Call The Midwife actress Judy Parfitt, 86, hits out at neighbour over old lady remark
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“Opposite my house in West Sussex is a green area that had sunk and needed making safe,” she explained.
“One of my very nice neighbours told the developers, ‘You’ve got to do something because there is an old lady that walks her dog there.’
“I know I’m 86,” she continued. “But I work full-time, I’m up at 7:30am and get home at 11pm.”
“Why do I have to be labelled an old lady?
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“It annoys me because they’re not seeing the person I am – just an old person.
“I’d make that a crime!”
The hardy pensioner endured a tough childhood in wartime Yorkshire, during an era when people “just got on with life” – and she extends the same attitude to her age.
“Growing up in the war, I learned how people just got on with [things] despite food rationing, bombs dropping, not knowing if they’d be alive the next day,” she revealed.
She still maintains a vivid memory from the tender age of nine of how her father “[held] me in his arms as Sheffield lit up around us because it was being blitzed – yet people still went to work the next day!” she explained.
If World War II didn’t stop Judy from keeping calm and carrying on, then she is determined that age discrimination will have even less effect on her busy working life.
She joked that, in spite of her surprise that her Call The Midwife character, nun Sister Monica Joan, hasn’t yet been killed off, she has no intention of bowing out of the role.
“I think about hanging up my wimple because it’s uncomfortable to wear, but not retiring!” she explained.
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“As long as I can walk in a straight line and remember my words, I’ll be there!”
Meanwhile she has become so renowned for her character’s love of cakes and biscuits that, at one point, every time she visited a supermarket, staff would greet her with a chorus of: “The cakes are over there!”
Of course however, with a gruelling work schedule, the actress has little time to indulge in a sweet tooth.
“This is my tenth Christmas [on the show],” she explained. “And the busiest one ever!”
Later in the year, she’ll be seen in a Call The Midwife Christmas special, while a new series will begin at the start of 2022.
Fans will be delighted to hear that Sister Monica Joan will participate in the hen night running up to Lucille Anderson’s (Leonie Elliott) wedding to Cyril Robinson (Zephryn Taitte).
Then in the next series, Monica Joan will become “obsessed with the Eurovision Song Contest and Sandy Shaw”.
Meanwhile, amid all the activity, Judy has a faithful friend who has been a constant companion and source of comfort at work – her toy poodle Freddie.
“He comes in with me every day and stays in my trailer while I film!”
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