Fans of Call the Midwife were in tears over the show's finale on Sunday night, which saw Elsie Dyer die after battling oesophagus cancer, while being cared for by her niece, Nurse Valerie. The way the show handled the emotional storyline was praised by fans, and actor Stephen McGann revealed the personal connection behind the story.
Stephen opened up about the episode
Stephen, who plays Doctor Turner and is married to the show's writer and producer, Heidi Thomas, revealed that they lost Heidi's mother to the same disease in 2019. Posting on Twitter, he wrote: "Personal disclosure. We nursed Heidi's mum last year with terminal cancer of the oesophagus. A grim, important, tender, horrific journey. As many of you will know." Viewers were quick to reply to his touching post, with one writing: "Heidi, and the whole cast and crew, knocked it out of the park once again. Beautiful and poignant television. Call the Midwife is the BBC at its best," while another added: "Lost my auntie 38 years ago at the age of 35 to oesophageal cancer, and a good friend just three years ago aged 36, also to oesophageal cancer. Thank you for your bravery in tackling this as a storyline line when it is so raw for you."
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The Oesophageal and Stomach Cancer Support also tweeted to raise awareness of the warning signs, writing: "Who saw #callthemidwife last night? We think it's an appropriate time to share the signs and symptoms of #oesophagealcancr! Did you know that the show is based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth (author of the books) who died of oesophageal cancer in 2011?" They added a picture listing the symptoms, which include persistent heartburn, difficulty swallowing, regurgitation of food, hoarseness and persistent bouts of hiccups."
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