Call The Midwife returns to BBC One this weekend

The seventh series begins on Sunday.

Call the Midwife has been one of Britain’s most popular drama series since it launched in 2012 and it continues to be one of the most watched dramas in the UK, with all six series to date gaining over 10m viewers. The latest Christmas Special went out on Christmas Day and was the most watched show on the day for a second year running. – BBC

In series seven, the nuns and nurses find themselves tested, both personally and professionally, as never before. It’s 1963 and all around them they see the old East End vanishing, as slum clearances make way for bold new tower blocks to accommodate expanding communities. Their work brings them into contact with a wide range of challenging issues, from Leprosy to Stroke, Cataracts, and unmarried mothers.

Trixie’s romance with Christopher continues to develop, whilst Tom and Barbara enjoy life as a married couple. Nurse Crane finds her authority questioned from an unexpected quarter, and Sister Monica Joan is forced to accept her failing faculties. And life for the Turners is turned upside down when Shelagh decides to employ a Hungarian au pair!

In the first of the eight episodes the departure of Barbara prompts Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) to recruit a new midwife, Lucille Anderson (Leonie Elliott). Owing to the snow, Lucille is two days late and her start is bumpy when she falls ill. Lucille is called out from her sick bed to assist Trixie with a breech birth. Nadine Mulvaney (Tamla Kari), a single mother and exotic dancer in Soho, plans to give the baby up for adoption. But, Trixie is concerned that Nadine’s Rhesus Negative blood type might cause problems for baby.

Joining as a new cast member is Leonie Elliott, who plays Nurse Lucille Anderson, the first West Indian midwife to feature as a regular character in the series. Elegant, funny and clever, Lucille is swift to settle in, and brings a fresh new energy to life at Nonnatus House. Through her eyes we explore the experiences of Caribbean nurses who came over in the 1960s to support the growing NHS.

Meanwhile, Nurse Crane (Linda Bassett) and Dr Turner (Stephen McGann) are caring for Ruth Gelin (Julie Legrand), an elderly Jewish woman suffering from bowel cancer. Ruth and her husband Arnold (Allan Corduner) are facing eviction from their home of several decades. The council have started to demolish their street as part of the slum clearance. Nurse Crane (Linda Bassett) must convince the prickly Sergeant Woolf (Trevor Cooper) to delay the demolition until after Ruth passes away.

Shelagh (Laura Main) wants to return to work and contemplates having an Au Pair. An apprehensive Trixie decides to take her relationship with Christopher (Jack Hawkins) to the next level while Sister Winifred (Victoria Yeates) is nervous as her driving test approaches.

Call The Midwife, BBC One, Sunday at 8pm

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