Q&A with Cliff Parisi on Season 4
What’s new for series 4?
Fred is, as usual, confidante, advisor, carer, minder and light bulb changer to the nuns. He’s a father figure to the nurses and sees them as part of his extended family - which consists of his own two daughters. There is a shift in Fred’s love life towards the end of the series which I never considered to be a possibility with all those nuns, nurses and pregnant women hanging around!
What happens to your character at Christmas?
Fred gets a Christmas tree which is too large and so he saws the top of it off. It’s a pretty stupid thing to do because he should really saw the bottom! They all have a jolly lovely time, Christmas as usual in Nonnatus House with lots of cake and mince pies and babies to boot!
What’s it like working on a predominantly female show?
I haven’t got a clue what they’re talking about half the time. It’s a woman’s world on set and I don’t have any one to talk to about football – I’m at the mercy of the nuns and nurses! Occasionally all the men are in together and we have a lad’s day but we’re like a family now so it’s all great fun.
Do you get to wear some interesting period costumes?
Fred is never really in the right period because his throwback clothes come from the Second World War. He still dresses in his army gear and doesn’t take much care over his appearance. He only dusts off his suit for a wedding or christening. It’s a bit tight for him!
Do you enjoy the period music in the show?
The music from the 50s and 60s is fabulous – I still listen to it on my iPod. I recently saw Jersey Boys which was superb. We’ve got a great soundtrack to the show; I love all that early stuff. I was born in the 60s so some of it I recognise and some are new to me. I like that we don’t always play the hits but use some of the more obscure tracks. I think Fred is a big fan of The Andrew Sisters and Glen Miller for sure.
Have you had any interesting fan encounters you can share?
I can’t go anywhere near maternity departments as the nurses chase me down the corridors to ask me about Call the Midwife, or near pregnant women! I’m more known as Fred now than I was as Minty (in EastEnders). When the moustache goes I’m safe for a bit though!