A BBC drama based on the memoirs of a midwife who worked with an order of nursing nuns, has been hailed as a ratings triumph, and recommissioned for a second series.
Call The Midwife, the adaptation of the stories told by the late Jennifer Worth in her autobiographical works, hit an unexpected high with 9.8 million viewers of its first episode, the highest amount for a launch of a new drama on record.
And episode two, which saw comic Miranda Hart join the cast, averaged a whopping 8.6 million viewers.
Key to the success of the series, is the unique nature of Worth’s stories, which Ben Stephenson, the controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, describes as: "A totally original mix of comedy, tears, babies and nuns."
The show tells the story of Jennifer Worth, who was a midwife in London’s East End, and found herself working alongside a community of religious sisters full of colourful and eccentric characters.
The TV adaptation of the best-selling memoirs stars big name actresses Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne, Pam Ferris as Sister Evangelina, alongside Miranda Hart as Chummy and newcomer Jessica Raine as the author.
The series reveals their friendships and the extraordinary true stories they encounter, as they are drawn into the lives and homes of the women and families they treat.
Jennifer Worth’s stories were not just a series of humorous events, but a spiritual journey, which saw her so inspired by the down to earth faith she saw on display, that she later became a believer too.
Now her stories have a chance to inspire others, as the hit Sunday Night TV show is lauded as a success across the media, defeating even heavy hitters like Downton Abbey in the ratings war.
Pippa Harris, the Executive Producer said: “We are thrilled that viewers have taken Call The Midwife to their hearts. The re-commission is a fantastic tribute to Jennifer Worth and will ensure that her legacy lives on. We're very much looking forward to working with our tremendous cast and crew to revisit the residents of Nonnatus House.”
January 24th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross