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Call the Midwife’s Megan Cusack: 'I couldn't be a real midwife!'

Call the Midwife Nancy Corrigan
Call the Midwife's new recruit Nancy Corrigan. (Image credit: BBC1)

Poplar is in the grip of footy fever in the latest Call the Midwife as England reach the quarter finals of the 1966 World Cup, and there’s further cause to celebrate as a new student midwife arrives at Nonnatus House. 

Brought up in an orphanage, Nancy Corrigan (Megan Cusack) throws herself into her work but her bedside manner leaves a lot to be desired and she ends up upsetting one local resident. Will she find an ally in Trixie Franklin?

Nancy is played by Irish actress Megan Cusack, who’s the niece of actors Sinéad Cusack, Sorcha Cusack, Niamh Cusack and Catherine Cusack. Here Megan, 24, tells us more about her exciting new role… 

Tell us about your character Nancy

"When her grandmother passed away years ago, Nancy ended up in an orphanage run by nuns. When she arrives at Nonnatus House, we see her open her suitcase and get rid of her old, modest clothes; it’s like she sees coming to Nonnatus House as an opportunity to become more of the person she wants to be. 

"Nancy is a bit ditzy, like myself, and fairly erratic but she’s got a big heart, she’s very warm and she’ll chat to anyone. Though she doesn’t have a filter and doesn’t think before she speaks, which can make people nervous…"

Call the Midwife Nancy Trixie

Nancy alongside resident midwife Trixie (Helen George). Can she show her the ropes? (Image credit: BBC1)

How do you mean?

"Nancy’s bedside manner is very poor and, in the first episode, an expectant mum decides she doesn’t want Nancy at her birth. But it gets to a point where Nancy is all this woman has got. Helping someone give birth, there’s that instant connection, so they get on in the end. That was actually my first birth scene, so it was nerve-wracking."

What teasers can you give us about how Nancy’s story develops?

Call the Midwife group

Easy rider: It's all smiles as Nancy goes off on her rounds with the other midwives... (Image credit: BBC1)

"When you’ve had an upbringing like Nancy that didn’t have much stability in it, you strive for something that will give you that, and she sees midwifery as a solid job. We learn there’s a lot more to Nancy bubbling under the surface than what we see initially and, emotionally, she goes on quite a journey. There’s some big revelations and Nancy finds herself in some tough situations but she handles herself well."

Did you enjoy filming the World Cup scenes in this week’s episode?

"Something like that is such a momentous occasion, so it was a joy to film those scenes. It’s so weird because you know it happened a while ago, but it’s like you’re putting yourself back in that time in 1966, so you still get that feeling of excitement, even though you know who wins! There’s lots of clapping and hollering. It’s a great atmosphere!"

You come from a big acting family. What advice have they given you?

"My family have been vital at times. They’ve all said it’s a tough industry and a tough career, so you’ve got to really want it and, in regards to performing, they’ve always told me to just try and enjoy it because, the more you’re having fun, the more other people will enjoy what you’re doing. My grandma is a big fan of Call the Midwife, so she’s delighted I’m in it. She was a midwife herself, so she’s given me tips. I don’t think me becoming a midwife would be a good thing, though. I’m not good in high-pressure situations. I’d be like: ‘There’s a baby coming, I don’t know what to do!?’"

Call the Midwife continues Sundays at 8pm on BBC1.