Published: 00:01, 22 December 2017
It was wonderful. We had all the icicles, we had snow around - it really looks amazing. It’s not easy to do because it’s a big production – there was a lot of work around the snow. Also, it’s blindingly white, so if the sun comes out you can’t really see.
I was living in Cyprus, and I came over to boarding school at that time. I remember this icicle hanging off the roof, and having to wear all the clothes one possibly could because there was no way they could make the school warm.
We like to do everything completely out of order! So, we did have a bit of sunshine - but it looks lovely. And actually, part of the reason it stayed frozen was because the skies were quite clear. If it was heavy and cloudy, it [the snow] would have been melting.
We’ve got a pretty heavy-hitting story, because [historic] child abuse comes into it. But all of our Christmas episodes have had quite difficult things in them. The difficulty with this is that something like [historic] child abuse leaves such a lot behind it; you can’t repair that damage. You can just show a community that supports somebody. But it is a shocking story to read.
I work anyway with Action For Children; mainly projects that are to do with youth homelessness, but they deal a lot with abuse, whether it’s sexual abuse or physical abuse. Most young people end up on the street, not because it seems like a more romantic life, but because they’re running away from something ghastly. So, when I get a story like this, it actually deeply affects me, because it rings true.
There’s always the possibility of a better future when a child is born. Unless they’re born into terrible circumstances - but you’re always hoping that that child will have a better world, a better place, a better life. And they bring huge hope, it’s just gorgeous. That, plus the fact we are moving through time. Young people look at it as very much a period piece, older people look at it and remember the times.
We’ve got Lucille [the first West Indian midwife to feature as a regular character, portrayed by Leonie Elliott] arriving in episode one, which is lovely. Although we’ve had many people in the community from different places, we haven’t actually had someone that we’ve employed. But, of course, that time is absolutely right, because they were bringing a lot of people over from the Commonwealth to join medical services. And that has thankfully continued.
The exponential changes in science and the arts, and then into society, were enormous in the 1960s. All that stuff that had been held back in the War, was really starting to burst out. As we get further into the 1960s, one will really see the effect of those changes in Poplar. So it’s quite exciting!
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