Camilla Cholomondley-Browne, otherwise known as Chummy, is the daughter of a prominent family who has found her way into nursing and midwifery by a circuitous route.
Eternally good-humored and monumentally kind, Chummy is crippled by lack of self-confidence. Her tall height and physical clumsiness plays its part, but a loveless childhood spent in boarding schools has made the greater impact.
An adept midwife, she is hampered by acute shyness and - perhaps more crucially – a complete inability to ride a bike. Chummy soon wins the hearts of her colleagues, but her struggle for self-belief will threaten to capsize her.
Chummy is played by Miranda Hart.
Q+A with Miranda Hart
How did it feel getting back into the uniform again?
Lovely! Apart from having to wear the 50's tights – every morning I seem to get in a muddle putting them on, getting the line right at the back, laddering them within seconds. Me and the tights are not friends.
How was it seeing the rest of the cast again?
So great. I think often the success of a show is because there is love, friendship and warmth between the cast. And that translates. There are no big egos flying around, everyone has a great sense of humour – we laugh a lot – and we all love the show and work hard to make it as good as we can. It's a great vibe on set.
What are your favorite places to film on set?
This series we see Chummy and Peter's married home and that was quite fun to film on a new set and see Chummy in a different place, having moved on with her life. Other than that, we don't film often in there, but I think we all really like the parlour/sitting room.
What are your favorite scenes to film?
In the first series I loved the big scenes around the dining room table, with the whole cast there. I particularly liked the one when Jimmy arrived for the first time and poor Chummy made a bit of a fool of herself having to sit next to a good looking young boy. That was a fun scene to do. And me Jess, Bryony and Helen love the times when we get to be 'the girls' in the kitchen, just hanging out. They are all more relaxed scenes. The births are incredibly technical and hard work. Often in difficult positions physically – we all ache the next day after a birth scene.
Do you have good camaraderie on set?
Absolutely. I laugh a lot with Judy Parfitt – she has such a dry sense of humour and I just look at her and laugh. We are the naughty ones! But I love them all. And the crew are amazing too – the make- up and costume buses on set are the central places to be.
What is different about this season compared to the first?
For Chummy she is in a different phase of her life – married and more confident at work. And I think all the characters just feel more developed and real. That's the joy of getting a second series to have the chance to do that. I loved filming episode 8 – it's an amazing story - and I can't reveal anything about it. What a tease!
What is Chummy’s involvement in the Holiday Special?
We get to see her in her new role as Akela – running the scouts. Just perfect for Chummy! She is in charge of bringing Christmas to Nonnatus House, and the show, because she puts on a nativity play with the scouts. She gets quite bossy in her attempt to make it perfect, and having to deal with some rowdy children. And Sister Monica Joan who plays the tambourine loudly and out of time!
What is it like playing Chummy ‘the wife’?
It's very lovely to finally be married in a show! I am never married! Her and Peter are perfect for each other. It's also interesting playing a couple in the 50s because there is still a kind of slight formality and shyness between them. A respectful quality I suppose. A sense that some things they keep to themselves. Whereas today the divide between men and women is less and less, we all know everything, for better or worse! The roles are less defined.
How has Chummy changed since Season 1?
She fits in more now. She is more confident and competent at her work. There is a confidence to her. I deliberately didn't stutter or break up sentences as much when I was learning the lines, as I did in the first series, because I think everything flows a bit easier for her now. She isn't quite as shy or awkward. She is still in a completely different world to her family but realises she has found her place in the world. She is part of a community and people love her.