Laura Main reveals former Call the Midwife guest star will return for Christmas special

Shelagh Turner already has a bond with this character, who returns for the first time since series six...

Laura Main in Call the Midwife

A familiar face will be returning to Call the Midwife for the Christmas special – and it’s someone we haven’t seen since series six.

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Laura Main, who stars as Nurse Shelagh Turner, has revealed that her Christmas storyline will involve a reunion with Gloria Venables (Katie Lyons).

Shelagh and Gloria previously bonded when they were both pregnant, and were both hospitalised over fears of a miscarriage; but while Shelagh went on to give birth to baby Teddy, Gloria tragically suffered a miscarriage in the fourth episode of series six.

Katie Lyons as Gloria Venables in Call the Midwife
Katie Lyons as Gloria Venables in Call the Midwife (BBC)

Speaking from the set of Call the Midwife via Zoom, Main explains: “Shelagh was in a bed alongside this character Gloria, played by brilliant Katie Lyons, who was completely devastating and heartbreaking in that episode, way back four years ago. But she’s now pregnant again and their paths cross and Shelagh is very much involved with that storyline.

“And what’s I think particularly nice about a long running series is, you know, this woman’s has been through a pretty hellish few years where she keeps miscarrying – which is obviously some women’s reality, so it is a lengthy passage of time… it’s something that you could do on this issue, and revisit. And she is brilliant. I’ve been doing a lot with Katie Lyons this Christmas.”

Lyons played DS Jo Brunt in Manhunt, and has also been seen in Trust Me, Maigret Sets a Trap, Bluestone 42, and Green Wing.

Now Gloria is heavily pregnant – but fraught with anxiety. “She has never got this far before… seven pregnancies she’s had previously,” says Main. “So, yeah, Shelagh knows, and has had her own fertility issues, and was alongside her. But, you know, she [Shelagh] was the happy ending back in series six.”

The Christmas special will also see Shelagh and her husband Dr Patrick Turner (Stephen McGann) try to celebrate a Christmas at home as a family unit.

“We’re back in Poplar,” Main says. “We were in the Outer Hebrides last year, we have had a sunny one in South Africa a few years back, but this is back in Poplar and there is actually snow so very Christmassy!”

The ever-expanding Turner family recently added another member when Shelagh and Patrick decided to adopt little May – although it has not been smooth sailing, with the sudden reappearance of Chinese “orphan” May’s biological mother.

Call the Midwife 2020 Christmas special

“They are a lovely family, and the family is growing so much,” says Main. “Max [Macmillan, who plays Timothy] is at university so we get him sometimes when he is not studying, and we’ve got the two lovely little girls and little Teddy, who’s an absolute dream…

“Shelagh is actually planning a Christmas at home. She wants to, you know, honour that family unit and, and also the fact that May has had such a difficult year and a lot of upset, so she just trying get things stable.

“So yeah, she’s still balancing it all beautifully.”

The Call the Midwife Christmas special will air on 25th December 2020, with series 10 following in early 2021. Check out what else is on with our TV Guide.

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