Call the Midwife has returned to our screens for season 13, and show creator Heidi Thomas has once again promised an abundance of entertaining, important and moving storylines to keep viewers engrossed across the eight shiny new episodes.

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You can expect "complex medical and personal situations on the midwifery and district nursing rounds", with "more babies being born in hospital than ever before" and "pressure on maternity beds remaining extremely high across the country".

Sounds familiar...

But thankfully, "Poplar is coping better than most due to the work of Nonnatus House and the popularity of home births under the auspices of the Sisters."

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The season will also explore "stories from within the Sylheti and Nigerian communities and from around the docks", the devastating impact of "poor housing" on the people of Poplar and "issues surrounding cerebral palsy, congenital hip dysplasia, tetanus, porphyria and TB".

Trixie Franklin (Helen George), Nancy Corrigan (Megan Cusak), Rosalind Clifford (Natalie Quarry) and Joyce Highland (Renee Bailey) in Call the Midwife cycling down a street
Call the Midwife. BBC / Neal Street Productions / Andrea Southam

Plenty of familiar faces have returned for the latest chapter, alongside some new additions, too. Read on for a rundown of the Call the Midwife season 13 cast and who they play.

Call the Midwife season 13 cast

  • Helen George plays Nurse Trixie Aylward (née Franklin)
  • Stephen McGann plays Dr Patrick Turner
  • Laura Main plays Shelagh Turner
  • Jenny Agutter plays Sister Julienne
  • Linda Bassett plays Nurse Phyllis Crane
  • 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
  • Olly Rix plays Matthew Aylward
  • Cliff Parisi plays Fred Buckle
  • Annabelle Apsion plays Violet Buckle
  • Daniel Laurie plays Reggie Jackson
  • Francesca Fullilove plays Colette Corrigan
  • Alice Brown plays Angela Turner
  • April Rae Hoang plays May
  • Max Macmillan plays Timothy Turner
  • Edward Shaw plays Edward 'Teddy' Turner
  • Archie O'Callaghan plays Jonty Aylward
  • Dame Vanessa Redgrave as the voice of Jennifer Worth
  • Renee Bailey plays Joyce Highland
  • Natalie Quarry plays Rosalind Clifford
  • Rachel Nicholson plays Kathy Downes
  • Shamia Phills plays Norelle Morris

For more information about the cast of the Call the Midwife, read on...

Helen George plays Nurse Trixie Franklin

Helen George plays Nurse Trixie Franklin in Call the Midwife
BBC

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 season 12 caring for her sick aunt, but she returned in last year's Christmas special and has since married 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.

Stephen McGann plays Dr Patrick Turner

Stephen McGann plays Dr Patrick Turner in Call the Midwife

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 they have 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.

Laura Main plays Shelagh Turner

Laura Main plays Shelagh Turner in Call the Midwife

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

Jenny Agutter plays Sister Julienne in Call the Midwife

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.

Linda Bassett plays Nurse Phyllis Crane

Linda Bassett plays Nurse Phyllis Crane in Call the Midwife

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.

What else has Linda Bassett been in? Linda Bassett 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.

Judy Parfitt plays Sister Monica Joan

Judy Parfitt plays Sister Monica Joan in Call the Midwife

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.

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

Megan Cusack plays pupil midwife Nancy Corrigan in Call the Midwife

Who is Nancy Corrigan? Nancy is a friendly, chatty midwife who was raised by Catholic nuns in an orphanage. She has a young daughter, Colette, and at the end of last season, she was considering leaving Nonnatus House to secure a job that could offer her and Colette a place to live together.

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

Rebecca Gethings in Call The Midwife season 12
Call The Midwife: Rebecca Gethings as Sister Veronica BBC, Neal Street Productions, Olly Courtenay

Who is Sister Veronica? She joined Nonnatus House in season 12. Sister Veronica is 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.

Georgie Glen plays Miss Higgins

Georgie Glen in Call the Midwife
BBC

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.

Zephryn Taitte plays Cyril Robinson

Cyril Robinson in Call the Midwife

Who is Cyril Robinson? He is originally from Guyana and is currently employed by the council. In season 8, he first laid eyes on Lucille while fixing Nurse Crane's car and fell head-over-heels for her. They enjoyed a slow courtship before marrying in the 2021 Christmas Special, but she has since moved back to Jamaica.

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.

Olly Rix plays Matthew Aylward

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 04/12/2021 - Programme Name: Call the Midwife - S11 - TX: n/a - Episode: Call The Midwife - S11 - Generics (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Matthew Aylward (OLLY RIX) - (C) Nealstreet Productions - Photographer: Sally Mais

Who is Matthew Aylward? Matthew was first introduced as a guest star in season 10. In the first episode, his wife Fiona Aylward 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 returned again in episode 4 when he invited Trixie to the baby's christening, in episode 5 when he called her for help, and in episode 6 when he made an unexpected visit to Nonnatus House. Fast-forward several seasons and the pair are now married.

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.

Cliff Parisi plays Fred Buckle

Cliff Parisi plays Fred Buckle in Call the Midwife

Who is Fred Buckle? A handyman-turned-shopkeeper. He is married to Violet and they co-parent 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

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 04/12/2021 - Programme Name: Call the Midwife - S11 - TX: n/a - Episode: Call The Midwife - S11 - Generics (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Violet Buckle (ANNABELLE APSION) - (C) Nealstreet Productions - Photographer: Sally Mais

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

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 04/12/2021 - Programme Name: Call the Midwife - S11 - TX: n/a - Episode: Call The Midwife - S11 - Generics (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Reggie Jackson (DANIEL LAURIE) - (C) Nealstreet Productions - Photographer: Sally Mais

Who is Reggie Jackson? Reggie's first appearance in Call the Midwife came in season 6. His mother had died, leaving him orphaned, which prompted the nuns and the community to step in and 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.

Francesca Fullilove plays Colette Corrigan

Nancy and Colette sharing a hug
Neal Street Productions/Andrea Southam

Who is Colette Corrigan? Nancy's daughter, who was raised in a Catholic orphanage. The nuns initially told her that Nancy was her sister.

What else has Francesca Fullilove been in? Call the Midwife is her first on-screen role.

Alice Brown plays Angela Turner

Alice Brown plays Angela Turner in Call the Midwife

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

April Rae Hoang plays May in Call the Midwife

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. 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

Timothy Turner in Call the Midwife

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 to become 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.

Call the Midwife new characters

Renee Bailey plays Joyce Highland

Joyce riding her bike
Neal Street Productions/BBC

Who is Joyce Highland? A pupil midwife who has joined Nonnatus House. Joyce is from Trinidad, and is described as "hardworking, fiercely bright and deeply kind". She is also hiding a traumatic past of her own.

What else has Renee Bailey been in? Her CV includes BBC/Netflix teen thriller Rebel Cheer Squad and BBC musical drama Mood.

Natalie Quarry plays Rosalind Clifford

Rosalind standing outside Nonnatus House
Neal Street Productions

Who is Rosalind Clifford? Another of Nonnatus House's student midwives. Rosalind is described as "naive at times, but with an inner steeliness". She very quickly forms a bond with Joyce.

What else has Natalie Quarry been in? She has appeared in an episode of Doctors and in Donald Glover's Atlanta.

  • Rachel Nicholson plays the recurring role of pupil midwife Kathy Downes, and Shamia Phills plays pupil midwife Norelle Morris.

Who is the Call the Midwife narrator?

Vanessa Redgrave
Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

Dame Vanessa Redgrave serves 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 season 13 guest stars

Episode 1

  • Rosie Jones (The Last Leg) plays Doreen Challis - a pregnant woman with cerebral palsy.
  • Jennifer Hennessy (Dickensian) plays Ada Challis - Doreen's mother.
  • Georgia Alexandra plays Anne Challis - Doreen's sister.
  • Jake Lampert (Andor) plays Graham Purvis - Doreen's partner and the father of her baby.
  • Sophia La Porta (The Gold) plays Iris Melia - a pregnant woman who is having trouble at home.
  • Andy Burse (Shadow and Bone) plays Les Melia - Iris's husband.

Episode 2

  • Annabel Betts (Doctors) plays Edna Bristow - a single mother with one child and another on the way.
  • Rachel Kamath (Shantaram) plays Sahira Khan - a pregnant woman who's experiencing health problems.
  • Romo Sikdar (EastEnders) plays Ayub Khan - Sahira's partner.
  • Neil Chinneck (Sommaren 85) plays Mr Jenkins - a housing officer for the council.

Episode 3

  • Mia Gill plays Gillian Baxter - a pregnant model, who receives some worrying news when her baby is born.
  • Ryan Quarmby (The Last Kingdom) plays Liam Baxter - Gillian's partner and the father of her baby.
  • Steven Hartley (EastEnders, The Bill, Doctors) plays Bill Regan - a slum landlord who runs in the mayoral race against Violet.
  • Patricia Franklin (Carry On) plays Elsie Sweeney - one of Bill's tenants.
  • Jane Slavin (Coronation Street) plays Sylvie - Gillian's agent.

Episode 4

  • Dimeji Ewuoso (Doctors) as Felix Chdozie - a man who has TB.
  • Cassandra Hercules as Ngozi Chdozie - Felix's wife. They have several children together.
  • Dereke Oladele (The Tragedy of Macbeth) as Samuel Chdozie - Felix and Ngozi's son.
  • Brielle Oladele as Esther Chdozie - Felix and Ngozi's daughter.
  • Lucy Thackeray (Black Ops) as Prue Stanton - a pregnant woman who has missed two midwife appointments, She's also a heavy smoker.
  • Emily Rees as Lynette Stanton - Prue's daughter.
  • Adam Damerell (The Crown) as Ronnie Stanton - Prue's husband.
  • Mary Larkin (Casualty) as Kathleen Flanagan - a woman from Nancy's past.

Episode 5

  • Lydia Fleming (In from the Cold) as Lindy Webster - a pregnant woman. Her relationship with the father has been turbulent over the years.
  • Tom Anson as Melvin Jones - Lindy's partner.
  • Charlotte Lucas (Bad Girls) as Miss Williams - she works for the Hong Kong adoption agency.

Episode 6

  • Anna Francolini (Sex Education) as Gladys Bell - a woman whose father has just died, and who is having health problems of her own.
  • Mitchell Creak as Jason Bell - Gladys's son.
  • Grace Boyle (Secret Invasion) as Deirdre - a mother who is unable to care for her children and leaves them in a church.
  • Joseph Chance (Wallander) as Reverend Nicholas Connell.
  • Jo Bowis (Doc Martin) as WDC Grayson.
  • Terry Bamberger (The Good Ship Murder) as Dowager Lady Aylward.
  • Tim Bartholomew (Pennyworth) as a boardmember.

Episode 7

  • Grace Doherty (Casualty) as Alison Casey - a young woman who is trying to keep her pregnancy a secret.
  • Rachel Lumberg (Coronation Street) as Madge Casey - Alison's mum.
  • Matilda Rae as Gerri Godfrey - a young woman who's has one child and is expecting another.
  • Benjamin Cawley (Grime Kids) as Sylvester Warren - he claims to be Joyce's cousin.

Call the Midwife airs on BBC One on Sundays. If you're looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide and Streaming Guide or visit our Drama hub for more news and features.

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