Stephen McGann has revealed that this year's Call the Midwife Christmas special will feature returning characters from previous seasons of the beloved period drama.


Speaking exclusively to at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival in May, the Dr Turner actor wasn't able to mention any specifics about who might return – but he did promise that it will be emotional for fans.

"Starting with the Christmas special, what I can say is that there is a return of some familiar characters from the past, in a very moving way," he explained.

"I think it draws on its own history again, but there's a lot of joy at Christmas as usual. But there's also a great story there too, and it's been really enjoyable to do."

As for what might happen elsewhere in the upcoming 12th season – which is currently filming – McGann wasn't able to reveal too much, but he was keen to praise the atmosphere on set.

"For the next series, I think it feels very open after the pandemic," he said. "There's a good vibe at the moment on set. So I'm really looking forward to the dynamic of the new series – although we don't get told a great deal, so we don't know any big secrets!"

Laura Main, Pippa Harris, Heidi Thomas, Stephen McGann and Helen George
Call the Midwife's Laura Main, Pippa Harris, Heidi Thomas, Stephen McGann and Helen George at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival 2022 David M. Benett/Getty Images

His co-stars Helen George and Laura Main – who play Trixie Franklin and Shelagh Turner respectively – both agreed with his comments, and said the return to some form of normality after the pandemic had been very welcome among the cast.

"You're right, there's a really nice feeling amongst all the cast – not that there isn't every year, but there is particularly [this time]," George said. "There's a sort of re-energised lovely warmth to our cast – there have been no arguments yet!"

Main added: "Because we've had this where you're constantly just staying far apart, you know, you've always had the mask on. And it was necessary but it was a barrier, wasn't it? And I think it's just we're all just really... it makes you appreciate everything so much more now. So we're really appreciating it."

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Additional reporting by Huw Fullerton

Call the Midwife will return to BBC One and BBC iPlayer. Seasons 1-11 are available on BBC iPlayer now. Looking for something else to watch? Check out the rest of our Drama coverage or take a look at our TV Guide.


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