Call The Midwife creator Heidi Thomas ‘surprised and thrilled’ at OBE

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Call The Midwife creator Heidi Thomas has said her OBE will be going “straight on the mantelpiece” in Nonnatus House, the fictional convent in the hit TV show she created.

Playwright and screenwriter Thomas, 59, has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, recognised for her services to drama, in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

She is the writer and creator of the BBC One series which charts the early years of the NHS based Nonnatus House in London’s East End and which has been a huge success since it debuted in 2012.

1917 World Premiere – London
Stephen McGann (right) and Heidi Thomas attending the 1917 World Premiere at Leicester Square, London (Ian West/PA)

Thomas said: “I was so surprised and thrilled to hear I’d be receiving this honour. It’s going straight on the mantelpiece in Nonnatus House!.

“It is an absolute joy to work on Call The Midwife, and telling stories about people whose lives have otherwise gone unnoticed is a privilege.

“I feel as though the OBE shines a little bit of light on all of them, and that is just lovely.”

Last year the BBC announced the programme would be on air till 2024 with series 12, 13 and Christmas specials commissioned.

The Call The Midwife cast includes Helen George, Jenny Agutter, Laura Main, Leonie Elliott and Stephen McGann, who is Thomas’ husband, with Vanessa Redgrave as the narrator.

The series has tackled contemporary social, cultural and economic issues in its storylines, including racism, the legalisation of abortion and the Thalidomide scandal.

It is based on the best-selling memoirs of former nurse and midwife Jennifer Worth, who died in 2011, the year before the first series was broadcast.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Born and raised in Liverpool, Thomas also attended University there and she started her career as a writer in theatre with plays such as Shamrocks And Crocodiles, which won her the John Whiting Award in 1985.

Her TV writing credits include shows like ITV’s Soldier Soldier, which launched the singing careers of Robson Green and Jerome Flynn, and also BBC series Cranford which starred Dame Judi Dench and Dame Eileen Atkins.

The BBC revival of Upstairs Downstairs and the BBC adaptation of classic novel Little Women into a series, are also among her TV writing body of work.

Louisa May Alcott’s coming-of-age story, about four sisters on their journey from childhood to adulthood, was first published in 1868, and the BBC series boasted a cast including Emily Watson, Maya Hawke, Dame Angela Lansbury and Michael Gambon.

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