Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Husband in the dark over TV scripts

Call The Midwife writer Heidi Thomas keeps her scripts top secret - even from her husband
Call The Midwife writer Heidi Thomas keeps her scripts top secret - even from her husband

Call The Midwife screenwriter Heidi Thomas has told how she keeps the show's scripts hidden away from her husband - despite the fact that he stars in the drama.

Stephen McGann plays widowed GP Dr Turner in the TV hit, alongside the likes of Jessica Raine, Miranda Hart and Jenny Agutter.

The period drama means that the couple, who met after Stephen starred in one of Heidi's first plays at the Liverpool Playhouse, are working together for the first time in 25 years.

But Heidi, whose credits include the TV adaptation of Cranford and the recent series of Upstairs Downstairs, told the Radio Times that Stephen - the brother of fellow actors Paul, Mark and Joe - did not get to see her scripts before the rest of the cast.

"If he comes into my study while I'm working on them, I cover the screen," she told the magazine.

"But it's wonderful having a project that you can mull over with your partner, although I think our son gets fed up with it."

The opening episode of the second series of the drama, based on the late Jennifer Worth's memoirs and set in London's East End, was watched by 9.3 million viewers.

Heidi said that exhausting all of Jennifer's stories would prove no barrier to the continuation of the show.

"I will have done (finished her stories) by the end of the second series," she said. "But don't worry. It doesn't mean the show will end.

"The characters will be well developed by then and Jennifer was happy for us to continue."

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Your dry humour will be very popular. It's always difficult bringing a large group of people together. Everybody feels like they are walking on eggshells. After cracking a few jokes, you'll put the group at ease. Resist the temptation to make fun of relatives, especially the more sensitive members of the group. Nobody likes feeling singled out. Watching a light hearted comedy can also be a great way to generate a festive atmosphere. This is a time when people can put their differences aside.More