First look at Call the Midwife series 4: new faces, sad stories and lots of milk bottles

Charlotte Ritchie joins the cast as new nurse Barbara Gilbert while Nonnatus House tackles one of its toughest cases yet

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If like us you got a taste for the red-cardiganned, period dramas of Call the Midwife when it returned for its annual tear-jerker on Christmas Day, you’ll be pleased to hear the residents of Nonnatus House are coming back to our telly screens rather soon – for eight whole episodes. 

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So what dramas does Poplar have in store for us in the first instalment? 

A fresh face, for starters, as Charlotte Ritchie takes up her role as newbie Nurse Barbara Gilbert. There appears to be an argument in the Nonnatus kitchen (what are the odds it’s about cake?) while the local milkman and his produce get an awful lot of screen time. Meanwhile the midwives get caught up in a sad storyline involving some rather grubby-faced children. We won’t spoil it for you, but we will give you a few words of advice: keep your handkerchief close to hand… 

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Call the Midwife returns to BBC1 soon