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Jenny Lee — our guide to the 'Call the Midwife' character

Jenny Lee in Call the Midwife.
Jenny Lee in Call the Midwife. (Image credit: BBC)

Jenny Lee was arguably Call the Midwife's main character in the first three seasons. 

Before joining Nonnatus House, she trained and worked as a nurse and her character is based on Jennifer Worth, the author of the Call the Midwife memoirs

As the series goes on, Jenny deals with a number of complicated storylines such as trying to help a mother with an abusive husband and delivering a baby with spina bifida, a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don't form properly.

She left the programme after season three, but definitely made her mark on audiences during her time on the show. If you need a recap of who Jenny was ahead of Call the Midwife 2021, we have got everything you need to know...

Who plays Jenny Lee?

Jenny Lee was played by English accent Jessica Raine, and she also had an appearance in season 2 of Line of Duty. She played Detective Constable Georgia Trotman, who transfered to AC-12. Her character suffers a particularly grisly death in this episode, plummeting to her death at the hands of corrupt police officer DS Jeremy Cole.

Jessica has also starred in episodes of Baptiste, Inside No. 9 and Doctor Who

Jenny Lee's personality

Jenny Lee is quite a naive character, as she has no idea what she's getting herself into when she first moves to Nonnatus House. She believes she's accepted a job with a small private hospital, she is surprised to find she's actually moving into a convent. 

In addition to this, her experience in the East End is also a huge culture shock as she is used to a privileged upbringing and even spent time enjoying the sights in Paris, so it took Jenny a while to get used to her new surroundings. However, with time she learns to accept her new home and the people that live there, and makes good friends with the other midwives.

Jenny Lee's family and relationships

Not much is known about Jenny's family, aside from the fact they were surprised about her decision to move to Poplar. They are supportive of her decision but are rarely mentioned and don't appear in any episodes of Call the Midwife.

As for Jenny's romantic relationships, one in particular is the main reason she moved to Nonnatus House in the first place. It's revealed she moved to London to escape her forbidden romance with a married man named Gerald, but it's not long before her love life becomes complicated once again! Jenny gets a shock when her best friend Jimmy arrives on the scene and reveals he's in love with her, but after turning him down the two are still able to remain friends.

At the end of Call the Midwife season 2, Jenny begins dating Alec Jesmond but is left devastated after a tragic fall from scaffolding shatters his femur, resulting in his eventual death due to an embolism. After taking some time off to grieve, Jenny eventually meets and marries Phillip Worth, who is the cousin of a new mother in Jenny's care. In the season 3 Christmas special it is revealed that she married Phillip, and they started a family together.