From 60s Fashion to Thalidomide: Why Call the Midwife is the Ultimate Family Show

Nothing says Sunday night more than Call the Midwife, a cup of tea, and your favourite dressing gown.

(Image: BBC Media Centre)

Based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, Call the Midwife depicts the lives of midwives working in 1950s and 60s Poplar, East London, and the stories of the people they serve.

Call the Midwife first aired on BBC One on 15 January 2012; nine years later, the turning of the season equals the anticipation of an eleventh season. But what is it that keeps millions of people watching year after year?

The answer is quite simple. Pair the cosines of tuning into the same channel at 8pm every Sunday night with the BBC’s remit of depicting every social group and you have your response: a show with a vast and widely stretching target audience.

Grandmas in armchairs enjoy the familiarity of old church halls and seeing district nurses travel by bicycle. Mum is enchanted by the quaintness of a TV show focused on the lives of women living in a convent.  And finally, young people are introduced to a world they might never have otherwise experienced.

Heidi Thomas – Call the Midwife creator, writer and executive producer

The show follows storylines revolving around women trapped in domestic violence, prostitution, poverty, as well as exploring issues such as eclampsia, polio, and postnatal depression. Call the Midwife isn’t just about nurses delivering babies, it is a show that unites us as people.

The show’s commitment to depicting historical events, as well as their commitment to portraying LGBTQ+ relationships, is what makes the show so refreshing. The historical drama has been reimagined, swapping transatlantic accents with real life, regional accents that make the show feel even more authentic.

The recently aired Christmas special pulled in 4.7 million viewers, surpassed only by the Queen’s Speech and Strictly Come Dancing on Christmas Day (I mean, we’re not surprised!).

Call the Midwife has a series average of 10.47 million viewers, making it one of the most popular shows on TV.

So, this winter, be prepared to cosy up in the living room for a show that will have you laughing at Sister Monia Jones’ musings one moment and crying at a stillborn birth the next.

The eleventh series of Call the Midwife airs on BBC One and BBC iPlayer this Sunday.  

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