Call The Midwife back this Christmas

Created and written by Heidi Thomas and based on the best-selling memoirs of the late Jennifer Worth, Call The Midwife returns for a Christmas special in December 2012 and a second series early in 2013.

Christmas is coming and in Poplar the nuns and midwives of Nonnatus House are busier than ever. When an abandoned baby is discovered on the steps of the convent, the whole community rallies round to provide food and clothing and to try and trace his mother.

Nurse Jenny Lee, meanwhile, gets caught up in the heart-breaking mystery which surrounds an elderly, semi-vagrant local woman, Mrs Jenkins, played by Sheila Reid. For newly married Chummy, other challenges await, as she pulls out all the stops to mount a truly memorable children’s nativity play.

Executive producer Pippa Harris said: “As the nights draw in and Christmas approaches, the residents of Nonnatus House pull together to celebrate the season in their own very special way. Christmas celebrates one particular birth, and so it’s especially fitting for BBC One to pay a visit to these much-loved characters, whose daily lives revolve around the joys and tribulations of childbirth.”

Extended to eight episodes, BBC One’s most successful new drama series since ratings began, sees the return of all its well-loved characters as well as some new faces.

Nonnatus House opens its doors to warmly welcome the audience back into 1950s East End London and continues to follow Poplar’s community of exceptional midwives and nursing nuns. This new series stays true to its roots and viewers can expect to see more births, babies, and bicycling plus blossoming romance from an unexpected quarter.

Call The Midwife completed its first season in the US in early November. The first three episodes rated 55 per cent above PBS’ primetime average for the 2011-12 season. Critics in the US were equally effusive, with the Washington Post declaring it “absorbing and inspiring” and the Los Angeles Times saying it is “lovely and engaging”.

The series was commissioned by Danny Cohen, Controller BBC One, and Ben Stephenson, Controller BBC Drama. It was created and written by Heidi Thomas (Upstairs Downstairs, Cranford).

The executive producer for Neal Street Productions is Pippa Harris (The Hollow Crown, Revolutionary Road) with Christopher Aird as executive producer for BBC. The series was produced by Hugh Warren (Above Suspicion, Survivors) and the Christmas Special and episode one were directed by series one’s principal director Philippa Lowthorpe (Five Daughters).

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