Call the Midwife season 12 cast - meet the new and returning characters
Helen George, Leonie Elliott and the stars of Call the Midwife return for a whole new season.
Another year, and another batch of entertaining Call the Midwife episodes to keep us glued to the TV every Sunday.
Each week, the regular cast, plus some very famous guest stars portray what life was like for a maternity unit throughout the 1900s.
The winning combination of interesting and powerful stories, plus a star-studded cast list means the series is now in its 12th year - with more on the way soon.
We know Call the Midwife has been renewed for season 13 already, but beyond that, its future is unknown.
During a recent appearance on Good Morning Britain, Laura Main, who plays Nurse Shelagh Turner, said she doesn't know what will happen.
"I don't think that's the case at all," she said when asked if the series had run its course. "I think that we've actually had some big commissions – we got, like, three commissions at one point – so that's unbelievably unusual.
"But I've got to admit, normally we start a series and then find out – we always find out pretty early. I mean, I don't know, there might be some news soon."
She added: "Let's just cross our fingers because it feels like there is so much excitement and enthusiasm for the show still... can we make it to 1970?"
We certainly hope so.
Read on for a rundown of the Call the Midwife cast and who they play.
Call the Midwife season 12 cast
The full cast of Call the Midwife season 12 is as follows.
- Helen George plays Nurse Trixie Franklin
- Linda Bassett plays Nurse Phyllis Crane
- Leonie Elliott plays Nurse Lucille Robinson
- Laura Main plays Shelagh Turner
- Jenny Agutter plays Sister Julienne
- Judy Parfitt plays Sister Monica Joan
- Megan Cusack plays Nancy Corrigan
- Rebecca Gethings plays Sister Veronica
- Zephryn Taitte plays Cyril Robinson
- Georgie Glen plays Miss Higgins
- Stephen McGann plays Dr Patrick Turner
- Cliff Parisi plays Fred Buckle
- Annabelle Apsion plays Violet Buckle
- Daniel Laurie plays Reggie Jackson
- Alice Brown plays Angela Turner
- April Rae Hoang plays May
- Max Macmillan plays Timothy Turner
- Olly Rix plays Matthew Aylward
- Dame Vanessa Redgrave as the voice of Jennifer Worth
For more information about the cast of Call the Midwife season 12, read on...
Helen George plays Nurse Trixie Franklin
Who is Nurse Trixie Franklin? Trixie is a capable and talented midwife who is now one of the most experienced members of the team. In previous series she battled alcoholism, and we've seen her put in the work to stay sober. She is also extremely fashion-conscious and loves beautiful things.
She was in Italy for much of last season caring for her sick aunt, but she returned in the Christmas special and is thrilled to be reunited with her friends, colleagues and partner Matthew.
What else has Helen George been in? Helen George has been with Call the Midwife since day one. Her other TV appearances have included Red Dwarf, Nativity Rocks!, Doctors and Hotel Babylon, and in 2015 she came sixth in Strictly Come Dancing with her pro partner Aljaz Skorjanec. Helen actually also met her partner Jack Ashton when they co-starred in Call the Midwife; he played the Reverend Tom until the end of season 7 and they have two daughters, Wren and Lark.
Linda Bassett plays Nurse Phyllis Crane
Who is Nurse Phyllis Crane? Nurse Phyllis Crane is a bit of a battleaxe but has a dry wit. She's a diligent, dedicated senior midwife who will do what it takes to protect and serve her patients. Phyllis is particularly close to Trixie, and also leads a group of Scouts.
What else has Linda Bassett been in? Linda Basset was nominated for a BAFTA for her performance as Ella Khan in the 1999 film East Is East – a role she reprised in sequel West Is West. Since then, she's played Malka Rosen in Spies of Warsaw, Queenie in Lark Rise to Candleford, and Mrs Smike in The Life and Adventures of Nick Nickleby. Other credits include The Reader, Calendar Girls, and Sense & Sensibility. She recently appeared in Strike: Troubled Blood.
Leonie Elliott plays Nurse Lucille Robinson
Who is Nurse Lucille Anderson? Originally from Jamaica, Lucille travelled alone to England in 1960 to train as a nurse. After she qualified, she became the first West Indian midwife ever to join Nonnatus House – arriving in the snowy first episode of season 7. Since then she has gained a reputation as a talented, level-headed midwife with a sense of humour and a kind heart – but she has faced racism from some of her patients and their families. Lucille has a strong Christian faith, and a fledgeling courtship with local mechanic Cyril (Zephryn Taitte) which saw them marry in the 2021 Christmas special. She's set to face more challenging moments in season 12.
What else has Leonie Elliott been in? Call the Midwife was a breakout role for the young actress, but she's also appeared in the Black Mirror episode Hated in the Nation and TV movie Killed by My Debt. Leonie Elliott's other credits include Casualty, Boogie Man and Damned, and Lenny Henry’s BBC comedy drama Danny and the Human Zoo. As a child actress she appeared on stage in The Lion King and Annie.
Laura Main plays Shelagh Turner
Who is Shelagh Turner? When we first met her, she was Sister Bernadette – but then she gave up being a nun and left the Order to marry Dr Turner. The Turners now have four children together (adopted and biological), and Shelagh continues to work closely with Nonnatus House; she often steps in to work as a midwife or lend a hand when help is needed.
What else has Laura Main been in? Laura Main's acting career has mainly been in theatre, after she first starred in a production of The Sound of Music at the age of 11; recently she played Princess Fiona in the UK tour of Shrek The Musical. On TV, she's played DC Alison Bain in ITV’s Murder City and starred as Rebecca Howlett in TV mini-series The Mill.
Jenny Agutter plays Sister Julienne
Who is Sister Julienne? The big boss at Nonnatus House. She is highly-respected by her team of midwives, who trust her judgement and guidance. Mother Mildred is her superior, but within Nonnatus House she leads the nuns of the Order.
What else has Jenny Agutter been in? Having begun her career as a child actress in The Railway Children and East of Sudan, Jenny Agutter won an Emmy for her performance in 1971's The Snow Goose and a BAFTA for 1977 movie Equus. She starred in Logan's Run, Amy, An American Werewolf in London, and many more – but having quit Hollywood in the 1990s, she moved home to Britain and appeared in The Railway Children again – this time as the mother in a 2000 TV adaptation. Her more recent credits have included Sometimes Always Never (alongside Bill Nighy), Queen of the Desert, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Avengers Assemble.
Judy Parfitt plays Sister Monica Joan
Who is Sister Monica Joan? Sister Monica Joan has been a part of Call the Midwife since she opened the doors of Nonnatus House to welcome us inside for episode 1. She was one of the first women to qualify as a midwife in Britain, but is now retired and feeling the effects of dementia. Sister Monica Joan continues to live at Nonnatus House where her former colleagues care for her with love (and sometimes exasperation). She is distressed by her limitations and by her mental confusion, and needs to feel useful. In season 10, she experiences a spiritual crisis.
What else has Judy Parfitt been in? Judy Parfitt's BAFTA-nominated performances include Maria Thins in Girl With A Pearl Earring and Mildred Layton in The Jewel In The Crown. The 84-year-old's more recent credits include Up the Women, The Game, and Little Dorrit – in which she played Mrs Clennam.
Megan Cusack plays Nancy Corrigan
Who is Nancy Corrigan? Pupil midwife Nancy Corrigan comes to train at Nonnatus House as part of her studies. She is Irish, and has been raised by Catholic nuns in an orphanage. Nancy is friendly and chatty, but sometimes she doesn't read the room.
What else has Megan Cusack been in? This is one of her first on-screen roles, after an appearance in Doctors and a role in a filmed version of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard. If you're wondering if Megan is a member of the famous Cusack acting family, yes she is. Her aunts include Sinead and Niamh Cusack, and her uncle is Jeremy Irons.
Rebecca Gethings plays Sister Veronica
Who is Sister Veronica? The newest addition to Nonnatus House arrives in season 12. She’s a health visitor who was previously working in Hong Kong. "She doesn't really read social situations in the same way as other people," said Gethings. "But she means well. She puts her foot in it a lot and she ruffles feathers, but she always does it for a good reason."
What else has Rebecca Gethings been in? She has appeared in David Brent: Life on the Road and period drama The Serpent Queen.
Zephryn Taitte plays Cyril Robinson
Who is Cyril Robinson? In season 8, Phyllis hired a mechanic to fix her car – and while working on the car outside Nonnatus House, Cyril first laid eyes on Lucille and fell head-over-heels for her. He is an immigrant from Guyana and spends his evenings studying civil engineering, and likes to enjoy the West Indian social scene. Cyril and Lucille enjoyed a slow courtship before marrying in the 2021 Christmas Special.
What else has Zephryn Taitte been in? He played Dorian in the TV series Brothers with No Game, and has also appeared in The Hour and Doctors. Taitte’s stage work includes Nora: A Doll's House, Trust, and The Tempest.
Georgie Glen plays Miss Higgins
Who is Miss Higgins? Miss Higgins is the receptionist at Dr Turner's surgery. She is formidable and bossy, but is also kind-hearted. She has slowly bonded with Nurse Phyllis Crane.
What else has Georgie Glen been in? Georgie Glen is one of those actresses whose face has been everywhere. Recently, she's played Princess Diana's grandmother Ruth Lady Fermoy in The Crown, as well as playing Lady Grenford in Hetty Feather, Pat in Sally4Ever, Sue in Behind her Eyes, Rose Kennedy in Oscar-nominated movie Jackie, and the Abbess in Les Misérables. She also put in a long stint as Head of History Audrey McFall in Waterloo Road.
Stephen McGann plays Dr Patrick Turner
Who is Dr Patrick Turner? The local GP, who works closely with Nonnatus House. He is devoted to his job and works tirelessly to serve the people of Poplar. Dr Turner is married to Shelagh and has four children.
What else has Stephen McGann been in? Stephen McGann is actually married to Call the Midwife creator and writer Heidi Thomas. He is also the brother of Doctor Who actor Paul McGann, and like his character Dr Turner he is a man of science – having studied for a Masters in Science Communication and written a book, Flesh and Blood, based on the personal and medical history of his family. McGann previously played Sean Reynolds in Emmerdale.
Cliff Parisi plays Fred Buckle
Who is Fred Buckle? A handyman-turned-shopkeeper. He is married to Violet, and they've now been joined by orphaned young man Reggie, who has Down's Syndrome. The midwives can always count on Fred for help, no matter what.
What else has Cliff Parisi been in? The actor's most famous role is as Rick "Minty" Peterson in EastEnders, a role he held for eight years. Since then he's appeared in Hollyoaks, Midsomer Murders, and Shakespeare & Hathaway. He also starred in 2019's I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! (though he didn't get very far).
Annabelle Apsion plays Violet Buckle
Who is Violet Buckle? Back in season 4, Violet – a widow without children of her own – married Fred, and in season 6, Reggie joined the family. Violet is a dressmaker who has her own shop and is deeply involved in the local community, organising events and festivals and always trying to help out, and now she's taken things one step further by becoming a Councillor.
What else has Annabelle Apsion been in? The actress starred as Monica Gallagher in Shameless and as Joy Wilton in Soldier Soldier. For Christmas 2018 she was on TV as Betty Calloway in Torvill & Dean, and in recent years she's appeared in The Village, Holby City, The Halcyon, Father Brown, and Doc Martin.
Daniel Laurie plays Reggie Jackson
Who is Reggie Jackson? Reggie's first appearance in Call the Midwife came in season 6. His mother had recently died, leaving him orphaned, and the nuns and the community stepped in to help him. He has Down's Syndrome, and is now the ward of Fred and Violet Buckle; together they are a loving and affectionate family.
What else has Daniel Laurie been in? Recently he's played Sheemie in The Dark Tower, Adam Beecher in Vera, and Zach in Finding Alice (alongside Keeley Hawes). In the TV series Back in 2016, he played the role of Jamie in the TV series Stella, and two years before that he led the cast of the Radio 4 adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Barnaby Rudge.
Alice Brown plays Angela Turner
Who is Angela Turner? Patrick and Shelagh Turner's daughter. She was adopted as a baby in season 4, gaining an older brother in Timothy Turner (Max Macmillan); since then, the family has expanded to include a new baby brother and another adopted sister, May.
What else has Alice Brown been in? Alice has been playing little Angela Turner since she was only eight months old. Back on season 6, Alice's dad told Radio Times how she ended up involved: "Annabel, my wife, just knew someone on the production and Alice’s arrival coincided with the storyline. It simply started from there." He added: "Do I now have any interest in her being a child actor in any other way? Zero interest. To be honest, we will simply enjoy playing the episodes back to her when she is older, and embarrassing her on her wedding day, and of course she now has quite a nice nest egg in her savings account.”
April Rae Hoang plays May
Who is May? May Tang first arrived in the 2018 Christmas special, in the arms of Miriam Margolyes' Mother Mildred who turned up at Nonnatus House with a group of Chinese child refugees who'd been sent to the UK for adoption. Sadly, May's placement fell through and her family weren't able to collect her – leaving Patrick and Shelagh Turner to take her in as a foster child. They then decided to adopt her as their daughter, although in season 9 there was an unexpected development when her biological mother re-emerged and refused to sign away her parental rights; the adoption has yet to be finalised. May is best friends with her sister, Angela, who is about the same age.
What else has April Rae Hoang been in? Call the Midwife is her first on-screen appearance.
Max Macmillan plays Timothy Turner
Who is Timothy Turner? The only child of Patrick Turner and his late wife. Since his father remarried Shelagh, he's gained three younger siblings: Angela, May, and Teddy. He's followed in his father's footsteps and is training to be a doctor.
What else has Max Macmillan been in? The young actor is a long-time star of Call the Midwife, having first appeared in the 2012 Christmas special. Aside from this role, he has played Peter Stemp in 2019 movie The Song of Names.
Edward Shaw (This Is Going to Hurt) plays Edward "Teddy" Patrick Turner, another of Patrick and Shelagh’s children. Shelagh was previously informed that she wouldn’t be able to fall pregnant again due to tuberculosis, but she later discovered that she was pregnant.
Olly Rix plays Matthew Aylward
Who is Matthew Aylward? Matthew was first introduced as a guest star in season 10. In the first episode, his wife Fiona Awylward gave birth at the Lady Emily Clinic. Trixie encouraged Matthew to be more involved in the childbirth process, and to bond with his newborn son. In the second episode, Fiona was tragically diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia, and died shortly afterwards. Newly widowed Matthew returns again in episode 4 when he invites Trixie to the baby's christening – and in episode 5, when he calls her for help – and in episode 6 when he makes an unexpected visit to Nonnatus House. Fast forward and the pair are now in a stable relationship. They have faced their fair share of obstacles, but are stronger than ever.
What else has Olly Rix been in? Olly Rix starred as Edward Stafford in The Spanish Princess, and as Bones in Our Girl. He was DI Harry Sawyer in WPC 56, David in Of Kings and Prophets, Navas in The Musketeers and Cartwright in Death Comes to Pemberley.
Archie O'Callaghan plays Matthew's son Jonty.
Linda Hargreaves plays Mrs Wallace
Who is Mrs Wallace? She runs the church that Lucille and Cyril attend. She's a kind, empathetic woman who would help anyone in need.
What else has Linda Hargreaves been in? You might recognise her from Doctors, in which she's played several roles.
Dame Vanessa Redgrave as the voice of Jennifer Worth
Who is Jennifer Worth? Nurse Jennifer Lee was the lead character of the first three seasons of Call the Midwife and was played as a young woman by Jessica Raine. Following these early seasons, the character of Jennifer left the show and married her love interest Phillip Worth. As Jennifer Worth, the midwife kept in touch with her friends at Nonnatus House and continues to narrate the events of the series as an older woman.
What else has Dame Vanessa Redgrave been in? A legend of stage and screen, Dame Vanessa Redgrave has won an Academy Award, a BAFTA, two Golden Globes, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Tony Award – meaning she has the triple crown of acting. Redgrave's film appearances include Behind the Mask, Julia, Isadora, Mary Queen of Scots, A Man for All Seasons, Camelot, Mission: Impossible, Atonement, Coriolanus and The Butler.
Call the Midwife episode 1 guest stars
- Phoebe Thomas (Holby City) plays Greta Pickard, an overworked pregnant woman who requires the services of the Nonnatus House midwives.
- Richard James-Neale plays Greta's husband Wally, who is on strike.
- Hiral Varsani plays Zoya Patel, a pregnant woman who goes into labour at the same time as Phoebe.
- Clare Burt (Holby City) plays Olive Macketts, a woman with terminal cancer.
- Stella Gonet (Holby City) plays Olive's landlord Jessie Parris, who has been looking after her.
Call the Midwife episode 2 guest stars
- Lydia Larson (Doctors) plays Lilian Reynolds, a pregnant woman who is diagnosed with breast cancer.
- James Alexandrou (EastEnders) plays Ronnie Reynolds, Lilian's husband.
- Barry McCarthy (Christmas Carole) plays Tommy Woodleigh, a man who is diagnosed with macular degeneration.
- Phoebe Horn plays Janet Norris, Tommy's granddaughter.
Call the Midwife episode 3 guest stars
- Rose Riley (Home and Away) plays Sandy Talbot, one of Sister Veronica's patients. She is newly married, but all is not well.
- Mark Strepan (Before We Die) plays Joe Talbot, Sandy's husband. They have two children together.
- Alice Sykes (Cradle to Grave) plays Lorna Pryce, a pregnant woman who has a difficult birth.
- Sarah Ball plays Joyce Fothergirl, Lorna's mother. The pair have an incredibly close bond.
Call the Midwife episode 4 guest stars
- Roxanne Palmer (Endeavour) plays Joan Kingsley, a woman who has just given birth and is cleared to return home.
- Annice Boparai (Doctors) plays Vinita Khatri, a woman who gives birth to twins.
- Abby Russell plays Simone Lucas, a pregnant woman and one of Nurse Crane’s patients.
- Wilfred Scolding (Andor) plays Larry Lucas, Simone’s husband.
- Philip Bird (Doctors) plays Mr Walsh, a doctor who has a spiky run-in with Nurse Crane
- Manish Gandhi (Haunted Nights) plays Romesh Khatri, Vinita’s husband.
- Yvie Magee, Gabriela Garcia (Avenue 5) and Frankie Hastings (Belfast) play Mrs Biggs, Mrs Permeira and Mrs Jameson, pregnant women who are staying on the maternity ward.
- Timothy Harker (Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?) plays Dr Threapwood, a Board of Health member who has some worrying news for Nonnatus House.
Call the Midwife episode 5 guest stars
- Keenan Munn-Francis (Penny on Mars) plays Spencer Wray, a young man with severe mental health problems.
- Justine Moore plays Jill Mellor, Spencer's girlfriend and the mother of his baby.
- Angela Wynterm (Doctors) plays Florence Wray, Spencer's mum.
- Olivia Brady (Broke) plays Annette Barkley, a woman who has been experiencing heart problems.
- Rob Witcomb (Stephen) plays Peter Barkley, Annette's husband.
- Michael Cochrane (Doctors) plays Sir Brigham, Matthew's father. They have a fractured relationship.
Call the Midwife cast exits
Sister Hilda, played by Fenella Woolgar, has been called back to the Mother House, a coastal convent overseen by Mother Mildred (Miriam Margolyes), according to The Mirror. So she will be absent.
And Sister Frances, played by Ella Bruccoleri, is recovering at Mother House after falling off her bike and injuring herself.
An insider told the publication that there could be scope for both characters, who joined the hit series in 2019, to return in the future.
"Ella and Fenella are off doing other things now – but that doesn't mean they won’t come back again at some point," they said. "They'll both be missed."
Jenny Agutter, who plays Sister Julienne, added: "The door is always open."
And Lucille will also be absent for the foreseeable as she recovers from her nervous breakdown in Jamaica.
Leonie Elliott, who plays the nurse, shared the following statement on Twitter: "This season was incredibly difficult to film. Thank you for all your kind words. It's my hope for people watching that if they can see the good in her, maybe they can extend that to people in real life."
"I care about her deeply. Many share her story of miscarriage and depression, and many share her experience of abuse, racial or otherwise. Many of us face mental health challenges, I hope we can continue to love one another, support and listen to each other. Look after yourselves and each other."