London 8th April 2016: Made by Neal Street Productions for BBC One, the award-winning drama series, Call the Midwife, has begun filming for a Christmas Special in 2016 and new series of 8 episodes in 2017.

Created and written by Heidi Thomas, the sixth series of eight episodes will be filmed on location at the historic Chatham dockyard, London’s East End, and Call the Midwife’s studio base in Chertsey, Surrey. The Christmas Special will be filmed on location near Cape Town, South Africa.

The Christmas Special this year will see Call the Midwife transported to the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Nonnatus House receives an SOS from a tiny mission hospital. Understaffed, underfunded, and with a poor water supply, struggling Hope Clinic is faced with closure. Can our much loved medics and midwives make a difference to the people whose lives depend upon its work? Far from home and everything familiar, the team are both shaken and exhilarated by the challenges they face – and by the time the mission trip is over, some lives are permanently changed.

Sinead Cusack joins the Christmas Special cast, playing Dr Myra Fitzsimmons who runs the threatened Hope Clinic. Regular cast currently filming near Cape Town are; Jenny Agutter (Sister Julienne), Linda Bassett (Nurse Crane), Victoria Yeates (Sister Winifred), Laura Main (Shelagh Turner), Stephen McGann (Dr Turner), Jack Ashton (Tom), Helen George (Trixie), Charlotte Ritchie (Barbara) and Cliff Parisi (Fred).

Production will then return to the UK for the eight episodes in Series 6. It is now 1962, and the Nonnatus House team are as committed to caring for the people of Poplar as always. However, the social revolution in the outside world is mirrored by change and challenge much closer to home. As they strive to help mothers and families cope with the demands of childbearing, disability, disease and social prejudice, our beloved medics must make choices – and fight battles – of their own. Series 6 will see them laugh together, cry together, and pull together, supporting each other as never before.

Miranda Hart (Chummy) makes an appearance in the Christmas Special, and returns to Nonnatus House for the series from Episode One.

Made by Neal Street Productions for BBC One, 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 five series

to date gaining over 10m viewers. The Series 5 finale was the highest rated programme of 2016 of any genre, on any channel to date with overnight figures of 9.2million and a 38.4% share of total TV viewing.

Pippa Harris, Executive Producer said; “With our Christmas Special set against the dramatic backdrop of South Africa, and the return of our beloved Chummy to Poplar, Series 6 is shaping up to be our strongest yet. It’s a testament to the great skill of Heidi Thomas’s writing that the series continues to evolve, whilst maintaining its hugely popular mix of social history, babies, laughter and tears”.

Heidi Thomas, Creator, Writer and Executive Producer said; “My passion for the world and characters of Call the Midwife grows stronger with each passing year. Every season brings new stories, new challenges and new triumphs – yet each one feels like a return to a much-loved home, and Series 6 will be no exception. As the team settle back into Poplar after their South African adventure, we‘ll see them grappling with all the contradictions and opportunities of the early Sixties – the beacon of the Pill, the shadow of the Kray twins, the lure of independence and the call to duty. And time and time again, in a age of change and danger, we will be reminded of the simple power of love.”

Inspired by the memoirs of the late Jennifer Worth, Call the Midwife is created and written by Heidi Thomas; Executive Producers are Pippa Harris and Heidi Thomas. Executive Producer for the BBC is Elizabeth Kilgarriff with Ann Tricklebank as Producer. Call the Midwife is a Neal Street Production for BBC/PBS.

Series 6 stars Jenny Agutter, Linda Bassett, Miranda Hart, Judy Parfitt, Helen George, Bryony Hannah, Laura Main, Emerald Fennell, Charlotte Ritchie, Victoria Yeates, Kate Lamb, Stephen McGann, Jack Ashton, Ben Caplan, and Cliff Parisi.