Miranda HartBBC Ones popular 1950s based drama Call the Midwife ended its first series with over 9 million viewers while Upstairs Downstairs returned to the channel with over 6 million viewers.

Call the Midwife has proven to be a ratings and critical success for BBC One with the midwife drama pulling in stellar ratings and had praise heaped on it by the press. The drama stars Jenny Agutter, Pam Ferris, Miranda Hart and Jessica Raine and is based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth. Call the Midwife was adapted for television by Heidi Thomas whose previous credits in include Cranford and Upstairs Downstairs which returned last night for a second series.

The first season finale of Call the Midwife aired slightly later than usual at 8.30pm as the BBC moved it to avoid clashing with Coronation Street on ITV1. The move didn’t dent ratings as a strong 9.2 million viewers tuned in to see the conclusion of the first season. That’s a figure that’s bound to rise once those who recorded the programme are taken into account and even further with downloads from the BBC iPlayer service.

Ed StoppardAt 9.30pm Heidi Thomas’ revival of Upstairs Downstairs returned for a second series based in 1938. The new series stars Keeley Hawes, Anne Reid, Ed Stoppard, Art Malik, Claire Foy and Alex Kingston. The first three-part series aired over consecutive nights at Christmas of 2010; the second series will air on Sunday evenings. Upstairs Downstairs returned with 6.5 million viewers – once again a figure that is bound to rise with consolidated ratings.

Read ATV Today’s review of Upstairs Downstairs here >>

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