Stephen McGann is a leading UK actor, youngest of a family of acting brothers from Liverpool. Stephen began his professional career at nineteen, starring in the West End musical ‘Yakety Yak’. He has since worked extensively in British theatre and on screen. He starred as Mickey in the West End musical Blood Brothers, played Johann Strauss in the international mini-series The Strauss Dynasty, and in 1993 he created, co-produced and co-starred in the award-winning BBC historical drama ‘The Hanging Gale’, set in the Irish potato famine. Stephen played Marc in Yasmina Reza’s hit West End production of ‘Art’, and was Reverend Shaw in the original West End cast of the musical ‘Footloose’. He has also starred in productions at the Royal Court, Manchester’s Royal Exchange, and the National Theatre Studio. In addition to acting, Stephen has written scripts for peak-time television drama and has also been a recording artiste for Chrysalis Records and Warner Brothers. He can currently be seen starring as Dr. Turner in the BBC global hit TV series ‘Call the Midwife’.
Stephen is a keen public speaker and writer on the role of science and medicine in popular culture and drama, having graduated from Imperial College London with an MSc in Science Communication in 2012. He has been a guest speaker at the Cambridge and Cheltenham science festivals, and has written for the journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. In January 2016 Stephen published a companion book to Call the Midwife called Doctor Turner’s Casebook, in which he revisits medical cases featured in the TV series to discusses their historical and social context.
Stephen is married to leading TV screenwriter Heidi Thomas, and lives in a former Victorian chapel in rural Hertfordshire surrounded by its own original graveyard. Taking the bins out at night is never a dull affair.
Assistant's name: Laura McNeill
Telephone number: 020 7344 1033
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‘Flesh and Blood is living drama extracted like buried treasure from old documents and the hand-me-down stories of his relatives. I couldn’t put it down’ Jenny Agutter
His family survived famine-ravaged Ireland in the 1850s.
His ancestors settled in poverty-rife Victorian Liverpool, working to survive and thrive.
Some of them became soldiers serving on the Western Front.
One would be the last man to step off the SS Titanic as it sank beneath the icy waves. He would testify at the inquest.
This is their story.
Stephen McGann is Doctor Turner in the BBC hit-drama series Call the Midwife.
Flesh and Blood is the story of the McGann family as told through seven maladies – diseases, wounds or ailments that have afflicted Stephen’s relatives over the last century and a half, and which have helped mould him into what he now perceives himself to be. It’s the story of how health, or the lack of it, fuels our collective will and informs our personal narrative. Health is the motivational antagonist in the drama of our life story – circumscribing the extent of our actions, the quality of our character and the breadth of our ambition. Our maladies are the scribes that write the restless and mutating genome of our self-identity.
Flesh and Blood combines McGann’s passion for genealogy with an academic interest in the social dimensions of medicine – and fuses these with a lifelong exploration of drama as a way to understand what motivates human beings to do the things they do. He looks back at scenes from his own life that were moulded by medical malady, and traces the crooked roots of each affliction through the lives of his ancestors, whose grim maladies punctuate the public documents or military records of his family tree. In this way he asks a simple, searching question: how have these maladies helped to shape the story of the person he is today?
DOCTOR TURNER’S CASEBOOK– Buy it here
Call The Midwife is the BBC’s most popular drama ever – that is what viewing figures tell us with over ten million viewers per episode. The Christmas edition is always reviewed as a ‘must see’ event, just as important to some families as the Queen’s Speech.
All the principal actors are now household names and one in particular over the past two seasons has dramatically come to the front of the show – Doctor Turner, played by Stephen McGann. He is now seen as the lynchpin of the series, not only overseeing the many childbirths across episodes, but also dealing with a multitude of diseases that strike the young, as accurately portrayed by the show’s writer Heidi Thomas. Polio, meningitis, measles, scarlet fever and thalidomide have all been meticulously depicted on the show. This new book, will now reveal how a local doctor – such as Dr Turner – not only dealt with such cases, but also how he worked within the newly created National Health Service, as well as lived alongside his East End community. It will be a facsimile as well as a fictionalised diary from the character, all conceived and written by the show’s writer Heidi Thomas. Stephen McGann will also contribute his own narrative having studied for an MA in medical science. Beautifully designed, it will make a lovely present for any fan of the series, as well as those wishing to find out more about the history of what life was really like in this period.
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster UK
PUBLICATION DATE: 28 Jan. 2016