TV star Jessica Raine is riding high in the ratings in one of the BBC’s most popular programmes - but she learned her trade here in Herefordshire.

Jessica, who grew up on a farm near Eardisley, is reprising the lead role of Jenny Lee in Call the Midwife, now in its second season.

The 30-year-old, who appeared in 2012 horror film The Woman In Black, is also set to star in Doctor Who drama An Adventure in Space and Time, which marks the 50th anniversary of the sci-fi series this autumn. She plays the show’s first producer, Verity Lambert.

Jessica showed a passion for acting from an early age and was a member of the Eardisley Little Theatre, before she set off to university and eventually studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
Caroline Peachey, who formerly taught the Youth Theatre at The Courtyard, said: “It is extremely difficult finding work in the arts but hard work and determination can bring its own rewards.

“Taking part in a play or working behind the scenes offers so many opportunities and it is inspiring to learn of local success.”

When asked how it felt to return to the screen as Jenny, Jessica said: “It felt great putting the uniform back on – it feels like you are slipping back into character.

“Jenny Lee has experienced so much in that uniform so the memories feel sort of embedded.”

Jessica follows in the footsteps of another Herefordshire star, Matt Milne, a former Hereford Sixth Form College student who has since appeared in Hollywood hit War Horse and period drama Downton Abbey.