she now has the ability to see the ghosts, which shocks them as much as it shocks her!
Here ex Call the Midwife star Charlotte Ritchie, 29, tells us all about her ghostly adventure in BBC1 comedy Ghosts, which starts tonight…
How do Alison and her husband feel about inheriting this run-down country pile?
Charlotte Ritchie: “Until they get there, they have no idea what’s in store. They just think, ‘Cool, we’ll paint it, put some cheap beds in and we’ll have a hotel.’ They are really ambitious but also quite naive.”
Once Alison can see them, what’s her attitude towards the ghosts?
CR: “I love how quickly the spirits become annoying as opposed to scary. They are very bad at haunting anyway and once the initial shock is out of the way, they are just real pains. They are always under her feet and they’re always asking Alison for things. But she becomes quite fond of them in the end.”
Did you have any ghostly experiences while filming?
CR: “No, I didn’t. There were so many pretend ghosts bustling around, there was no room for real ghosts! Some of the rooms in the house [medieval manor house West Horsley Place in Surrey] did have quite weird energies, but I didn’t see or hear any ghosts or anything like that. And I never have. When we filmed Call the Midwife, I thought that house was haunted but had no proof.”
Do you still enjoy watching Call the Midwife?
CR: “I am working my way through the last series. I thought it would be too sad, but I’m actually loving it. It feels really nostalgic and lovely to watch it. Weirdly, I feel a bit like a ghost because essentially that’s what’s happened. I feel like Barbara is watching everyone in Poplar going about their lives without her, but they don’t know that.”
Do you still see the cast?
CR: “I do, I do! I love them so much. I feel so grateful that I got to make all those friends on that show. It’s a really wonderful cast and I try to see them as much as we can. I’m in touch with Emerald Fennell, who played Patsy, although she’s living in LA now, and Kate Lamb, who played Delia, plus Helen George [Trixie], Victoria Yeates [Sister Winifred], Linda Bassett [Phyllis], Jenny Agutter [Sister Julienne] and Leonie Elliott [Lucille].”