THE family of the author who inspired BBC drama Call The Midwife are thrilled that a second series has been commissioned for next year after the show attracted the highest ratings in its time slot for a decade.
The six-part drama based on the memoirs of the late Jennifer Worth was watched by more than eight million people every Sunday night and ended on a high of 9.2 million viewers tuning in for the final episode on February 19.
Mrs Worth wrote the trilogy of books – Call the Midwife, Shadows of the Workhouse and Farewell to the East End – from her home in St Johns Road, Hemel Hempstead, but passed away, aged 75, before the series aired.
She gave full consent for Neal Street Productions to recreate the triology for the BBC and was involved in the early stages of the production.
Her daughter Suzannah Hart, who visited the set with her father Phillip during the filming, said: “It’s amazing. When you add the viewings on iPlayer it’s more than 11 million, which is staggering.
The series starred Miranda Hart and Jessica Raine, who played young Jenny. Jennifer’s own grandaughters Eleanor and Lydia Hart were also cast as extras.
“The family got together every Sunday to watch it and invariably there were tears and plenty of laughter. It was a gripping series,” said Suzannah.
The show was so popular that it was commissioned for another series of eight episodes after only the second episode.
Suzannah said: “We have had so many compliments from people who knew mother. I didn’t read the reviews, some were good some were bad, but the viewing figures speak for themselves.”