The Call the Midwife Christmas special can always be relied upon to have viewers reaching for the tissues, and this year’s episode looks to be no exception.
In the upcoming festive feature-length episode, two much-loved characters are set to leave Nonnatus House behind.
The Mirror reports that Sister Hilda, played by Fenella Woolgar, has already bid goodbye to Poplar before the Christmas episode kicks off, having been called back to the Mother House, the coastal convent presided over by the formidable Mother Mildred (Miriam Margolyes).
During the Christmas special, Sister Frances, played by Ella Bruccoleri, falls from her bike in some wintery weather during a birth emergency, and is later sent back to the Mother House so she can recover from her injury.
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.”
RadioTimes.com reached out to Call the Midwife representatives for confirmation.
Though the yuletide special marks a farewell for Sisters Hilda and Frances, it will also see the return of a fan-favourite character, with Trixie Franklin (Helen George) back at Nonnatus House.
After a lengthy courtship, it looks like Trixie and Matthew Aylward (Olly Rix) could take their relationship to the next level in the Christmas episode.
George was written out during the most recent season, while she took a break following the birth of her second child.
The festive instalment will also touch on the Thalidomide scandal, with young Susan Mullucks struggling to be included by the other children, and will see an abandoned pregnant woman go into labour in the street.
Last year, it was confirmed that Call the Midwife will return for seasons 12 and 13, which are set to air on the BBC in 2023 and 2024.
“It’s an incredible privilege to be able to look back on a decade of Call the Midwife, and yet know that our journey is still very far from over,” the show’s creator Heidi Thomas said.
“We are thrilled to be going on for a few more years! Like Nonnatus House itself, we have a proud past but an even more exciting future – full of old favourites, fresh faces, higher hemlines, new ideas.”