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Call the Midwife star reveals what it's really like working with his wife on the show

The actor spoke on This Morning

stephen heidi
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
November 12, 2021
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Call the Midwife star Stephen McGann has spoken about what it’s like working with his wife Heidi Thomas, who writes and produces the hit BBC period drama. 

MORE: Everything we know about the 2021 Call the Midwife Christmas special so far

Chatting to Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary on This Morning, Stephen revealed that while he and his wife work on the same show, they don’t actually see each other that often during the working day. 

WATCH: Stephen McGann reveals what it's like to work with wife Heidi Thomas

When asked about working with Heidi, he responded: "Well I don’t really. The funny thing is because she’s the boss, she’s above my paygrade."

"It’s like I work in the factory and I come home from the factory and she’s in the boss’ office," he jokily added. 

The actor, who plays Dr. Patrick Turner in the series, also revealed that he and his wife had previously worked together 25 years before the BBC drama aired. He said: "The loveliest thing about it is we’ve shared this unusual adventure because nothing was ever certain. We worked once 25 years before, never thought we’d work together, and so by sheer accident, we worked together. And when it’s all done one day we’ll look back and think, 'What a lovely journey that was.'"

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The much-loved British drama has received wide praise for tackling topical social and economic issues such as abortion, racism, and poverty, and is a huge hit with critics and fans alike. When asked if he knew the secret to the show’s success, Stephen put it down to the response from viewers. He said: "I think there’s a few things in there. One of the simplest things is its sincerity, and it’s about compassion and what I would say to people, there’s no secret formula. It’s about the way the audience react to the things the audience wants to see in themselves, which is love and care and community."

stephen mcgann heidi wife© Photo: Getty Images

Stephen and Heidi worked together 25 years before Call the Midwife

He continued: "It’s the audience that does the crying, we are not working some magic machine. And actually, all you’re doing is touching on something, through childbirth and family, you’re touching on something universal that people recognise in themselves or want to feel better about."

Chatting about how Heidi consistently produces compelling and moving storylines for the show, Stephen revealed that she is inspired by history’s untold stories. He said: "What happens to Heidi is she’s presented with a blank page, and she has all that fear and every single year, I guarantee, she goes, 'How am I going to do it now?' Then she says it’s like a magic fairy descends and I said, 'So what is it? How do you go upstairs and come back down, and you have something?" And she says, 'Because it’s like someone from history puts their hand up and says, 'Tell my story,' someone voiceless says 'Tell my story.''

call midwife xmas© Photo: BBC

Call the Midwife will return with a Christmas special 

While on the show, the actor also spoke about his new book titled A Labour of Love – Ten Years of Love, Life and Laughter, which is described as the "up-close and personal story of Call the Midwife, as told by the cast and crew who made it into the iconic drama it is today. It’s packed with behind-the-scenes photographs and exclusive interviews with our team, past and present."

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