When is Call the Midwife back on TV? Who are the new nurses and what is going to happen?

Nonnatus House is getting ready for series eight...

What will happen in Call The Midwife series 8?

It’s a Christmas miracle! Call the Midwife is back on BBC1 this December, followed by an eighth series in 2019 – and a number of exciting new faces are set to join Nonnatus House.


Here’s everything you need to know about the much-anticipated return of Call the Midwife.

When is Call the Midwife back on TV?

CONFIRMED: the Call the Midwife 2018 Christmas special will air on Tuesday 25 December at 7.45pm. The festive episode is a 90-minute special.

Eight more episodes will follow when series eight airs in the New Year.

In the USA meanwhile, the drama is expected to premiere on PBS later in 2019.

If you can’t wait until then, the first six series of Call the Midwife are available to watch on Netflix.

Which cast members are coming back – and who are the new characters in Call the Midwife?

Call The Midwife S8 - Christmas Special 2018

Harry Potter star Miriam Margolyes has joined the cast of Call the Midwife as Sister Mildred, a “forthright and indefatigable sister from the Order” who will appear in the Christmas special and in the first episode of series eight as a guest star.

She’s not the only newcomer, because two more new characters have arrived at Nonnatus House to make up for diminished numbers. Fenella Woolgar will play Sister Hilda, and Ella Bruccoleri will play Sister Frances.

The final addition to the cast is Georgie Glen, who will appear as the “redoubtable” Miss Higgins – the new receptionist at Dr Turner’s surgery.

“Our Christmas visit to the Order’s headquarters brings us three fantastic gifts – Sisters Mildred, Hilda and Frances. Elegant, scatty Hilda (Fenella Woolgar) and innocent Frances (Ella Bruccoleri) then move to Poplar at the start of the new series, whilst formidable Mildred (Miriam Margolyes) appears again later, keeping Nonnatus House on its toes!” series writer Heidi Thomas says.

“Nuns are the beating heart of Call The Midwife – they are wise, hardworking, compassionate, and combine the patience of angels with the faults and flaws of ordinary women. I have wanted to add more Sisters to the CTM family for some time, and am thrilled that the sensible lace ups of Mildred, Hilda and Frances have been filled by three such extraordinary actors. Each of them has already made me laugh, and made me cry, and I can’t wait to introduce them to our wonderful audience.”

We’ve already said goodbye to Charlotte Ritchie as Nurse Barbara Hereward, whose sad death from sepsis cast a shadow over Poplar at the end of series seven.

It has now been confirmed that her on-screen husband Reverend Tom Hereward (Jack Ashton) will not be back for the new series either, as the character departs for missionary work.

Tom Hereward (Jack Ashton) and Nurse Barbara Hereward (Charlotte Ritchie) in Call the Midwife series 7 (BBC, JG)

Any fans still grieving can take some comfort from the news that there will be at least some mention of Nurse Barbara in the Christmas special.

Speaking at a screening, creator Heidi Thomas said, “You will all be pleased to know that the joy and the optimism of Call the Midwife did not die with Nurse Barbara Hereward, 1936 to 1963. I think something of Barbara’s spirit carries on, and multiplies. We reference it in the Christmas special.”

So which Call the Midwife characters are coming back for series eight?

The Call the Midwife team has confirmed the return of Helen George as Nurse Trixie Franklin, announcing, “We’re delighted to confirm that our Trixie is back where she belongs for Christmas and the forthcoming series.”

Trixie was absent from much of the previous series as she sought recovery from her alcoholism (and as actress Helen George gave birth to her own child), but fans can look forward to seeing her back on the job.

Nurse Valerie Dyer and Nurse Lucille Anderson in Call the Midwife

Also returning are:

  • Leonie Elliott as Nurse Lucille Anderson
  • Jennifer Kirby as Nurse Valerie Dyer
  • Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne
  • Laura Main as Shelagh Turner
  • Stephen McGann as Dr Patrick Turner
  • Max MacMillan as Timothy Turner
  • Linda Bassett as Nurse Phyllis Crane
  • Judy Parfitt as Sister Monica Joan
  • Victoria Yeates as Sister Winifred
  • Cliff Parisi as Fred Buckle
  • Annabelle Apison as Violet Buckle
  • Daniel Laurie as Reggie Jackson
  • Trevor Cooper as Sergeant Woolf

What will happen in the Call the Midwife 2018 Christmas special?

Call The Midwife S8 - Christmas Special 2018

The arrival of Sister Mildred (Miriam Margolyes) at Nonnatus House comes with another surprise – as she brings with her four Chinese orphans.

The child refugees who accompany her had fled China and were found abandoned in Hong Kong. They are being adopted in the UK as part of the World Refugee Project, and their unexpected visit to Poplar brings joy and chaos in equal measure.

As the BBC has revealed, “the Christmas special also sees Trixie return to Poplar just in time to cover for the Sisters as they leave for the Mother House. The Order’s Mother Superior has been taken ill and a new spiritual leader needs to be elected. It soon becomes clear, much to Sister Julienne’s horror, that she is the favoured candidate to take over…”

Showrunner Heidi Thomas said, “I love this year’s Christmas special, it feels absolutely part of what we’re about. I know lots of families look forward to it at Christmas and they won’t be disappointed.”

What will happen in Call the Midwife series 8?

Behind the scenes on Call the Midwife series 8: Sixties summertime!Hello all!We just love this pic of Leonie Elliott…

Posted by Call the Midwife on Thursday, June 28, 2018

Series eight then moves into the spring of 1964. In the first episode, anticipation is building for a new royal baby, and community-minded Violet is holding a Teddy Bears’ Picnic and raising funds through a competition on whether the Queen will have a boy or a girl. But when the midwives are introduced to their new midwifery bags, old Sister Monica Joan becomes distressed as her dementia takes a turn for the worse…

With the addition of the two new Sisters and the return of Trixie, Nonnatus House “feels full once more.”

“Trixie has come back from Portofino fully healed of her demons, with a whole new wardrobe, which is just delightful,” Heidi Thomas told press at a screening in London. “You’ll find Trixie much more focused on her professional goals; she’s instrumental for example in something which I think only Call the Midwife could use as a selling point, which is the first cervical smear test ever done in London!”

Thomas also teased romances for Lucille and for Nurse Crane, subject of the world’s slowest-moving will-they-won’t-they? love story with the gruff Sergeant Woolf.

“Later in the series we have romance for Lucille. Throughout the series we have the possibility of romance for Nurse Crane, but I’ll let you see how that unfolds,” she said. “And at Nonnatus House we have several new faces. Miriam Margolyes joins us and will appear at intervals throughout the new series. We also have two lovely new nuns who I think have really helped to back up the spiritual qualities of Nonnatus House.”

What medical conditions will Call the Midwife tackle in series 8?

Call the Midwife has gained a reputation for highlighting issues of physical and mental health, putting the spotlight on conditions from Huntingdon’s to pica to sepsis.

In series eight, we’ll meet a woman who belatedly discovers that she is intersex; that is, biologically speaking she does not have a “male” or “female” body. Intersex people can be born with ambiguous sexual anatomy or may have variations in their chromosomes or sex hormones.

“I think in this series we’ve got some fantastic medical cases,” Thomas said. “Our trusty foe, pre-eclampsia, puts in an appearance, but we also meet a young woman who, on the eve of her marriage, discovers that she is a hermaphrodite.

“And that isn’t just a medical story, it’s about questions of identity: who are we? Who do we think we are? What does it mean to have a female body?”


She added, “We also have a beautifully told – and I have to say, fantastically well-realised – story about a baby boy with cleft lip and palate, and the effect that has on the wider family structure. So these stories often have a medical root, but ultimately they’re human.”

Sign up for the free RadioTimes.com newsletter