Star of Call the Midwife Jennifer Kirby has announced she’s departing the BBC One hit drama series.
Speaking on Twitter, the actress – who has played Nurse Valerie Dyer since series six – said it was a “huge honour” to have been part of the show.
“After four joyful years spent with Call the Midwife I have decided to say goodbye to Nonnatus, Val, and the wonderful cast, crew and production team,” Kirby wrote.
“The programme is truly a national treasure, and it will always be a huge honour for me to have been a part of something so wonderful. I can’t wait to keep watching our beloved Nonnatuns from the other side of the screen. Long live Call the Midwife. So long chicks.”
— Jennifer Kirby (@JenniferKirby08) August 21, 2020
In response to the news, Call the Midwife Executive Producer Pippa Harris told RadioTimes.com: “It has been a delight to work with Jennifer on Call the Midwife and we wish her well as she cycles away from Nonnatus House.”
As RadioTimes.com previously reported, Call the Midwife will be returning for a Christmas special, with creator and writer Heidi Thomas being “determined” to complete the episode amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Although many of the show’s biggest stars – Stephen McGann (Dr Turner), Jenny Agutter (Sister Julienne), Linda Bassett (Nurse Crane) and Judy Parfitt (Sister Monica Joan) – will reprise their roles, RadioTimes.com understands Kirby will not feature in the episode.
After being suspended for five months, production began on the special in mid-August with cast and crew following new coronavirus safety measures.
At the time, Heidi Thomas said: “Everyone is overjoyed to be whisking the dust sheets off Nonnatus House and getting back to filming after lockdown. It is a particular thrill to be able to deliver the Christmas Special on time, just as we promised at the start of the pandemic.
“We are very much a family at Call the Midwife, and like families everywhere, we have missed each other. We will now be putting more love and energy into our work than ever and can’t wait to share series ten with our fantastic, loyal audience.”
Additional reporting by Eleanor Bley Griffiths, Drama Editor.
Call the Midwife will air on Christmas Day 2020, with season 10 in 2021. While you’re waiting visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.