Call the Midwife's Jennifer Kirby

Tea Time Tidbit for the week of January 1, 2018

We hope you enjoyed the Christmas Day special extended episode of Call the Midwife. Although several of the midwives are no longer in the series, I think Nurse Valerie, who joined the cast in season six, really came into her own in the Christmas episode.

Jennifer Kirby who plays Nurse Valerie is a terrific actress, although that’s not a surprise considering that right up until being cast in Call the Midwife she was a member of the U.K.’s prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company. In fact, it was while performing with the RSC in New York that Kirby found out she’d been cast as Nurse Valerie. Apparently it was a dream come true as she’d been a fan of the show since it began and would watch it on Sundays nights when she was at drama school in London.

Tea Time Tidbit

Jennifer Kirby, before and after
cutting her hair for the show

To prepare for her role as the East End nurse, 29-year-old Kirby, who hails from Worcestershire, listened to recordings of how cockneys spoke in the 1960s. Apparently the accent was different to how they speak nowadays. She also perused a 1962 book her mother - who is reportedly a huge fan of the series – found that showed how women in that era dressed and how they wore their hair. Before "becoming" Nurse Valerie, Kirby’s hair was almost down to her waist, but she cut it off and donated it to The Little Princess Trust, an organization that provides wigs for cancer victims.

Tea Time Tidbit

Jenny Agutter & Anita Dobson

In case you’re wondering by the way where you might have seen the actress who played the abused wife Mabel Tillerson in the Christmas Special, wonder no more. The "old" lady recluse was none other than actress Anita Dobson, who was the original Queen Vic pub owner Angie, in EastEnders!

 

Tea Time Tidbit

Tom and Barbara Hereward played by
Charlotte Ritchie and Jack Ashton

 

Finally, if you were surprised to learn that Nurse Barbara and her husband Tom Hereward would be departing for Birmingham, I’m happy to report they will be back. Not for the entirety of series seven, but at least for the last few episodes. The brand new series of Call the Midwife begins airing over here, Sunday, March 25 at 8pm.

To contact Heather:
E-mail: heather@mpt.org
Address: Afternoon Tea
Maryland Public Television
11767 Owings Mills Blvd.
Owings Mills, MD 21117

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Afternoon Tea is Maryland Public Television's weekday presentation of British programs.
Our host and Tea Lady is Heather Sanderson.
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