While the core cast of Call the Midwife stays the same from week to week, each episode brings in a new collection of guest stars. And the Christmas special 2020 has some real treats, including Peter Davison dressed up in a top hat and red suit to play circus ringmaster Mr Percival.
Also returning for the Christmas special (and the new season) are all the usual suspects, including Helen George, Leonie Elliott, Jenny Agutter, Judy Parfitt, and Stephen McGann. The only person missing is Jennifer Kirby, who quit her role as Nurse Valerie Dyer before filming began for the Christmas special and series 10.
So who plays who? And what other films and TV shows have they been in? Here’s the full run-down of the cast for the 2020 Christmas special and beyond:
Peter Davison plays ringmaster Mr Percival
Who is Mr Percival? The owner of Percival’s Circus, which is visiting Poplar this year for Christmas – much to everyone’s excitement. The circus is his life’s work.
What else has Peter Davison been in? The actor is known for playing the Fifth Doctor in Doctor Who, and for starring as Tristan Farnon in the original BBC adaptation of All Creatures Great and Small. Recently, you may have seen him as Denis in Liar, William Priestley in Gentleman Jack, or Henry in the TV mini-series Life. His other credits include A Very Peculiar Practice, Campion, At Home with the Braithwaites, and Law & Order: UK.
Lizzy Watts plays Jaquetta Percival
Who is Jaquetta Percival? The friendly, funny grown-up daughter of Mr Percival – who also, when she’s not pregnant, performs as an acrobat. Jaquetta works for the circus and travels from place to place with her husband and children.
What else has Lizzy Watts been in? She played Nancy in the first season of The Durrells, and has also been in Masters of Love, Endeavour, and Doctors.
Katie Lyons plays Gloria Venables
Who is Gloria Venables? This former Call the Midwife guest star returns in the Christmas special, having first appeared in series six. Shelagh Turner (Laura Main) 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 lost her pregnancy. However, after several more miscarriages, Gloria has now almost carried a pregnancy to term – and she is filled with anxiety about something going wrong. But at least she has Shelagh to lean on for support.
What else has Katie Lyons been in? Katie Lyons played DS Jo Brunt in Manhunt, and has also been seen in Trust Me, Maigret Sets a Trap, Bluestone 42, and Green Wing.
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 has battled alcoholism, and we’ve seen her put in the work to stay sober. She is also extremely fashion-conscious and loves beautiful things.
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 series seven and they had a daughter, Wren, in 2017.
Leonie Elliott plays Nurse Lucille Anderson
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 series seven. 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).
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 in 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.
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.
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.
Cliff Parisi plays Fred Buckle
Who is Fred Buckle? A handyman. 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 series four, Violet – a widow without children of her own – married Fred, and in series six Reggie joined the family. Violet owns a 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.
Linda Bassett plays Nurse Crane
Who is Nurse Phyllis Crane? Nurse Phyllis Crane is a bit of a battleaxe but has a dry wit. She 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.
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 one. 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 with 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.
Ella Bruccoleri plays Sister Frances
Who is Sister Frances? A newcomer to Nonnatus House in series eight alongside Sister Hilda. At that time, this young nun had only just taken her vow of obedience and joined the Order when she was sent to serve God as a midwife in Poplar. Sister Frances was scared and uncertain of herself, but has now begun to gain confidence.
What else has Ella Bruccoleri been in? The actress has actually already played a nun, in an episode of The Last Kingdom – and she made an appearance as a maid in the TV series Genius.
Fenella Woolgar plays Sister Hilda
Who is Sister Hilda? A relatively recent arrival from the Order’s mother house, who has been sent to Nonnatus House to work as a midwife. She was already familiar with the East End and had been in the WAAF during the war, and she had been a nurse before – so she arrived full of confidence. She had to rein in her bossy tendencies once she arrived in Poplar… nevertheless, Sister Hilda remains a practical, enthusiastic and jolly sort of person.
What else has Fenella Woolgar been in? She recently played Margaret Hamilton in Renée Zellweger’s Judy Garland biopic, Judy – and has appeared in the movies Victoria & Abdul and Mr Jones. Having first caught the public’s attention in in Stephen Fry’s film Bright Young Things back in 2003, she has since starred in Home Fires, Harlots, Mr Turner, Scoop, Vera Drake, and War & Peace. Fenella Woolgar also took on the role of Agatha Christie in Doctor Who.
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, 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.
Daniel Laurie plays Reggie Jackson
Who is Reggie Jackson? Reggie’s first appearance in Call the Midwife came in series six. 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. In the Christmas special 2020, he becomes fascinated by Percival’s Circus.
What else has Daniel Laurie been in? Recently he’s played Sheemie in The Dark Tower, and Adam Beecher in Vera – and he also has a role coming up alongside Keeley Hawes in the 2021 TV series Finding Alice. 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.
Zephryn Taitte plays Cyril Robinson
Who is Cyril Robinson? In series eight, 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 have been enjoying a slow courtship, and she’s encouraged him to find his voice as a preacher.
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. Zephryn Taitte’s stage work includes Nora: A Doll’s House, Trust, and The Tempest.
Miriam Margolyes plays Mother Mildred
Who is Mother Mildred? Initially described as “a forthright and indefatigable sister from the Order,” Sister Mildred became Mother Mildred when she was chosen by the nuns as their new Mother Superior (leaving Sister Julienne extremely relieved to escape back to Poplar without having to take on the top job). Since arriving back from Hong Kong in the 2018 Christmas special, Mother Mildred has made sporadic and memorable appearances; she has a big personality and a sense of humour, and is also extremely chatty.
She won’t be appearing in the Christmas special 2020, but is still a part of the cast.
What else has Miriam Margolyes been in? Many people will recognise her first and foremost as Professor Sprout from the Harry Potter movies – the Professor of Herbology and Head of Hufflepuff House. Miriam Margolyes won a Bafta for her role in The Age of Innocence (1993), and has also starred in Bucket, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Trollied, Rake, and Bottersnikes & Gumbles. She was also the Nurse in Romeo + Juliet (with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes).
Alice Brown plays Angela Turner
Who is Angela Turner? Patrick and Shelagh Turner’s daughter. She was adopted as a baby in series four, 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 series six, 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 series nine 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. Timothy is currently away at boarding school, so he doesn’t appear much in series nine.
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.
Call the Midwife series 9 cast
Jennifer Kirby plays Nurse Valerie Dyer
Who is Nurse Valerie Dyer? Val Dyer is a native of Poplar who grew up in the area and knows the East End well. She previously served in the army as a nurse, before returning home to work as a barmaid and then as a midwife. In series eight, Val had a traumatic experience when she discovered that the her own grandmother Elsie Dyer (Ann Mitchell) was the illegal abortionist operating in the area, and in series nine her grandmother became ill in prison – ultimately dying at home.
What else has Jennifer Kirby been in? Val in Call the Midwife has been one of Jennifer Kirby’s first on-screen roles, but she also had an impressive stage career with the Royal Shakespeare Company before joining the drama.
Jennifer Kirby has quit Call the Midwife ahead of the 2020 Christmas special and series 10, so Val will now be written out of the show.
Call the Midwife guest stars
Series 9, episode 8
Thomas Howes plays Eddie Tannerman
Who is Eddie Tannerman? A father-to-be.
What else has Thomas Howes been in? The actor’s breakout role was as footman William Mason in Downton Abbey. Since then he’s played John Booth in Gentleman Jack, George Ward in Dark Angel (alongside Downton co-star Joanne Froggatt), and Yashvin in Anna Karenina.
Kitty Archer plays Petra Bevan
Who is Petra Bevan? A mother-to-be. She and fiancé Eddie are expecting their first child together, so the wedding has been brought forward to before the birth.
What else has Kitty Archer been in? She’s starred in Present Laughter at the Old Vic (alongside Andrew Scott), Tartuffe at the National Theatre, and One for Sorrow at the Royal Court.
Sue Elliott-Nicholls plays Ada Bevan
Who is Ada Bevan? Petra’s mother. She can be a little overbearing.
What else has Sue Elliott-Nicholls been in? She’s the voice of Moody Margaret in the TV series Horrid Henry, and she’s made frequent appearances in Tracey Ullman’s Show and Tracey Breaks the News.
Ruby Thomas plays Bonnie Medlar
Who is Bonnie Medlar? A pregnant woman who is expecting her first child with her boyfriend. Bonnie forms an immediate bond with Nurse Crane.
What else has Ruby Thomas been in? Her credits include Endeavour, Agatha Raisin, Blandings, Wild Child, and Lewis.
Nicky Goldie plays Aunt Flo
Who is Aunt Flo? No, not that Aunt Flo – we’re not talking euphemistically about menstruation. This Aunt Flo is Val Dyer’s relative, and she was involved in the abortion business with Val’s grandma Elsie Dyer.
What else has Nicky Goldie been in? The actress recently popped up as Mrs Coppins in Agatha Christie’s The Pale Horse. She’s also been in The League of Gentlemen, Coronation Street, The Bill, and Doctors.
Ann Mitchell plays Val’s gran Elsie Dyer
Who is Elsie Dyer? Nurse Valerie Dyer’s beloved grandmother. In series eight, Val discovered that Elsie was the illegal abortionist who’d been operating in Poplar – and she had to make the agonising decision to turn her in to the police. Elsie is now serving a jail sentence behind bars, but she still loves her granddaughter and is desperate for her to visit.
What else has Ann Mitchell been in? The actress plays the outspoken Cora Cross in EastEnders. She first rose to fame in the 1980s as Dolly Rawlins in the crime series Widows. In 2018 she made a cameo as another character in Steve McQueen’s film version, and the following year she played Gwen in the comedy Year of the Rabbit.
Lee Armstrong plays Dr Kevin McNulty
Who is Dr Kevin McNulty? A junior doctor from a humble background. He is conscientious and studious, and has had to work hard to get where he is. Kevin is mainly shadowing Nurse Val Dyer. Having impressed Dr Turner, he has been invited back to work at the GP’s surgery.
What else has Lee Armstrong been in? The actor played a Grenadier in Dunkirk and has also appeared in Coronation Street, Doctors, Endeavour, and Midsomer Murders. On the stage he’s starred in The Odyssey, and played lead character Albert Narracott in War Horse at the National Theatre.
Series 9, episode 7
Ellie Wallwork plays Marion Irmsby
UK fans!! Two days till the next episode of #callthemidwife!!
Young Mrs Irmsby lacks sight. Will her vision of independent motherhood suffer for it?
Call the Midwife. Sunday at 8pm on @BBCOne xx pic.twitter.com/WwgK28Mhfv
— Call the Midwife (@CallTheMidwife1) February 14, 2020
Who is Marion Irmsby? A pregnant woman, who just happens to be blind – and she’s determined not to let anyone treat her any differently because of her condition, which is called retinitis pigmentosa. She and her husband are looking forward to welcoming their new baby, but to Marion’s distress, her older sister Beryl does not support her decision to have a child at all.
What else has Ellie Wallwork been in? An actress and singer/songwriter, whose most high-profile role so far is as guest lead Hanne in the Doctor Who episode It Takes You Away. Ellie Wallwork has actually already appeared in Call the Midwife before, playing a children’s home inmate seven years ago in series two. She has been blind since birth.
Dylan Llewellyn plays Stewart Irmsby
Who is Stewart Irmsby? An excited father-to-be. His pregnant wife Marion is blind, and he’s frustrated that she won’t accept help.
What else has Dylan Llewellyn been in? The actor (pictured here at the Radio Times Festival 2019!) is best-known as the “wee English fella” James from Derry Girls. Before that, he played Jono in Hollyoaks and Seb Channing in Holby City.
Lucy Briggs-Owen plays Beryl Cairns
Who is Beryl Cairns? Marion’s older sister, who raised her after their mother died. Beryl is convinced that Marion absolutely cannot raise a child, because she’s blind – and she makes her opinion clear, insisting that Marion should give up the baby for adoption once it’s born.
What else has Lucy Briggs-Owen been in? She’s recently appeared in the true crime dramas White House Farm and A Confession, and in A Very English Scandal and Doc Martin. Most of her acting work so far has been on the stage, including at the Old Vic and with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Sophie Melville plays Yvonne Smith
Who is Yvonne Smith? A pregnant woman who is admitted to the maternity ward with a UTI (urinary tract infection). It quickly becomes clear that she doesn’t want to go home, and that she is terrified of her alcoholic husband Victor.
What else has Sophie Melville been in? She played Lisa in TV movie The Left Behind, and has also been in The Missing, Canaries, and Bang.
Ciarán Owens plays Victor Smith
Who is Victor Smith? Yvonne’s husband. He is a bully and a drunk.
What else has Ciarán Owens been in? Aside from his theatre work, Ciarán Owens played Frank McElroy in the 2015 TV series Spotless. Since then, he’s been in Krypton (as Commander Preus) and The Last Kingdom (as Tidman) and Judi Dench movie Red Joan (as Detective Hughes).
Amy Forrest plays Peggy
Who is Peggy? A mother with a young family. Like Marion Irmsby, she is blind, and she has lots of advice to help the Irmsbys cope with their new baby.
What else has Amy Forrest been in? The actress recently played PC Hanley in Coronation Street, and has appeared in Emmerdale and The Syndicate. Her theatre credits include National Theatre productions of Manor and Small Island. Her agent also says: “As vice-chair for the LGBTQ+ Equity Committee and an actor with a disability, she is also an advocate for deaf and disabled actors.”
Series 9, episode 6
Juliet Oldfield plays Maureen
Who is Maureen? Nurse Valerie Dyer’s cousin. We first met her in series eight, but since then family relations have become fraught as Val helped send their granny to jail for operating as an illegal abortionist.
What else has Juliet Oldfield been in? She recently starred as Shelley Imms in the TV series Critical, alongside Lennie James. Other TV roles include Camilla in Top Boy and Claire Bolt in Silent Witness, while film credits include The Hooligan Factory, The Marker, and The Knot.
Charlotte Lucas plays Miss Williams
Who is Miss Williams? The Turner family’s point of contact with the Hong Kong Adoption Agency, the organisation which brought May to the UK. Shelagh and Patrick Turner must liaise with her until they can officially adopt May.
What else has Charlotte Lucas been in? Lucas played Yvonne in EastEnders for a brief stint in 2003, but is probably best known as Selena Geeson in ITV’s Bad Girls.
Yennis Cheung plays Esther Tang
Who is Esther Tang? May’s birth mother. She had a drug addiction and repeatedly left her daughter at the orphanage; she was presumed to have died, and May was put up for adoption.
Jack Gordon plays Charlie Bryant
Who is Charlie Bryant? Loving husband of Maureen, Val’s cousin. Charlie works as a decorator and is an enthusiastic father to their two young children, and he’s also excited to welcome their third child into the world.
What else has Jack Gordon been in? Gordon starred in BBC One’s short-lived World War I drama The Crimson Fields and last year appeared opposite Lena Headey (Game of Thrones) in The Flood, an independent film about the refugee crisis.
Series 9, episode 5
Samantha Spiro plays Grace Calthorpe
Who is Grace Calthorpe? A very busy woman. Her husband has just had a lung out, and has diabetes; her elderly mother needs constant looking after; and she has grown-up children and a collection of grandchildren who also need her attention.
What else has Samantha Spiro been in? Recently, she’s starred as Maureen Groff in the Netflix drama Sex Education, played Melessa Tarly in an episode of Game of Thrones, and featured in Tracey Ullman’s Show, Plebs, Oi Leonardo, and Tracey Breaks the News. Other credits include Me Before You, the TV film Cor, Blimey! (as Barbara Windsor), the TV film Babs (also as Barbara Windsor) and Bad Education. Samantha Spiro is also a stage actress who’s won two Olivier awards.
Jay Simpson plays Albert Calthorpe
Who is Albert Calthorpe? Grace’s husband, who is a bit afraid of needles and injections. He loves her dearly and they often sing to each other.
What else has Jay Simpson been in? He’s had a recent role as Perevozchenko in the award-winning TV drama Chernobyl, and has also appeared in Frontier, King Gary, MotherFatherSon, Terminal and Foyle’s War (as Sgt “Brookie” Brooke). Jay Simpson is pictured above at Cannes Film Festival in 2006.
Lotte Rice plays Ingrid Ellis
Who is Ingrid Ellis? Grace’s daughter. She and her husband have one young daughter already and another kid on the way. They rely on Ingrid’s mum for childcare and general help.
What else has Lotte Rice been in? Lotte Rice has appeared in episodes of Catastrophe and Midsomer Murders, as well as the 2016 movie Criminal. She’s also a poet and a playwright.
Karl Davies plays Ronald Mallen
Who is Ronald Mallen? A dad-to-be who attends Sister Hilda’s fatherhood classes. He’s determined to be as involved with the birth as he possibly can, but his enthusiasm often crosses over into anxiety and stress.
What else has Karl Davies been in? Earlier in his career, he hit our screens as Robert Sugden in Emmerdale and Nick Pullen in Peak Practice, Since then, there have been roles in Game of Thrones (as Alton Lannister), Happy Valley (as Daniel Cawood), Brief Encounters (as Terry) and Chernobyl (as Viktor Proskuryakov).
Carla Langley plays Aileen Mallen
Who is Aileen Mallen? Ronald’s wife, who’s coming towards the end of her pregnancy.
What else has Carla Langley been in? The actress played Dora in The Witness for the Prosecution, and Zelina in Amazon drama Carnival Row.
Series 9, episode 4
Phil Daniels plays George Benson
Who is George Benson? A pigeon keeper with a terrible cough. George’s life revolves around his pigeons, especially his prized racer Dot – and though his neighbours have all moved out to tower blocks so the slums can be demolished, George is still determined to stay in his home with his birds.
What else has Phil Daniels been in? It’s Kevin from EastEnders! And Jimmy Cooper from the classic 1979 movie Quadrophenia! He’s also known for narrating Blur’s 1994 song Parklife and starring in the music video. In recent years, Phil Daniels has appeared in The Mallorca Files, Sliced, Endeavour, The Hatton Garden Job (as jewellery robber Danny Jones), New Tricks and Moonfleet.
Sam Woolf plays Dr Benedict Walters
Who is Dr Benedict Walters? A junior doctor who comes to stay at Nonnatus House, one of a group of four who have been selected for a placement with the midwives. His father literally wrote the book on obstetrics, and Benedict is constantly aware he has big shoes to fill. He also has a bit of an attitude problem. Benedict is assigned to shadow Nurse Trixie.
What else has Sam Woolf been in? His theatre credits include Antony and Cleopatra, The Winter’s Tale, Alys Always, King Lear, and Love for Love. He also put in an appearance in Channel 4’s Humans, playing a character called Artie.
Lisa Kerr plays Elsie Jessop
Who is Elsie Jessop? A mother whose baby comes a lot more quickly than expected.
What else has Lisa Kerr been in? So far, her career has mainly been in theatre – with credits including Women In Power, Far from the Madding Crowd, and Our Country’s Good.
Poppy Gilbert plays Lesley Pike
Who is Lesley Pike? Mrs Pike is a mum with a young daughter and another baby on the way.
What else has Poppy Gilbert been in? The young actress is soon to appear in Agatha Christie drama The Pale Horse as nightclub performer Thomasina Tuckerton, and in the TV series Leonardo as Ginevra De Benci.
Micky Dartford plays Harry Pike
Who is Harry Pike? Lesley’s husband. He’s a devoted husband and father, but a bit of a wheeler-dealer – and Lesley worries he’ll end up in prison.
What else has Micky Dartford been in? Having left theatre school in 2018, he appeared in the 2019 movie Brighton (as “Jimmy”) – but most of his work so far has been on the stage.
Series 9, episode 3
Hannah Onslow plays Connie Blair
Who is Connie Blair? A mother expecting her third child. Connie has been confined to bed rest on the maternity ward at St Cuthbert’s Hospital, and she’s not pleased when her midwife turns out to be West Indian Nurse Lucille Anderson (Leonie Elliot).
What else has Hannah Onslow been in? As a recent drama school grad, this is Hannah Onslow’s first on-screen role.
Salma Hoque plays Farzina Mohammed
Who is Farzina Mohammed? Mother to two boys at the local school. They have recently arrived together from East Pakistan, but Mrs Mohammed has hidden herself away – ashamed and stigmatised by her medical condition.
What else has Salma Hoque been in? She’s previously played trainee doctor Meena Chowdhury in Holby City. On the stage, her credits include Bodies, East Is East, and Multitudes.
Shahnewaz Jake plays Ayub Mohammed
Who is Ayub Mohammed? Farzina’s husband, who was the first to arrive in London and found a job before inviting his family to join him. However, he has now abandoned them and moved in with a friend.
What else has Shahnewaz Jake been in? The actor has featured in a series of short films, including Theatreland, See You in Hell, and Tripped.
Series 9, episode 2
Trevor Cooper plays Sergeant Aubrey Woolf
Who is Sergeant Woolf? Law-enforcer Sergeant Woolf first turned up in the 2017 Christmas special – where he clashed with Nurse Crane, but also became her most ardent admirer. Although she didn’t reciprocate his attentions, Sergeant Aubrey Woolf found a new love interest in series eight and began a relationship with Miss Millicent Higgins.
What else has Trevor Cooper been in? Trevor Cooper was a big hit as Len Clifton in the BBC Three comedy This Country. The series is written and created by his niece Daisy and nephew Charlie Cooper and also stars his brother Paul, so it’s a real family affair. His other credits include Doctor Who, Outnumbered and Inside No 9.
Georgia Henshaw plays Tina Atkins
Who is Tina Atkins? A young, pregnant woman who Sister Julienne is desperate to help – whether Tina wants her help or not.
What else has Georgia Henshaw been in? The actress played Rosie Barnes in Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging; she was Cassie in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Madi Diamond in Waterloo Road, and Sian Moore in both Banana and Cucumber.
Amanda Root plays Florrie Watkins
Who is Florrie Watkins? A grandmother. She usually looks after her young granddaughter while her daughter and son-in-law are out at work – but now her health has taken a turn for the worse.
What else has Amanda Root been in? Aside from voicing young orphan Sophie in 1987 animated movie The BFG, her breakthrough role was playing Anne Elliot in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Since then, major roles have included Carol Finch in series three of Unforgotten, Miranda in All About Me, Amanda in The Iron Lady, and Queen Victoria in The Black Prince. On TV you may have recently seen her in Silent Witness, Patrick Melrose, or Sherlock.
Carly Bawden plays Laverne Bulmer
Who is Laverne Bulmer? Florrie’s daughter, who is pregnant with her second child. Both she and her husband are holding down jobs and are saving up as much as they can to buy a house and move out of Laverne’s mum’s house.
What else has Carly Bawden been in? The actress played Ruth in 2016’s Close to the Enemy, and is also known for her theatre work – including a role in Damon Albarn’s wonder.land at the National Theatre.
Harry Neale plays Ken Bulmer
Who is Ken Bulmer? Laverne’s husband.
What else has Harry Neale been in? Harry Neale has made a handful of screen appearances in Valentine’s Again, EastEnders, and The Guvnors. He’s also a singer, and once appeared on the BBC’s Let It Shine.
Emilia Williams plays Miss Graham
Who is Miss Graham? A teacher at the local school in Poplar.
What else has Emilia Williams been in? This is her first TV credit.
Series 9, episode 1
Emma Lowndes plays Brenda
Who is Brenda? A woman in crisis who has abandoned her newborn baby daughter.
What else has Emma Lowndes been in? Emma Lowndes is perhaps best-known for playing Mrs Drewe in Downton Abbey, or for playing Bella Gregson in Cranford. She was Mary Rivers in the 2006 TV adaptation of Jane Eyre alongside Ruth Wilson, and appears as Annie in the 2020 movie Military Wives.
Alec Newman plays Father Duncombe
Who is Father Duncombe? A Roman Catholic priest. Brenda is his housekeeper at the presbytery.
What else has Alec Newman been in? The actor has more than 100 acting credits to his name, including Strike Back, Outlander and Fearless. He is also a prolific video games voice actor.
Jenny Rainsford plays Dena Bowland
Who is Dena Bowland? A pregnant mother-of-one. She and her son, Terry, are living at a homeless shelter while they wait for a council house.
What else has Jenny Rainsford been in? Fleabag fans will recognise her as Boo, a character she’s played since series one. Other recent roles have included Charlene in Finding Joy, and Mae (the brothel madam) in The Favourite.
Jordan Nash plays Terry Bowland
Who is Terry Bowland? Dena’s son. He is an intelligent and loving boy, and he is desperate to pass the 11+ and get into grammar school.
What else has Jordan Nash been in? The young actor made his first screen appearance in 2013. Since then he’s starred as Jacob Wells North in the TV series Harlots, appeared in the live-action Aladdin, and played Gideon in Hetty Feather. He was also Oliver Twist at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.
Call the Midwife Christmas special 2019 – guest stars
The 2019 Christmas special saw most of the nuns and midwives packing their bags for the Outer Hebrides, while the unlucky few got left behind to man the fort in Poplar.
Here are the guest stars for the feature-length episode:
Eilidh Fisher plays Effie Tolmie
Who is Effie Tolmie? A teenage girl living with her pregnant aunt and niece in the Outer Hebrides. She likes pop music and yearns for freedom, but her aunt is keen to “rein her in”.
What else has Eilidh Fisher been in? The acting newcomer will soon be appearing in Netflix drama The English Game and in TV mini-series The Nest.
And there’s a special connection to the show for Eilidh Fisher, because when she was a child she was actually a fan of Call the Midwife who drew pictures of all the characters and sent them in to the show. “The fact that then she was appearing as an actress was wonderful for her, and that kind of affected it a bit,” Linda Bassett said.
Kirsty Stuart plays Mina MacLeod
Who is Mina MacLeod? Effie’s aunt and guardian.
What else has Kirsty Stuart been in? As pictured above, she played Morag Dunwoody in the fifth series of Shetland. Kirsty Stuart has also appeared in Outlander, River City, and Doctors, and often appears on the stage.
Her on-screen daughter, Isla MacLeod, is played by young Kayla Caldwell.
Sandra Voe plays Morag Norrie
Who is Morag Norrie? A stern older woman who is suspicious about all these midwives coming up from England.
What else has Sandra Voe been in? The actress, 83, has had a long career on stage and screen. In recent years, she’s appeared in Howards End, Holby City and Vikings; Sandra Voe’s credits also include Breaking the Waves, Naked, Erik the Viking, and Felicia’s Journey.
Jim Sweeney plays Donald
Who is Donald? The ferryman.
What else has Jim Sweeney been in? He was Andrew MacDonald in the TV series Outlander, and also starred as Mick Turner in The Crews.
Bobby Rainsbury plays Janet MacAskill
Who is Janet MacAskill? A pregnant young woman who is expecting her first child. She and her husband live off the island in a remote lighthouse.
What else has Bobby Rainsbury been in? She starred alongside Martin Compston and Douglas Henshall in true crime drama In Plain Sight, playing Theresa Manuel. Bobby Rainsbury has also made brief appearances in Rillington Place, Casualty and Waterloo Road.
Paul Rattray plays Angus MacAskill
Who is Angus MacAskill? The lighthouse keeper. His wife is heavily pregnant.
What else has Paul Rattray been in? Back in 2016 he played Harald Karstark in Game of Thrones. His other screen credits include Jamestown, Birdson and the movies Creep and Enigma. Paul Rattray is pictured here in a production of Black Watch at the Barbican in London.
Leah Byrne plays Maggie Nickle
Who is Maggie Nickle? A pregnant young woman who features in the Christmas episode.
What else has Leah Byrne been in? The Glaswegian actress recently graduated from drama school. Aside from her theatre work, she’ll soon be making an appearance in Deadwater Fell.
Philip Cairns plays Jim Nickle
Who is Jim Nickle? Maggie’s husband.
What else has Philip Cairns been in? On the stage, he recently starred in Peter Gynt at the National Theatre and played Colonel Krick in the play Pressure.