The relationship between Cyril and Lucille looks set to move to the next level when Call the Midwife returns to BBC One for its Christmas special, with actor Zephryn Taitte teasing that marriage to the nurse would be something “he’d long for”.
Taitte spoke to Radio Times magazine about their burgeoning relationship: “It would be in keeping with the culture of that time. People from the Caribbean who came over on the Windrush tended to be very conservative and looked to the UK as a place where they could settle down and have a family, which meant marriage. So a wedding with Lucille would be something Cyril would long for. It would solidify his journey and feel like a new milestone for him.”
Leonie Elliott, who plays Lucille, added: “It would be lovely. We never know the next step for our characters, but yes, why not?”
As well as their relationship being affected by his journey to becoming a pastor the couple revealed that a circus comes to town this Christmas in Call the Midwife.
Taitte said: “Cyril is coming to terms with his calling and his congregation is looking to him to guide them. So it’s a nice position for him to have in the Poplar community. As a mechanic, he thought his job would be fixing cars, but he now finds himself fixing lives. It’s quite touching.”
The 90-minute Call the Midwife Christmas special has become a heartwarming institution, usually attracting audiences of around nine million on Christmas Day and 2020 is unlikely to be any different.
“It’s like a shot of rum, it warms your toes,” explained Taitte. “There’s so much love and reassurance in Call the Midwife and I think people want more of that in their lives. And what better time than at Christmas, which is a celebration that’s all about hope?”
The duo got to click the clapperboard, Call the Midwife’s traditional way to celebrate the end of filming on the Christmas special.
That’s not to say the programme ignores less uplifting storylines, such as racism, which Lucille has certainly contended with in the past.
Elliott explained: “It was unfortunately one of the truths of the time that a lot of immigrants who came to London would have experienced racism, so I suppose we can’t shy away from the issue. But I don’t want it to be the whole of Lucille’s story. She should be three-dimensional.”
Taitte agreed: “It was good to be reminded of the resilience that someone from a different culture had to possess to push through barriers, but should it remain a part of the series? I don’t think so. We’ve touched on it and should now move on.”
Back to Christmas: how were the actors themselves planning to spend the holidays in the strangest year of modern times?
Elliott said: “In light of the current guidelines, it’s hard to say. My Christmas would typically be spent with my family, but who knows? It’s been a difficult year, but thankfully my family and friends are well. I know that’s not the situation for a lot of people, so I’m grateful.
Taitte hoped that everyone got to see their families but added that Christmas Day had possibly become too much of a focus for people.
“If we showed that love to each other throughout the year, missing Christmas wouldn’t be such a blow,” he said.
The Call the Midwife Christmas special is likely to screen on BBC One on Christmas Day.
Read the full interview in Radio Times magazine, on sale from Tuesday 24th November.