TV hit 'Call the Midwife', which is based on the true story of Jennifer Worth, who worked with an order of Nuns in the East End of London, is officially the most watched new BBC One drama series, since records began.
A staggering 9.2 million viewers watched the final episode, making the average for each episode, 8.7million viewers, almost a third of all television viewers.
And the BBC have announced the midwives and religious sisters will return to the small screen next year for a second series of period drama.
And writer Heidi Thomas, who worked with the late Jennifer Worth to bring her memoirs to the screen, thinks the devout Christian would be pleased with the results.
She said: “"When Jennifer Worth was dying, I took her hands in mine and promised I'd do everything in my power to make her books sing as a drama.
“She will be looking down now from the heaven she undoubtedly believed in, and smiling. That means more to me than I can say."
The series finale saw the much loved character ‘Chummy’, played by comedienne Miranda Hart marrying PC Noakes, despite her mother’s intervention. And it also found Sister Monica Joan in the dock for stealing.
It is the combination of grit and humour, which seems to portray so vividly the life of East End London, that has won the viewers’ favour.
Danny Cohen, Controller BBC One, said: "Heidi Thomas and Neal Street have brought a new kind of grit and risk to period drama. It's been wonderful to see viewers respond so warmly - and in such large numbers - to this world of babies, nuns, and extraordinary women."
Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, said: “Call The Midwife has been a phenomenon that has won the hearts of the nation, with last night’s finale delivering a series high making it the biggest new BBC One drama on record! My special thanks go out to the late Jennifer Worth, the brilliant Heidi Thomas and Neal Street Productions.”
February 21st, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross