Who is Elizabeth Counsell in Call the Midwife? Meet the Brush Strokes star

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Elizabeth Counsell is best known for playing Veronica Bainbridge in Brush Strokes, with the BBC sitcom running from 1986 to 1991. Counsell surprised fans with an appearance in the pilot episode of Call the Midwife season 11. The 79-year-old actress has been starring across film and TV for decades, with her latest appearance just the latest in a long line of iconic performances.

Who is Elizabeth Counsell in Call the Midwife?

Call the Midwife has always attracted an ensemble cast of familiar faces, and Elizabeth Counsell is just the latest in a long line.

Fans were overjoyed to see the veteran star make an appearance in the new season, with most viewers immediately recognising her from the beloved BBC sitcom Brush Strokes.

Counsell is playing the role of Mrs Nyall, an elderly widow that the district nurse is called upon to help. 

At first, Mrs Nyall is only heard and not seen, as she is initially reluctant to receive help for fear of embarrassment – “I’m not decent,” she is heard saying behind her bedroom door.

She makes brief appearances throughout the episode, though it is later revealed that she is suffering from dementia.

Both Mrs Nyall and her daughter Marigold Nyall (played by Rebecca Johnson) are caught in the middle of a town scandal.

A baby’s body is discovered in a local house during renovations, a house that the Nyalls lived in years prior.

It turns out that the child died young due to complications, and that the body was hidden.

At first, it looks as though Mrs Nyall hid the baby for the shame of being a widow, though this doesn’t turn out to be the case.

In the end, it is revealed Marigold hid the body and did so due to giving birth out of wedlock. 

Counsell’s role is a small one, but one that was still emotionally charged throughout the episode.

The veteran star is still regularly acting, having recently appeared in The Split, Cold Call, Born to Kill, and Quacks.

Outside of Brush Strokes, she is also best known for appearing in shows such as Nelson’s Column and Executive Stress. 

Outside of her film and TV appearances, she also regularly performed on stage.

She played Lady Macbeth to Michael Gambon’s Macbeth at the Forum Theatre in 1968, going on to lead multiple stage productions.

The star keeps most of the personal life private, with Counsell not on any social media.

Counsell is married to David Simeon, an actor known for his roles in A Fish Called Wanda, Hunter’s Walk, and Doctor Who.

The pair have one son together and have been married since the 1970s.

Simeon is now 78-years-old and is retired from acting.

Call the Midwife season 11 continues at 8pm, January 9, on BBC One. 

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