Helen says it's so much more than just a fluffy piece of fun
Call the Midwife star Helen George says she’s frustrated that some people still see the series as “just a soft period drama with lots of nice girls with nice hair”.
The hugely popular BBC1 hit, which recently enjoyed its Christmas special, will return for a ninth series in January.
In the past the show has taken on some hugely challenging storylines including one in the last series about illegal backstreet abortions.
However, the 35-year-old star, who plays Trixie Franklin, believes the series continues to be underestimated as a fluffy drama.
“It's very frustrating sometimes! I remember somebody referred to it as 'Mrs Beeton', the Victorian cook, a really nice homely BBC programme, which of course it is. I think that's the brilliant thing about it. We have very hard-hitting issues, but they're wrapped up nicely in this lovely fruit sponge.”
She added: “It also frustrates me because I think people's misconceptions about Call The Midwife put people off the show sometimes. They think, oh, it is just this soft period drama with lots of nice girls with nice hair, and they don't realise that it's actually about women's rights and hard-hitting illnesses.
"It's about life and society nowadays, too. It's about holding a mirror up to our own society. We saw that in the last series with the abortion storyline when the laws were being passed in Ireland. That's why the writing is so great. It is underestimated as this lovely little BBC period drama, and it's not - it's gritty!”
Helen believes it’s crucial Call the Midwife continues to highlight big issues, which often still effect us today.
“If any platform can hold up a mirror to society - be it the news, be it a 16 year-old girl who is campaigning for the environment, be it Call The Midwife - then that's brilliant. We are in such a mess that we need our arts to reflect that. That's really important.”
Helen went on to tease what viewers can expect from series nine.
“This is a really interesting series because we're focusing on the wider picture. We are looking at London at large. We are exploring the changes that are happening with The Pill, but also with the fashion for having babies in a maternity home rather than at home.
"We are also looking at where the Nonnatus midwives fit into the new modern community and if there is still a place for them - and hopefully there is!”
When does Call the Midwife series 9 begin?
Call the Midwife returns to BBC1 on Sunday 5 January at 8.00pm on BBC1.
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