Seven million viewers see Holbeach prams on BBC’s Upstairs Downstairs

One of Alison Murfet's prams used in the BBC TV remake of Upstairs Downstairs. Photo supplied
One of Alison Murfet's prams used in the BBC TV remake of Upstairs Downstairs. Photo supplied
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MORE than seven million people saw two prams from Holbeach star on television over Christmas in the BBC’s remake of period drama Upstairs Downstairs.

The prams were on loan from Alison Murfet, who runs Alison’s Baby Carriages, and has provided props for many television shows and films including Miss Marple, An Island At War, Lark Rise to Candleford and the Importance of Being Earnest.

The show, which starred Keeley Hawes, Dame Eileen Atkins and Jean Marsh, ended its run with average viewing figures of seven million, with the Boxing Day outing getting 7.5 million.

Alison, who has a collection of around 400 prams from the Victorian era up to the 1970s, was approached by the BBC to borrow two prams – a black one and a peach-coloured one.

She said: “The prams were in a scene where a pregnant lady was choosing one. Her mother preferred the black one but she wanted the peach one because she thought the coat of arms would look better on it.

“Upstairs Downstairs was meant to be a three-part Christmas special but there is a chance of a series if the viewing figures are good enough, so if that happens presumably the BBC will want to borrow one of the two again.

“It’s always exciting to see my prams on the television. Sometimes the production companies take them but don’t use them, so I never know if they’ll be on until I watch the shows.

“They contact me if they want to borrow one and usually send someone over to pick it up.”

Alison also restores prams with help from her partner Graham Richardson.

She added: “I started collecting prams about 20 years ago as a hobby and thought it would be nice to see them used so decided to loan them out.

“At the last count I had about 400, but I’ve sold a few and taken some in, so I’ve lost count.

“If someone rings me up and says they have a pram that going to the tip unless I take it I just can’t say no.”