We sat down with Call the Midwife star Helen George when the cast were filming their chilly Christmas special… on a sweltering summer’s day in June.
Not that the sunshine was hampering George's festive spirit. "I am obsessed with Christmas,” she told us. “I watch Christmas films in April, in May... I absolutely love it so I’m in my element!"
George, who plays lippy-wearing, Babycham-drinking Trixie in the hit BBC1 drama, is just as bubbly and bright in real life as she is on screen. But the return of the period drama this Christmas Day might just see the young midwife's sunny facade slip...
"There's a certain story line in the Christmas special that really brings back Trixie’s childhood memories and we learn a bit about her past and why she is the way she is," reveals George.
The Christmas special sees the Poplar midwives’ Christmas celebrations get interrupted when an unexploded WW2 bomb is found in the East End. “A couple of bombs were found in the East End in those years so it was in the news, it was happening,” George tell us.
Potential explosions aside, the girls will face more dramas. “You see the journey of the characters and big things happen to us,” she says. “We start to see how [the stories] affect us and what memories it stirs in us of our past and our childhood.”
So will this year’s Christmas special have us reaching for the tissues like last year?
“Yeah. There’s a journey throughout and we encompass not just the small Christmas period. It’s sort of a couple of episodes merged together,” says George. “The community is literally ripped apart. And it leaves you kind of going, “Well, how is this going to work in episode one?’”
It all sounds very dramatic. And all we really want this Christmas is for unlucky-in-love Trixie to finally bag herself a boyfriend. What are the chances of her getting a smooch under the mistletoe?
“Is it ever going to happen? I don’t know. I think she’s destined to be single at this point!” says George. “I am hoping she gets a look-in soon. I think there may be something brewing. It’s about time.”
“I hope that she finds a really nice lad. But with a bit of danger as well. On a bike. With leathers. I want Elvis, basically!” laughs George.
With just one Christmas special under their belts, it's surprising that the heart-warming show about East End midwives is considered a festive tradition. But nevertheless, it already seems to have found its place among the Christmas greats.
"There is a pressure now because it’s got such a strong, big audience," George tells us. "You do feel a bit, ‘Oh, we’ve got to make this good because people are expecting it to be.'"
Pressure aside, how does it feel to be on the box on Christmas Day for the second year in a row?
“I mean, that’s the dream. We’re living the dream!”
Call the Midwife returns on Christmas Day at 6:15pm on BBC1