Call The Midwife star had ‘meltdown in supermarket’ over news about BBC role | Celebrity News | Showbiz & TV

Call The Midwife star had ‘meltdown in supermarket’ over news about BBC role | Celebrity News | Showbiz & TV

Call The Midwife‘s Renee Bailey, who plays the character of Joyce Highland on-screen, was in her local Tesco store when she found out she’d landed the role – and, forgetting the setting, she exploded with emotion. The ecstatically excited actress – who’d once thought her chosen career was so unrealistic she was deterred from pursuing it – freaked out when she got the call.

“When I got the offer, I was in the little Tesco near my house having a meltdown in the salad aisle!” she exclaimed to the Radio Times. The role would go on to leave her bruised and battered as she spent hours crouching down on her knees while emulating a birthing scene – but she was undeterred, as she has loved every minute of her fictional midwife journey.

Renee had originally attended a performing arts school but decided against pursuing her dream, instead studying journalism at Bournemouth University, followed by a five year stint as a video journalist for PA Media. However, she then landed a role on a CBBC show called Rebel Cheer Squad, thanks to the evening acting classes she’d been taking as a hobbyist.

She also acted, rapped and danced in the BBC3 show Mood, which involved a few “saucy moments”. Yet the first major role Renee has achieved has undoubtedly been Call The Midwife – and the keen auntie of five couldn’t wait to immerse herself in the world of babies and childbirth.

Recalling her first birthing scene with Laura Main [Shelagh Turner], she joked that she found herself pushing along with the expectant mother. “I was pushing with her! Then I thought, ‘No, this is Renee now, this isn’t Joyce. Joyce is a professional, she doesn’t push along with the mothers!’” she chuckled.

“We were on our knees for hours,” Renee continued, admitting: “We had pads on them, but the next day, both mine and Laura’s knees were bruised!”

She prepared for some of her other scenes by bringing in various props – even including a fake Oscar award she found in her mother’s kitchen cupboard.

The 28-year-old also opted to practise her Trinidadian accent for the role, even seeking out a dialect coach.

Despite hailing from a Caribbean background herself, with an Antiguan mother and a Jamaican father, she admitted that the distinctive lilt of Trinidad was difficult for her to replicate.

“It’s a really hard accent to do! I asked one of my friends from Trinidad to say the lines and I would copy the exact intonations and rhythms,” she explained,

Then, as soon as she began on the show, she began training with her dialect coach.

Meanwhile, Renee has also given a heartfelt ode to the midwifing profession, declaring that the staff “are not getting half of what they deserve”.

“During Covid, we were clapping for the NHS – but claps aren’t going to feed you,” she warned.

Renee’s full interview, alongside one with Call The Midwife co-star Natalie Quarry (Rosalind Clifford) is in the current issue of the Radio Times magazine, out now.

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