Call the Midwife confronts female genital mutilation in new series

first_imgAsked how much notice she was given, Thomas said: “I can’t say, but it was short. We were hopeful right up to the end that we could make it work, but we couldn’t.”I just rewrote the series without Miranda in it, which was sad because we would have loved having her in it. She is part of the Call The Midwife family. But (this time) it wasn’t meant to be.”Hart, who quit the show during series four because of work commitments, said that she could not return because she could not make the schedule work. While movies based on other period dramas such as Downton Abbey are said to be in the works, Thomas said she was not interested in a big-screen spin-off, saying: “It has never been discussed.”She said that she had received “expressions of interest from very senior actresses” to appear in the TV drama because of its strong roles for women.And she added of the secret to the show’s success: “Gradual, persistent change. In some long-running shows there is a pressure to keep characters going on and on with new stories, but that does not replicate life. My mantra is, ‘We are not a soap. We are a medical drama’.”The new series begins on Sunday. New @CallTheMidwife1 starts THIS WEEK! Get warmed up with series 1-5 💪 @helen_george— BBC Store (@BBCStore) January 16, 2017 Call the Midwife Call The Midwife The new series will tackle difficult issuesCredit:Sophie Mutevelian /BBC Thomas said the new series had to be rewritten after Miranda Hart pulled out.The actress, 44, who played loveable midwife Camilla “Chummy” Browne, announced last year that she would not return to the period drama despite suggestions from producers that she would.Thomas said that she had written Hart into the sixth series, which airs later this month, but that she withdrew at “relatively short notice”.”We were thrilled when Miranda approached us, and I storylined the series for her, but at relatively short notice she had to withdraw,” she said. “I thought this would be a fascinating story, as it would be the first time our midwives would have seen this process. It would provide a very interesting crunch point between two cultures and of course it is now a very hot topic, quite rightly,” she told Radio Times.FGM is illegal in the UK, and nearly 6,000 new cases were recorded in England last year. But Thomas said her show would not make a moral judgment about the practice.“We are a medical drama, not a moral drama. We are not judging this woman,” she said. “You do have to be careful not to impose a modern mindset on the attitude of either the white characters or the Somalian women in that part of the story.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Miranda Hart previously appeared in the programmeCredit:Jonathan Ford /BBC  Call The Midwife is to tackle the controversial issue of female genital mutilation, with a storyline set among the East End’s Somali community.The BBC One drama will take a sympathetic look at the plight of a young woman who has undergone the procedure.Heidi Thomas, the screenwriter, said she had wanted to include the storyline for some time but had to wait until the drama reached the early 1960s, when “appropriate cultural communities” had settled in east London. The new series of Call the Midwife is in the 1960sCredit:Sophie Mutevelian /BBC Miranda Hartlast_img read more

Cruise ship survivor was complaining about her boyfriend after 10 hours in

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Miss Longstaff, an air hostess from Gloucestershire but now living in Spain, had, according to reports, argued with her partner in the hours before she plunged into the Adriatic from deck seven of the Norwegian Star cruise ship. The passenger who survived ten hours at sea continued to complain about her boyfriend even after being rescued, according to the captain who saved her. She spent nearly ten hours in the waters 60 miles off the coast of Croatia, before a rescue operation involving planes, coastguard and harbour boats found her drifting close to where… Kay Longstaff, 46, had also expressed concern she would have to pay for the rescue mission after being picked up by the Croatian coastguard. read more