Little Women (Image: BBC)

Screenwriter Heidi Thomas, who is an Honorary Doctor of Edge Hill University, is the creative force behind not one but two of the major TV events over Christmas.

A special Call the Midwife episode will have a prime slot on Christmas Day, and her three-part adaptation of Little Women starts on Boxing Day. Dubbed ‘the queen of Christmas TV‘, Heidi Thomas has written major television series including Cranford and Upstairs, Downstairs as well as plays and feature films.

“It comes as no surprise that the work of Heidi Thomas will figure so prominently during the festive holidays,” said Edge Hill’s Professor of Film and Television Roger Shannon. “Her dramatic reach is such that it weaves a narrative for the nation at this time of coming together, as thematically witnessed in recent years with Call the Midwife; and her particular skills in screen adaptation bring literary classics  such as Little Women alive for new appreciative generations.”

In 2013 Heidi was awarded an Honorary Doctorate at Edge Hill.

Screenwriter Heidi Thomas and actor Steve McGann met the ‘real’ midwives graduating

Speaking at the time, Heidi said: “My advice to students today actually comes directly from a quote from Mother Teresa, who once said, ‘it does not matter what you do but how much love you do it with.

“I was surprised and delighted to receive an honorary from Edge Hill University, and very humbled too. It has such a fantastic reputation and is at the cutting-edge of education.”

Professor Roger Shannon, who nominated Heidi for her award, said: “Honorary doctorates at Edge Hill University are an important way in which we can acknowledge the best of achievements. Heidi has demonstrated this in so many ways, achieving at the highest level in the world of writing. Her accomplishments demonstrate what an excellent role model she is for this University and for its students, hence why we are delighted to mark her many successes with this award.”