This week, for some unknown reason, I seem to be watching the sorts of programme I have previously shied away from with all the nervousness of a finely bred racing horse. Well, alright then, more of a racing donkey.
The BBC’s Call the Midwife, which started on Sunday and has received mixed reviews is, I guess, the 1950’s version of One Born Every Minute. I watched it thinking ’25 children? Is she MAD?’ And he didn’t even learn Spanish? There’s love for you.
It all looked a bit too clean, to be honest. Not that I was alive in the 1950’s, nor in the East End, but I’ve read my fair share of trashy novels and knew what to expect. It all seemed a bit false. I know it’s TV and all, but with the comedy nuns and the bobbies on bikes it was way too formulaic for me, even if it was based on real life. I’ll give it another go, after all it has a stonking cast and I’m looking forward to the arrival of Miranda Hart as Chummy.
I can see that this could develop into the All Creatures Great and Small equivalent of Sunday evening viewing. If I can get through the next episode and stop shouting ‘prosthetic’ at the telebox every time a tiny baby appears. For some reason the Other Half finds this even more annoying than my wish to watch this sort of programme.
The new series of Channel 4’s One Born Every Minute was filmed in Leeds and there’s been a lot of chatter about it round these parts. I’ve never seen it. With the Other Half away I put the kettle on – that’s what they always do in these sorts of situations – and settled down with a cuppa. Well.
I didn’t cry. I gasped, winced, and swore blue and blind that adoption, child stealing or surrogacy is the only way forward. I worried about the way in which babies were pulled out by their necks. I worried about the pain relief on offer and the way in which young Leanne – bless her – seemed so very naïve and ignorant of basic biology. Having said that, I am even more concerned about her relationship with the father of her gorgeous baby and that she will stop listening to her friend, who came across as eminently sensible and likeable.
The other couples were lovely and I just wanted to ask them why on earth they would let someone film them in this situation? I felt very privileged that they had shared this private moment, though, not least as they were practically performing a public service – who knew babies were grey?
But the biggest question for me was: who was Debbie Daley? Who was ringing her? I thought it might have been Leanne’s Nicky, wanting to repent via her friend and confess he didn’t just want a council flat but to treat her and baby Alfie with the respect they deserved. But I’ve gone off that idea now.
Answers on a virtual postcard please. Otherwise I’ll be forced to watch next week. Just to see if they mention it.