We’ve been missing the wonderful Camilla “Chummy” Fortescue-Cholmeley-Browne since her character moved to a mother and baby unit in series four. But our spiritis were momentarily lifted in April when it was announced that Miranda Hart would be returning to BBC’s Call the Midwife for the 2016 Christmas special and the sixth series, airing in 2017.
At the time Neal Street Productions told the Sun:
“We’ve been bursting to share the news Chummy has left the mother and
baby unit and is heading back to Poplar for series six! We’re thrilled
to be once again featuring Miranda Hart and her fabulous blend of
warmth, strength and vulnerability as Chummy gets to grips with the
medical and social challenges of the 1960s.”
However today, Call the Midwife fans were dealt a devastating blow when news broke that Miranda, who missed most of series four and all of series five, has decided to pull out of series six and the Christmas special due to other work commitments. “Truly sad not to be playing Chummy this year”, Miranda reassured fans they were still “in for a treat” with Dame Harriet Walter joining the show as a cast member “and more besides”.
Can’t wait to see the rest of the cast this Christmas? Get your CTM fix with these behind-the-scenes secrets from screenwriter Heidi Thomas…
On the family-feeling on set…
I think it’s lovely when
you’ve got multiple generations interacting and learning from one
another – the actors are a range of ages from young girls in their 20s
to Judy Parfitt in her 70s. They all sing and dance on set – Miranda
loves a dance in the caravan! And everybody brings their dogs to work. I
often think we should do a spin-off called ‘The Dogs Have Called the
On the real Chummy…
to know who the real Chummy was. I even had the nuns on the case because
the nuns are good friends of mine. And they put out feelers and we did
investigations and sadly what we found out was that Chummy was probably a
composite of people that Jennifer Worth had known. She turned out not
to have existed at all!
On taking care of the babies…
midwifery consultant Terri Coates cares for the babies so well and
keeps the set so warm that they often sleep through the whole filming
process. It can be tricky because newborns are normally wakeful so Terri
blows on their toes to get them to open their eyes so we can get that
little shot. Usually when you hear the sound of a baby crying in the
show, it will be a recording because if a baby cries for real, Terri
will just step in and stop filming. That’s why when you hear crying,
you’ll often only see the back of the baby’s head!
On being inspired…
characters have a life that goes beyond anything I create for them and
there’s these moments of magic, when I’m writing and I think I’m at the
end of my imagination when Trixie or Sister Monica Joan or Sister
Evangelina or whoever will just say something completely unexpected to
me and get me going again.