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Ann "Nancy" Corrigan is a nurse and midwife at Nonnatus House. She is played by Megan Cusack.

Overview[]

Pupil midwife Nancy Corrigan comes to train at Nonnatus House as part of her studies. She is a replacement for Valerie Dyer (as fate would soon have it) she is Irish, and has been raised by Catholic nuns in an orphanage. Nancy is friendly and chatty, but sometimes she doesn't read the room.

Biography[]

Ann Corrigan is introduced in S10E04. She is delivered to Nonnatus House by two Catholic nuns. At the dinner table, she reveals everyone calls her "Nancy" after Nancy Sinatra, explaining she wears a lot of boots (in reference to Nancy Sinatra's hit song, These Boots Are Made For Walking).

Nancy and Trixie district

Pupil midwife Nancy Corrigan

In S10E06, Nancy reveals a shocking secret. She's an unmarried mother who gave birth aged 16. Her child, Colette, lives in a Catholic orphanage, run by the same nuns that brought Nancy to Nonnatus House. Nancy reveals she's allowed to visit her once a month and that Collette thinks Nancy is her sister. However, during her next visit, Nancy is shocked when Colette takes off her cardigan and reveals bruises on her arms, hinting the nuns are abusing her, so she takes her away from the orphanage. She resides in a room with Colette. However, this would be of short period of time. On the first night, the landlord knocked on the door. Presumably he was interested to know when she would pay for the room. Nancy reveals that she has taken leave off work, and does not have much money to spare. Therefore, she doesn’t know when she’s able to pay for the room. The landlord hints at her that she is able to pay in other ways. Nancy tries to close the door in a hurry, however, the landlord slams the door in her face, causing a cut on her cheekbone. She was still able to close the door, and only opened the door for Colette. She soon left the place and returned to Nonnatus House. The Sisters and Nurse Crane scolded her for her previous actions, but are interrupted by Sister Monica Joan who indirectly hints that it’s what Nancy wants that matters. Nancy shares what her desires are, which is to qualify as a midwife, make a home for Colette and tell her that she is her mother, be a woman with no secrets, to be trusted,  to belong, and to live a life with Colette with no bruises.

Nancy and Colette return to Poplar

Nancy with her daughter Colette

After talking with Sister Julienne, Sister Hilda tells Nancy that she is able to stay in Nonnatus House, where she can resume her training to become a midwife. Nonnatus House will vouch for Nancy and provide honest references. Meanwhile Collette is to stay with a local foster family. Sister Hilda also advices Nancy to let Collette settle in for a while, before telling her that she is her mother. A worry for Nancy was the fact that she is an unmarried mother. However, Sister Hilda tells her that many children in the district Poplar are classified as illegitimate children.

In S11E01, we learn that Nancy qualified as a midwife. After her own room (which was previously slept in by Delia Busby) is destroyed due to poor construction and (probably) lack of usage she starts to share the room with Trixie, and is relieved that she didn't have to share a room with Nurse Crane. The next morning, Trixie learns that Nancy has used her blowdryer and had damaged it. While others have to cope with their own problems, Nancy struggles with her secret. It is shown when Nancy does not know if Collette had the chicken pox. She feels like she was the one who needed to know that, and that she shouldn’t have to ask others for this kind of information. Meanwhile, Collette believes that Nancy is her sister. In the same episode, Nancy tells Collette that she is her mother over ice cream. It seems that Collette is taking it pretty well.

In S11E02, Nancy calls Ms. Higgins an old woman. She can’t believe that someone could burglar an “old woman” like Miss. Higgins. She is being corrected by Sister Julienne and Sister Monica Joans for calling Miss. Higgins old, when the correct term is ‘mature’.

Nancy and Sister F on district

Nancy in blue and red on the district

In S11 E03 Nancy is put on the district roster for the first time, she is rather reluctant as she normally just does midwifery, but Nurse Crane says she needs to expand her skillset. She accompanies Sister Frances to the men’s TB hostel, Sister Frances who was once shy and timid is now the old hand and guiding figure. They both see a man named Albert Huntley, who soon dies with them at the bedside. Colette continues to make regular visits to Nonnatus House and begins calling Nancy mummy. While on a visit Nancy and Colette spot a homeless man around Nonnatus House, who she sees again in Frederick Buckle shop. She brings the man who is named Bernard a walking stick, they get talking and he says his mother was Irish as well and worked as a lady’s maid. When Bernard goes to the surgery hoping to see Nancy again he is turned away, so she, Dr Turner and Fred go looking for him and go deep into the streets the meth's drinkers live in the middle of the night. They find him and when taking his shoes off his foot comes off with it, this is down to gangrene. Bernard is taken to hospital, Nancy goes looking for buttercups, a flower he likes and finds a small amount for him. Bernard dies soon after and Nancy is deeply sad that she’s the only person crying for him to which Sister Frances says she isn’t. As no one knew Bernard’s surname she says he could have her surname on the forms, Bernard Corrigan. In S11 E05 Nancy and Sister Frances are asked by Sister Hilda to provide a talk to primary school girls who have started their periods about their bodies and also about things like reproduction as they’re the youngest on staff and the girls will feel better about them. Nancy believes this is important as she had no clue how her body worked and ended up with a daughter. She decides going in normal clothes would be better as well, at the end of the talk the girls are offered the chance to ask questions anonymously on paper, while most questions are unrelated like if dogs go to heaven and what happens to the egg shells (a misunderstanding about what type of egg the sperm fertilises) which they get into hysterics about, one stands out that being how to contact the NSPCC. As no names where left they need to find who asked this, in the end a young girl called Deborah comes forward and reveals her mother is abusing her and her whole family. In the end she is brought to safety.

Nancy and Sister Frances

Nancy with her friend Sister Frances

Nancy is tasked with the morning roster; a task Sister Julienne hopes will give her more a sense of responsibility and focus. While she sleeps in on her first day she rises to the challenge and impresses Sister Julienne and Sister Hilda. So much so when Shelagh Turners ticket goes free for a midwifery conference they decide to offer it to her, at first she doesn’t want to go as it would be on a Saturday the day she gets to spend with Colette but all is solved when Sister Hilda offers to give up her Sunday off so they could have their special day then. She goes by train to the conference where she, Sister Julienne and Dr Turner learn about upcoming medical inventions like the epidural. On the train ride back however, something terrible happens, the train crashes with another and causes an explosion. Nancy is okay as she was safe in the toilets touching up her makeup, she frantically tries to get to the two still in the train but has to be dragged off to safety. Nancy rushes to Nonnatus House and meets Fred and tells him she doesn’t know where the other two are. Nonnatus House is at the centre of a rocked community and is packed with the injured, Sister Monica Joan helps Nancy get ready for helping out the horde of injured people. But Nancy is sure the raven that got into Nonnatus House was an omen for that but Sister Monica Joan tells her such superstitions are for ordinary times, not extraordinary ones. Dr Turner and Sister Julienne are found by Timothy in the train and are alive but in no way well, the remaining group can only imagine what would happen to the community if they didn’t pull through. During the night Nancy and Sister Frances share a room what with the extra people spending the night, some of them male. The next morning Phyllis Crane who had been on an extended holiday returns and they return to a sense of order and try to carry on with their clinic and surgery. Thankfully both Dr Turner and Sister Julienne are discharged from the hospital with only broken bones that will heal and no permanent injuries.

Matthew and Nancy Sinatra

Nancy and Matthew singing "something stupid" by Frank Sinatra

In the 2022 Christmas Special Nancy helps Matthew propose to Trixie by getting him her ring size, she also decides to purchase a TV for Colette when she comes to visit Nonnatus on Saturdays. For the talent show Fred is organising she and Matthew team up and sing something stupid by Nancy and Frank Sinatra. At the end Nancy sees Sister Frances off to an extended stay at the mother house.

In Series 12 Nancy learns more about life, in the first episode she assigned to the care of a terminally ill woman named Olive Macketts who is suffering from multiple myeloma. She is living with her landlady Jessie, but it is revealed by Jessie that she and Olive are in fact a lesbian couple who have been living together for over twenty years. Nancy is shocked as she never met lesbians before to which Phyllis tells her she probably has, while gay women never stood to go to prison like gay men the attitudes were the same. Jessie and Olive would likely have received the same treatment as Nancy being an unmarried mother, by the episodes end Olive dies and Jessie is heartbroken. As Jessie was not Olive’s legal next of kin Miss Higgins tells Nancy to tell Jessie to put present at death on the death record.

Colette attends Miss Nadine’s dancing lessons with Angela and May, but just before the maypole dance Nadine is taken to hospital and Shelagh must plan it. Shelagh said she would lend Colette one of Angela’s dresses but Nancy surprises her with one of her own. A dress Trixie notes comes from a very expensive shop. Nancy continues to splash out on lavish and expensive gifts for Colette, so much so that she gets into £100 of debt (the equivalent of over £2000 in todays money). Nancy tries asking for extra duties and selling her clothes but it comes to nothing, the TV Nancy bought for Colette is taken back. Phyllis speaks to Nancy about why she is spending so much, she explains that it’s because she was an orphan, Colette’s in foster care, she just wants her to have what others have. She bursts into tears saying she didn’t think she’d have to learn to be a mother, Phyllis offers to help her with budgeting so she can plan her repayment. At the end of the episode Nancy shows Colette a post office book which she would show to Colette so they both knew how much closer they were to getting a flat of their own.

Bridesmaid nancy and colette

Nancy and Colette as bridesmaids for Trixie's wedding

Nancy and Colette are asked to be bridesmaids at Trixie's wedding, Nancy being chief bridesmaid. Poplar is holding a photograph competition for babies and siblings and whole families. Nancy decides to not enter herself and Colette as she doesn't feel they really are a family, but she is encouraged to as Colette is growing up and Nancy will want to keep the memories and that they are more of a family than many others, the pair do take the picture together and are last seen in the episode admiring it. Trixie's wedding is coming up and Nancy and Colette's dresses are completed, Sister Julienne calls Nancy into her office. It turns out Nancy applied for another job several weeks before, while she affirms that she is very happy at Nonnatus and Poplar but the cottage hospital she applied to possessed every quality that could render her even happier like a house for her and Colette to live in, Nancy gets the job. When at the hotel close to the church at the wedding Nancy says the family she and Colette found in Poplar was the best thing to ever happen to them and she didn't know if she wanted to surrender that. Before she had to make a decision she and Colette were the bridesmaids and the reception went home to Poplar. By the 2023 Christmas special Nancy has been persuaded to stay at Nonnatus House and she and Colette are given a room finally letting them live together. The team decide to recreate Sister Monica Joan’s favourite childhood Christmas which involved a nativity scene, Colette gets Sister Monica Joan to tell her all about her memories. Nancy is an angel in the nativity scene. In the new year new pupil midwives join Nonnatus, two of them live in those being Joyce Highland and Rosalind Clifford and Nancy becomes fast friends with them and they spark her interest in the raise the roof campaign which aimed to improve nurses wages, Nancy was in favour as after even two years as a nurse she still couldn’t afford to pay for a place for her and Colette, though Phyllis was against the campaign and didn’t like it being brought up.  

The new team

Nancy and Trixie with the new pupils

When nursing a family called the Chdozies suffering from tuberculosis she notices symptoms similar to ones she remembered from her late mother. Miss Higgins got in touch with the catholic nuns who raised Nancy at the orphanage and they got in touch with a Kathleen Flanagan who used to be a nun called Sister Agnes Mary. When meeting Miss Flanagan Nancy is told that her mother did in fact have tuberculosis, in fact Nancy was the only member of her family not to have it either by natural immunity or vaccination, her mother took her to the orphanage hoping she’d be loved there. Nancy arranged for Colette to have the BCG vaccination early as she knew TB wouldn’t care about her age group.  

Personality[]

When first introduced as a Pupil Midwife, Ann better known as Nancy is chatty and friendly and has a fondness for actress and singer Nancy Sinatra but does not always read the room. Overtime however, her upbeat personality mellows, she loves her daughter Colette and is furious when she founds out that the nuns who are in care of Colette are abusing her, causing her to immediately take Colette out of the orphanage before bringing her to a flat but falls into an argument with the landlord and he subsequently injures her, causing Nancy to go back to Nonnatus House and reluctantly sends Colette back to the orphanage, at that time however Colette believed Nancy was her sister, but in the next series Nancy tells her over ice-cream that she is really her mother. Colette takes the news very well and starts calling Nancy "Mummy" which pleases her enormously. Nancy is shown to get along very well the residents of Nonnatus house, including it's friends and patients, though she has a strained relationship with the Catholic nuns from the order in which she was raised, although she does appear to get along better with the younger nuns.

Friends[]

Trivia[]

  • Megan Cusack is from the famed Cusack acting dynasty. Her father is theatre producer Pádraig Cusack, and her aunts are actresses Niamh, Catherine, Sorcha, and Sinéad Cusack. Sinéad played Dr. Myra Fitzsimmons in the 2016 Christmas Special. Her grandparents were actor Cyril Cusack and actress Maureen Cusack. Her cousins are actors Max Irons (son of Sinéad and actor Jeremy Irons) and Calam Lynch (son of Niamh and actor Finbar Lynch).
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