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Helen George: 'Call the Midwife provides escapism on Christmas Day!'

Call the Midwife 2021
(Image credit: BBC / Nealstreet Productions / Nicky Johnston)

Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without a festive special of Call the Midwife - and it really delivers, as its star Helen George reveals...

Helen George says that Trixie is gutted when she thinks people reckon she's been "left on the shelf" in the Call the Midwife Christmas special.

It's Christmas in Poplar, 1965, and the nuns and midwives of Nonnatus House are full of festive cheer when they hear the circus is coming to town.

Call the Midwife Christmas circus tent

The nuns and midwives of Nonnatus House are thrilled when the circus rolls into Poplar...

Everyone’s looking forward to a traditional Christmas but, at first, events look set to scupper their plans. Sister Julienne fears Nonnatus House is still under threat, Sister Monica Joan lands herself in hospital, Lucille’s having a bad hair day and Trixie’s annoyed to receive a subscription to a Marriage Bureau as a Christmas gift!

"Trixie's focusing on her career and coping perfectly fine without a man, so it's a shock for her to realise people think she’s going to be left on the shelf," says Helen George, who plays the plucky midwife. "Trixie goes speed-dating with quite a few chaps. It’s a fun story."

Meanwhile, there’s a surprise reunion for Shelagh, and the arrival of the circus and its ringmaster Mr Percival - played by Doctor Who star Peter Davison - leads to a thrilling adventure for Nurse Crane…

Call the Midwife Christmas Peter Davison

Doctor Who actor Peter Davison plays circus owner Mr Percival in the Christmas special

"It’s a fabulous celebration and really Christmassy," enthuses Helen. "The circus brings with it wonderful colours, so it’s all very bright, full of festivities and provides a nice escapism for us all on Christmas Day!"

Indeed, with filming taking place during the Covid-19 pandemic, safety measures were put in place to ensure Call the Midwife would definitely be on our screens this festive season.

"On set, we'd wear masks, visors, ran temperature checks and we had a funny fold-up ruler to measure two-metre distance," reveals Helen. "If they managed to hide me being seven months pregnant once, they can definitely cheat a bit of distance!"

Call the Midwife 2020 Christmas Special

The Call The Midwife Christmas Special can be seen on Christmas Day at 7.40pm on BBC1.