Call the Midwife's Helen George shares favourite scene and why it resonates with her now

Naomi Gordon
·3-min read
Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Call the Midwife's Helen George has selected her favourite scene to celebrate the show's 10th anniversary, and discussed how the prescient moment relates to life now in light of the global pandemic.

The actress plays Nurse Trixie in BBC One's beloved period drama created by Heidi Thomas. Set in the lates 1950s and '60s, the series follows the lives of the midwives, nuns and nurses of Nonnatus House in east London's Poplar, and the selfless dedication, hard work, and care they rigorously provide.

George's chosen moment - from the tear-jerking finale of series 9 - features her character Trixie fighting to save Nonnatus from budget cuts and potential closure by delivering a powerfully emotive speech.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

During her poignant address to a panel made up of suited, middle-aged white men, Trixie reads out the names of the patients thanking the staff of Nonnatus, to show the personal and human side of their hard work and care. George said this brings to mind the efforts of our NHS workers who continue to work tirelessly throughout the pandemic, putting their own lives at risk to help others.

"It's when Nonnatus has to fight for their ability to remain as part of the community, and Nonnatus is such a pillar for the community, and the mothers and the patients of Poplar write these beautiful letters which we present," George told Good Housekeeping UK and others at a panel to celebrate the drama's 10th anniversary.

"It felt like a really relevant clip because it's less about Trixie - she's merely the deliverer - it's really about Nonnatus, and the whole sense of nursing and how it seems so relevant today, to list those names in the way that on the anniversary of Covid, of course those names were listed in the exact same way."

Photo credit: Ollie Upton - BBC
Photo credit: Ollie Upton - BBC

Commending Thomas' "sixth sense" in being able to predict that nation's mood, George continued: "It's that wonderful way that Heidi [Thomas] has to reflect - and this was filmed way before [Covid] - but she has this sixth sense to be able to predict... And here we are all these years later, with a similar fight going on and it's a clip that resonates with me."

George said it also showed the importance of having a sense of community and helping others around us, which is something that may have been restored during Covid, with volunteers delivering medical supplies and food to those in need.

"It is that sense of community that we've lost - perhaps there's a sense of grasping it back over the last year but the symbolic nature of that unity of nurses and NHS care workers sat opposite a bench of suited men - I guess it feels like a relevant parallel to the government and NHS at the moment," the star explained.

Thomas added that the very heart and soul of Call the Midwife is about standing up for and acknowledging nurses and care workers, and the unwavering support they provide, often at the detriment of their own mental and physical health - particularly during Covid.

"How hard do people have to fight to get acknowledgement? It makes me want to shout and bang the drum and that's what Call the Midwife does - it says, this care is provided for the many by the few, and the few put so much of themselves into it personally, and sometimes they have to make choices at great personal cost," Thomas explained.

"Our nurses and care workers are extraordinary when you see the toll the pandemic has taken mentally and, and physically - and I can't believe they aren't getting more acknowledgement and more governmental support."

Call the Midwife's series 10 will return to BBC One later this year.

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