Call the Midwife reveals first look at 2016 Christmas special

Trixie, Barbara and co are headed for South Africa for this year's festive instalment

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Call the Midwife is set to look a little different this Christmas. When the nuns and nurses of Nonnatus House return for this year’s festive special, they won’t be in Nonnatus House at all…

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Our bicycle-riding, cardigan-wearing midwives will be in South Africa – and here’s the first photo to prove it. 

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Victoria Yeates, Jenny Agutter, Stephen McGann, Helen George, Linda Bassett and Charlotte Ritchie can all be seen ready to get to work at Hope Clinic Mission Hospital. 

“The Christmas Special will see Call the Midwife transported to the Eastern Cape,” the BBC confirms. “Nonnatus House receives an SOS from a tiny mission hospital. Understaffed, underfunded, and with a poor water supply, struggling Hope Clinic is faced with closure. Can our much loved medics and midwives make a difference to the people whose lives depend upon its work?

“Far from home and everything familiar, the team are both shaken and exhilarated by the challenges they face – and by the time the mission trip is over, some lives are permanently changed…”

Executive producer Pippa Harris says, “With our Christmas Special set against the dramatic backdrop of South Africa, and the return of our beloved Chummy to Poplar, series six is shaping up to be our strongest yet.” 

The show have also shared this snap of the cast and crew relaxing between takes:

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Once the Christmas episode is complete, production will then return to the UK for the eight episodes of series six.

Set in 1962, the season will see “social revolution in the outside world… mirrored by change and challenge much closer to home. As they strive to help mothers and families cope with the demands of childbearing, disability, disease and social prejudice, our beloved medics must make choices – and fight battles – of their own.”

Creator Heidi Thomas explains, “As the team settle back into Poplar after their South African adventure, we‘ll see them grappling with all the contradictions and opportunities of the early Sixties – the beacon of the Pill, the shadow of the Kray twins, the lure of independence and the call to duty. And time and time again, in a age of change and danger, we will be reminded of the simple power of love.”

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Call the Midwife returns for a Christmas special later this year on BBC1