What's next for Call the Midwife's Charlotte Ritchie?

What's next for Call the Midwife's Charlotte Ritchie?
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Everything you need to know about actress Charlotte Ritchie

Including her VERY famous granddad!

Charlotte Ritchie is a British actress and singer-songwriter who has starred in various TV series including Raised by Wolves and Fresh Meat. Here's everything you need to know about the young actress and her role in Call the Midwife

Charlotte Ritchie in Call the Midwife 

Nurse Barbara Hereward (was Gilbert) was played by Charlotte Ritchie, who joined the cast in series 4 of Call the Midwife. After getting married to Trixie’s ex-fiancé, Tom Hereward, played by Jack Ashton, series 7 began with the pair settling into married life...but ended in tragedy.  

Charlotte reflects on the sad death of Nurse Barbara

How could any fan of Call the Midwife forget Nurse Barbara's devastating final moments before sadly dying from septicaemia. Talking to RadioTimes.com, Charlotte Ritchie who played Nurse Barbara is reflecting on those heartbreaking final scenes and how it was to film them. 

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Although many Call the Midwife fans would have liked to have left the door open for Nurse Barbara to come back one day, Charlotte was not so sure. “It would have been amazing to have the door always open, but also you can’t always do that,” you can’t have your cake and eat it. It was my decision to go and I think it feels right that I really, properly shut the door.”

She also praised Call the Midwife writer Heidi Thomas for how she brought the character of Barbara to an end: “For Heidi, she nurtures every single character that she writes, and she pours her heart into them. I think there’s maybe something about needing to have closure, sometimes, on characters. I think she wanted to give Barbara a solid goodbye and not leave the door open – not necessarily leave us wondering what happened.”

Remembering those final scenes of Nurse Barbara laid in the hospital bed, Charlotte was in awe of her co-stars. “There was something really surreal about two very, very, very good friends of mine, just crying and being amazing – they really make the scene.”

Charlotte also reflects on how she had to prepare herself to act out those very difficult final scenes, from finding out she could not be a midwife any more after the sepsis affected her hands, to realising she was going to die. “There were scenes I had to do where I just lay in bed thinking about the fact that I was going to die. That was what the instruction was.”

“Barbara sits there thinking about the fact that she’s not going to be a midwife – that’s the first thing. She loses the tips of her fingers which means she can’t do the job she’s always wanted to do."

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Although her departure was very sad, Charlotte thinks it was the perfect time for Nurse Barbara to go.  "she’s really grown up and become this adult. And it felt like such a lovely time, with her wedding to Tom, having found that happiness and reconciled with Trixie."

Nurse Barbara's illness

Stephen McGann, who plays Dr Turner and is married to the series' writer Heidi Thomas says: “Barbara’s so full of life but this illness is vicious and it has a knock-on effect on everyone because they’re like a family. It’s a crisis and a terrible worry but they have to carry on as professionals.” Dr Turner is set to play a key role in supporting her husband Tom during her time in hospital. As told to the TV Times.

Nurse Barbara dies in Call the Midwife

We always think we're prepared for the heartbreak that comes with Call the Midwife, but this week we didn't have enough tissues in the house (or frankly, in the shops) to deal with the tragic death of nurse Barbara. 

But, on Sunday March 4, Nurse Barbara died after contracting septicaemia. Her death seemed particularly cruel as she was newly married to lovely Tom Hereward, and had only just returned to the series with a visit to the Poplar neighbourhood picnic.

In episode six of series seven we saw Barbara dealing with a persistent cold, but her health quickly took a turn for the worse and an ambulance was summoned. Episode seven saw her in hospital, barely conscious and covered in red blotches. Her friends and family receive good news - that she's awake and recovering...but only for it to end in heartbreak as it becomes clear she's going to die.

She passes away with husband Tom holding her hand and reciting a psalm, which Nurse Crane finishes for him.

Actress Charlotte Ritchie, who played Barbara, told the Radio Times: "It seemed like a good time to go. They ask you to commit quite early on in the year to the show. And I always wanted to do it, but I also felt that I'd done three different series for the last five years, and I thought it might be good to slightly try and branch out and try something new."

We understand that Charlotte, but did you have to break our hearts in the process?! 

Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised by such a tear-jerking ending - after all, we recently revealed that writer Heidi Thomas often reduces her husband Stephen McGann to floods of tears when he reads her scripts.

Who are Charlotte Ritchie’s famous parents and grandparents? 

Charlotte’s mother Kate Burton is also an actress and is most famous for her roles in Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. Kate’s father and Charlotte’s grandfather, is Richard Burton, who was most famous for Cleopatra and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf as well as many more. Her grandmother, and first wife of Richard Burton, is Sybil Williams, who was also an actress as well as a theatre director and founder of the famous New York nightclub Arthur. 

How old is Charlotte Ritchie? 

She was born in 1989 meaning she is currently 28. 

Is Charlotte Ritchie a part of a singing group?

Charlotte is one of four members of the British classical crossover group, All Angles. Founded in 2006, the group have sold more than 1 million albums to date.

Does Charlotte Ritchie have any siblings? 

Yes – Charlotte’s brother, Luke Ritchie is also a musician who writes his own acoustic records and sometimes collaborates with his sister!

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What else has Charlotte Ritchie been in? 

As well as Call the Midwife, Charlotte has starred in a catalogue of film and TV series including Fresh Meat, Doctors, Raised by Wolves, Life of Riley and also featured as an extra in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire during her early acting days. 

Is Charlotte Ritchie married? 

Although Charlotte is not married it has been rumored she is in a long-term relationship with her boyfriend but remains very private. 

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Where did Charlotte Ritchie grow up? 

She was born in Clapham, London and grew up there. After attending James Allen’s Girls’ School, she joined the Youth Music Theatre UK. Whilst finishing her degree in English and Drama at the University of Bristol, she was filming for Fresh Meat.