Call The Midwife shares sneak preview and explains the real life inspiration for Lucille's story

Megan Sutton
·3-min read
Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

From Prima

Following the Call The Midwife Christmas special, fans of the show are eagerly awaiting the upcoming 10th season of the hit BBC drama.

While we do just that, the makers of the show have given another glimpse behind the scenes of filming, this time focusing on Nurse Lucille (Leonie Elliott) and her partner Cyril (Zephryn Taitte), whose romance is a fan favourite.

Sharing a picture of Lucille taking a break from her visiting rounds to chat with mechanic Cyril, the show makers spoke about the real life inspiration behind the midwife's storyline and Leonie's performance.

"Call the Midwife makes demands on all the actors it employs. Yet there can be few who have carried quite as much post-war British history on their shoulders as our own Leonie Elliott, who plays Nurse Lucille Anderson," the Facebook post read.

Lucille first arrived in Poplar from Jamaica in series seven, set in 1963, representing just one story out of the many people who immigrated to Britain from the West Indies to supply the employment boom that came after years of wartime austerity.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

"Nurse Lucille is one of about 5000 Jamaican nurses recruited by the National Health Service at that time – and her journey mirrors that of Leonie’s own aunt, who left Jamaica to become a British nurse in the '60s," the CTM post explained.

Actor Leonie said: “Although Lucille is just one character, I felt I was representing a generation of courageous men and women who made so much impact on the UK. I definitely felt a huge responsibility to represent those people in the right way, and shine a light on them.”

Leonie's family, including her grandparents, hail from Jamaica and from the start of her involvement on Call The Midwife, she's worked with the team on refining the details of Lucille's back story and her new life in Poplar.

"A very good example of this was the story of Lucille being made to feel unwelcome as a Black woman in a traditional British church, and ultimately joining a new congregation of similarly-treated people in worship at a private home," Call The Midwife said.

“That was something that my granddad had mentioned to me – at that time, he would be politely asked to leave mainstream British churches. What that meant was that Caribbean people started to worship in somebody’s living room. So that storyline was influenced heavily by my grandfather – he was very passionate about it," Leonie said.

On representing her grandparents' lives through the show, she added that it's "so special" to her.

"I’ve learned so much about my grandparents’ experience. I feel proud, really, to be able to do that, and I just hope I’ve done the part justice.”

Read the full post HERE.

Series 10 of Call The Midwife airs on BBC1 in 2021, with series 1-9 available to watch on iPlayer

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