Helen George has starred in Call the Midwife as perky midwife Trixie since the show’s launch back in 2012. But she’s recently transformed from Nonnatus’ perpetually single gal to being one half of a happy, settled relationship, with local curate Tom.
“Trixie is really enjoying Christmas with the vicar as they’ve been dating a while now,” says George. Not that she wouldn’t mind swapping Tom (played by Jack Ashton) for a shinier model.
“Harry Styles for like a new young vicar. I think that would be fine. The more the merrier! Let’s have all of One Direction,” she jokes.
There are big changes afoot for Trixie. The Christmas special will see Cynthia make a big decision “which will affect their friendship” while her partner-in-Babysham-drinking-crime Jenny Lee has only just departed Nonnatus for good.
Jessica Raine, who played Jenny, left the period drama at the end of series three. But “there’s sort of a sense of Jenny the whole way through,” says George. “It’s as though she’s still watching over us.”
And the drama doesn’t really suffer without Jenny: “Personally, of course, I miss her every day. But in terms of the story, it’s in a place where it’s about all of us now… It doesn’t change the sense of the piece at all.”
The drama will be back this Christmas Day with a suitably festive offering; it might be popular in America, but Midwife hasn’t ditched the tinsel like Downton Abbey.
“I love Christmas! So every day [that] is Christmas is fine… There was loads of snow the other day. Like loads of snow!” beams George, who filmed the episode in sunny June.
“It was one of the hottest days and then we just had snow all over the front of the house. But because it was so white and pristine it sort of cooled us down in this weird psychological way. It looked stunning. The photos are amazing!”
Amazing or otherwise, George won’t be settling down to watch the episode tomorrow: “I never really like to watch Call the Midwife with friends and family. It’s just a bit stressful because it’s like seeing people in the audience when you’re doing a play. If they don’t like it you don’t really want to be around that. Not that they don’t because we’ve been very lucky with this.”
“I do just go and make myself busy with a bottle of wine at that point,” she adds.
Call the Midwife is on Christmas Day at 7:50pm on BBC1