Some delightful Call the Midwife news: Helen George is expecting her second baby!

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The Nurse Trixie Franklin star announced her pregnancy on Instagram with a photograph of her cradling her baby bump in the sunshine, alongside the words: "Baking number 2. Due in December."

But that doesn't mean the actress will immediately disappear from the show. A spokesperson confirmed that George will feature in the Christmas Special 2021, as well as in season 11 – which is currently in production.

And in a post on the show's official Facebook page, fans were told: "People in the production have known for a little while, but we’re all so glad to share the good news with you now!!! ... The rest of the cast are all delighted for Helen, while filming continues apace on Series 11!"

George's partner is her former Call the Midwife co-star Jack Ashton, who previously played Reverend Tom Hereward – Trixie's one-time fiancé, who later became Nurse Barbara's husband. Ashton left the show at the end of season seven.

In 2017 they welcomed their first child, a daughter called Wren.

Call the Midwife creator, writer and executive producer Heidi Thomas said in a statement: “This is such lovely news! Helen, Jack and little Wren are much loved members of the Call The Midwife family, and we are all delighted by the thought of a new addition.”

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During her previous pregnancy, George continued filming until she was around seven months pregnant – and the Call the Midwife team did an excellent job of hiding the baby bump with clever camera work, capes, and strategically-placed large objects.

At a certain point it became impossible to hide the bump, and as her due date approached she was temporarily written out of the show.

Accordingly, Trixie's season seven storyline saw her relapse in her battle against alcoholism; Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) then persuaded her to take a six-month leave of absence so she could recover with her godmother in Italy.

Helen George plays Trixie in Call The Midwife
Helen George plays Trixie in Call The Midwife BBC

It remains to be seen how George's pregnancy will be handled within the world of Call the Midwife, and how it will affect Trixie's storylines for season 11.

One possibility is that the producers will manage to hide the bump until the end of the film shoot, which must be fast approaching. With a December due date, George could then film the next season as normal in spring/summer 2022.

Alternatively, she may take some time away from the show – in which case Trixie may be written out for at least a few episodes, perhaps for another trip to Italy.

Or – and we're just wildly speculating here – maybe Trixie herself gets pregnant? Does her chemistry with widower Matthew Aylward (Olly Rix) rapidly develop into a relationship and a marriage? Now that would be a surprise turn of events.

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Call the Midwife returns for Christmas 2021. While you're waiting, take a look at our TV guide, or check out the rest of our Drama coverage.

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