The nuns of Nonnatus House will be getting a bit of winter sun as they escape chilly East London for the warmer climes of South Africa in the Call the Midwife 2016 Christmas special.

The festive special of the popular BBC1 show will see the nuns trying to help a tiny struggling mission hospital on the Eastern Cape. But can they save the hospital from closing down – and perform a Christmas miracle a long way from home?

Here's what you need to know.

What time is the Call the Midwife Christmas special on TV?

The 2016 Christmas special will air at on Christmas Day at 8pm on BBC1.

It will be followed shortly afterwards by series six, consisting of eight hour-long episodes in January and February 2017.  

Who will star in the Christmas special of Call the Midwife?

Sinead Cusack joins the Christmas Special cast playing Dr Myra Fitzsimmons.

Others set to return include Jenny Agutter (Sister Julienne), Linda Bassett (Nurse Crane), Victoria Yeates (Sister Winifred), Laura Main (Shelagh Turner), Stephen McGann (Dr Turner), Jack Ashton (Tom), Helen George (Trixie), Charlotte Ritchie (Barbara) and Cliff Parisi (Fred).

Is Miranda Hart returning for the Christmas special as Chummy?

Alas, no. She was originally meant to be in the Christmas special and returning to the show for series six, but the actress and comedian was forced to pull out due to work commitments

The BBC commented: "We can confirm that Chummy will now not be returning in Series 6 of Call the Midwife. Filming has been going brilliantly over the summer, and we look forward to bringing our fans exciting and emotional new stories from Nonnatus House at Christmas, and in early 2017.”

What are the best shows to watch on TV this Christmas?

And what time are they on?

Doctor
Who

Call the
Midwife

Strictly Come Dancing
Christmas special

Grantchester 

Maigret's Dead Man
 

Sherlock

Mrs Brown's Boys

Outnumbered

We're Going on
A Bear Hunt

EastEnders

Coronation
Street


Emmerdale

The Great
Christmas Bake Off

Witness for the 
Prosecution

Ethel and Ernest
 

Last Tango in
Halifax

To Walk Invisible:
The Bronte Sisters

Jonathan
Creek

Birds of a
Feather

Walliams
and Friend

Robot Wars
 

Philomena Cunk
On Christmas

The Real Marigold
On Tour 

The Entire
Universe

Gogglesprogs

The Windsors

Blankety
Blank

The Flying Scotsman
From the Footplate

Still Open
All Hours

Revolting
Rhymes 

Find out more in the Radio Times Christmas issue, on sale from Saturday 3rd December