Crying out for the dance floor and ready to deliver the moves, this ballroom babe was born to dance!
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Helen Elizabeth George is an actress from Birmingham, best known for playing the role of Nurse Trixie Franklin, a 1950’s midwife in the BBC series Call the Midwife, set in London’s East End. With viewing figures of up to 11 million, and currently filming for its fifth series, the show became a surprise Sunday-evening smash hit. And now Helen’s about to liven-up your screens on a Saturday night too! But will she be crowned Strictly Champion 2015?
I'm most terrified of the Latin dances, I've got really stiff hipsHelen George
Trained in Musical Theatre at the Royal Academy of Music (following training at the Birmingham School of Acting), Helen has some dance experience, but has never done anything quite like Strictly before. In fact, as a child, Helen’s dream jobs were far from the stage: instead, she wanted to be a long jumper or the first female manager of Aston Villa football club!
Following her fifteenth birthday and an appearance in a production of Les Misérables , however, Helen’s focus turned to musical theatre. This later led to some singing success; performing in prestigious venues such as The Royal Albert Hall and Wembley Arena, for instance, and singing backing vocals on tour with Elton John. And as well as singing, Helen has also accumulated an impressive accolade of acting credits including appearances in Hotel Babylon, The Three Musketeers, Scar Tissue, Doctors and Hollyoaks, and theatre credits for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Woman in White, Into The Woods, and High School Musical. Helen also featured in the music video for Birdy's cover of 1901 by Phoenix. But it was Call the Midwife that really placed Helen on the nation’s radar…
When Helen first joined Call the Midwife, she admits she was initially intimidated by the stellar cast: “I was petrified on the first day. I turned up and there was Jenny (Agutter), Pam (Ferris) and Miranda (Hart). But they were all so kind and generous and took the younger actors like me under their wing.”
And how did she learn to play the part of a midwife, you might ask? Well, she practiced delivering her Yorkshire Terrier, Lottie, of course, by pulling her pet pooch out from under a jumper! “Lottie enjoyed it because she was cozy and warm inside the jumper!” As well as Lottie, Helen also has a Jack Russell called Charlie, who she found stray, living in a plant pot in her neighbour’s garden. She must have made her sister – who’s a vet – proud! When it comes to the rest of her family, Helen’s father is a politics professor and her mother works in the social work sector.
Helen’s hobbies include running (she ran for Macmillan in this year’s London Marathon), and from time to time she treats herself to a tarot card reading: “I love having my cards read – if you go to a proper place they wouldn’t dream of telling you anything awful that is going to happen. For me, it’s a lovely half hour of therapy and an awful lot of the predictions have come true!” We wonder what they’ve said about Strictly? Will a ten from Len be on the cards, or will Helen be in ‘breech’ of a dance disaster if the moves prove too ‘Trixie’? We just hope this ballroom babe doesn’t leave the competition prematurely!