Call the Midwife attracts record-breaking audience in triumphant third series return
The hit BBC drama drew average viewing figures of 9.6 million on Sunday
Period drama Call the Midwife attracted a record-breaking weekend audience when the hit series returned for a third run on Sunday.
Last night, an average of 9.6 million viewers tuned in to BBC One to watch Jenny, new mum Chummy ( played by Miranda Hart), Trixie and the rest of the lovable cast relocate after their home was destroyed during the Christmas special.
Figures were up by 300,000 on the opening episode of series two last year, which drew 9.3 million on average.
Heidi Thomas’ popular show is based on the memoirs and experiences of Jennifer Worth, a midwife who worked with nuns in the impoverished East End of London during the 1950s. Helen George, Jessica Raine and Bryony Hannah star among its ensemble.
During an interview with The Independent in December, Thomas proudly revealed that a US paper had described Call the Midwife as "the Breaking Bad of midwifery drama". What most UK viewers would call heart-warming, international fans consider edgy, as midwifery is a minority profession in the US.
Furthermore, the show offers an interesting new perspective across the Atlantic. "I think it’s helped fan the flames of the debate about publicly-funded healthcare in America," Thomas said.
New BBC One series The Musketeers did not make such an impressive entrance on Sunday, pulling in an average of 7.4 million later in the evening. The return of drama Mr Selfridge also failed to rival Call the Midwife when it attracted an average of 5.3 million viewers.
Sneak a peek at stills from the third series of Call the Midwife below:
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
Best underrated Christmas movies from Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food