Call the Midwife viewers hail Rosie Jones as a 'force of nature' in series 13 debut

The disabled comedian played a pregnant woman with cerebral palsy

Rosie Jones as Doreen Challis in Call the Midwife (BBC)
Rosie Jones starred in Call the Midwife as Doreen Challis, a pregnant woman with cerebral palsy, in season 13's opening episode. (BBC)

Call the Midwife returned to BBC on Sunday, 7 January for its thirteenth season, with viewers celebrating the show's return and the appearance of comedian Rosie Jones in the opening episode.

Jones portrayed Doreen Challis in the premiere episode, which centred on her character as a heavily pregnant woman with cerebral palsy. Jones, who has cerebral palsy like Doreen, received a huge amount of praise from viewers for her performance, with some calling her a "force of nature" onscreen.

Read more: Helen George reveals Call The Midwife role boosted her confidence as a woman

The comedian has helped pave the way for more disabled representation onscreen and, while she has been open about the ableist trolling she has been subjected to over the years, her debut in the BBC series was met with acclaim on X, formerly known as Twitter.

A viewer who has cerebral palsy like Jones shared their joy at seeing the comedian appear on the show, writing: "Rosie jones has shown her real talent tonight. #CallTheMidwife has me so emosh, as mum with CP i had 2 very hard pregnancies and births but gave birth to 2 perfect babies"

Jennifer Hennessy, Rosie Jones and Georgia Alexandra in Call the Midwife (BBC).
Jennifer Hennessy, Rosie Jones and Georgia Alexandra in Call the Midwife. Rosie Jones was praised by viewers for her "tremendous" performance. (BBC).

One viewer hailed Jones' performance by writing: "#CallTheMidwife Rosie Jones you are a force of nature absolutely fantastic"

While there was another person who said Jones had done "wonderful work" on the episode, writing that her performance was "absolutely thought provoking and beautifully done" and added: "I'm in tears - and crossed my legs very tightly during that birth scene!"

Another audience member said of the comedian: "#RosieJones was AMAZING on #CallTheMidwife tonight, I hope she gets the praise she deserves! What a superb start to the new series - a few other shows could take some tips from this programme about how to cover issues and representation!"

Helen George, Megan Cusak, Natalie Quarry and Renee Bailey in Call the Midwife (BBC)
Helen George, Megan Cusak, Natalie Quarry and Renee Bailey in Call the Midwife, the new season follows a group of midwives in the late 1960s. (BBC)

Jones was called "absolutely tremendous" by one viewer, while another said she did "great acting" in the series and commended the show's writers for creating a "wonderful story" based on her character.

Read more: Rosie Jones moved to tears after learning trolls sent abuse to disabled toddler

Reflecting on the show's opening episode, one viewer said: "Just finished watching the first episode of the brand new Call The Midwife series and what an amazing start! Rosie Jones was absolutely brilliant!"

While another wrote: "Rosie Jones was amazing! #CallTheMidwife is back & I couldn't be more happy!"

Call the Midwife follows the lives of a group of midwives during the 1950s and 1960s, and the tireless work they do helping pregnant women give birth. The period drama is now set within the late 1960s, with the new season expected to feature eight episodes in total.

Call the Midwife continues on BBC One and BBC iPlayer at 8pm on Sundays.

Watch the trailer for Call the Midwife season 13: