What’s it like to finally be back on the set of Call the Midwife – filming the Christmas special in the middle of the COVID pandemic? In a new behind-the-scenes video, the stars of the show reflect on exactly that question.
The video is the work of Dr Turner actor Stephen McGann, who filmed mini-interviews with co-stars Leonie Elliott, Helen George, Laura Main, Ella Bruccoleri and Fenella Woolgar.
After a five-month delay, filming for the Call the Midwife 2020 Christmas special kicked off in mid-August – and the shoot is now well underway.
“Doctor Turner here,” says McGann in the behind-the-scenes video. “Come with me as I give you a brief insight into the filming of our new Christmas special and series number 10.”
Footage shows the actors rehearsing their scenes in face masks, while the crew also wear visors and masks – keeping their distance as much as possible, of course.
A #CallTheMidwife video exclusive!! Dr Turner (@StephenMcGann) takes us behind the scenes to meet our team during current filming for our brand new Christmas Special! ???????????????? @Leonie_Elliott@helen_george @LauraMain1 @EllaBruccoleri pic.twitter.com/qxOiChI9NF
— Call the Midwife (@CallTheMidwife1) September 24, 2020
“It’s lovely to be back,” says Elliott (Nurse Lucille Anderson). “It’s so good – we’re so happy, so grateful to be back.”
Main, seen in Nurse Shelagh Turner’s uniform sitting on a bed at the festively-decorated maternity home, adds: “It’s really, really exciting! It’s unbelievably exciting – it’s obviously all a little bit different, so there’s a couple of extra bits of pressure involved, you know, and protocol, but it’s good to be back.”
“I think we’re all longing to see other people,” says George, who plays Nurse Trixie Franklin. “And also just, I love to work. I’m a workaholic, I realised, and when that’s taken away from you, and you’re not able to work on scripts and to be someone else for a while, it’s – it’s horrifying, being yourself for six months!”
As for what will be happening in the episode, Call the Midwife’s producers have released a short synopsis teasing the plot lines we’ll see on screen.
— Call the Midwife (@CallTheMidwife1) September 16, 2020
“This year’s Christmas Special is set in December 1965,” we’re told. “Everyone at Nonnatus House is looking forward to traditional celebrations with all the trimmings, but nothing goes quite to plan. Sister Monica Joan is rushed to hospital, and Trixie is incensed to receive a subscription to a Marriage Bureau as a Christmas gift.
“Meanwhile, a surprise reunion for Shelagh involves her in a deeply moving birth, and the circus arrives in Poplar, bringing new friendships, new experiences, and an exciting adventure for Nurse Crane.”
It has also now been confirmed that former Doctor Who Peter Davison will be starring in the Call the Midwife Christmas special, playing the circus ringmaster.
As George says in the video: “The Christmas special is wonderful. I, of course, cried when I read the script but it’s a real feast for the eyes and hopefully a welcome distraction from everything that’s been going on.”
Sister Frances actress Bruccoleri calls the episode “a typically Call the Midwife beautiful Christmas episode”, while Elliott adds: “It’s the best show at Christmas. What else would you watch at Christmas?”
Call the Midwife will return on Christmas Day, followed by series 10 in 2021. While you’re waiting, visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight, or check out our guide to new TV shows 2020 to find out what’s airing this autumn and beyond.