Interview: Call The Midwife's Jennifer Kirby
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Call The Midwife has been one of the BBC's most popular shows since it first aired five years ago. Featuring tales of joy, hope and despair, the period drama has provided a wealth of thought-provoking entertainment as it follows the personal journeys and day-to-day cases of the midwives of Nonnatus House.With Sister Mary Cynthia and Patsy both away, the Nuns decided to enlist a new midwife to their ranks, with the quick-witted heroics of former army nurse/barmaid Valerie Dyer proving to be the perfect fit in last week's episode. In today's episode and beyond, we follow Valerie as she embarks on her first day as a midwife in Poplar, enthusiastic and ready to delve into the new job and all the challenges that come with it. Ahead of Valerie's first day, we spoke to actress Jennifer Kirby to find out more about the new character and what it is like being a part of one of the BBC's most successful flagship shows. Valerie will likely be familiar to regular viewers, as she first featured a few episodes back as one of the first to be on the scene when the dock caught on fire. Speaking about the character and what the future holds for her, Jennifer is excited but suitably coy about Valerie's journey: "We will find out a bit more about her in future episodes. We already know that she's very brave and on the ball and passionate, but I think we will be able to find out more about her through the challenges she faces and the way she interacts with new situations and characters." Given Valerie's military background, might that also be something we can expect to explore in future episodes? Again, careful not to give anything away, Jennifer teases the possibility: "It's something that might come to light a bit further on, but I think her quick-thinking responses and her way of looking at a situation is part of that." The show has been around for five years and whilst cast members have come and gone, there is still a fairly established team behind the period drama. We were keen to ask whether Jennifer was nervous going into that. "I was a bit nervous. It's such a great show that is so well-established and as with any new job, there were a few first day nerves but then it very quickly became a place where I wasn't nervous. Everyone was very nice and kind towards me and really made me feel like one of their own." On screen, the show deals with a lot of important themes and issues, with upcoming episodes including everything from dental hygeine to mental health care and female genital mutilation. What is it like being a part of a series that explores so many important themes?
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