Production has officially begun on the highly anticipated Series 13 of Neal Street Productions’ hit television show, “Call the Midwife.” Fans of the multiple award-winning drama can rejoice as the latest instalment is set to captivate audiences with a 90-minute Christmas special scheduled for release this year, followed by eight 60-minute episodes airing in 2024 on BBC One and iPlayer.
The recent announcement by the BBC regarding the renewal of two more series, 14 and 15, ensures that the heartwarming and critically acclaimed series will continue to grace our screens until 2026.
Returning to the series are the beloved regular cast members who have endeared themselves to viewers throughout the show’s run. In the opening episode of Series 13, Nonnatus House will introduce a new pupil midwife-training scheme, with the arrival of Joyce Highland and Rosalind Clifford. The two aspiring midwives, played by Renee Bailey and Natalie Quarry, respectively, are thrilled to embark on this new chapter in their careers and will share a room at Nonnatus House.
Joyce Highland, hailing from Trinidad, aspires to become the Matron of a British hospital. With her unwavering dedication, intelligence, and compassionate nature, she hides a traumatic past that cannot be concealed forever. Meanwhile, Rosalind Clifford, a young, warm, and funny character, may appear naive at times but possesses a resilience that will lead her to make life-altering decisions.
Renee Bailey joins the cast as Joyce Highland, bringing her talent from previous roles such as series regular Leila in the popular BBC/Netflix series “Rebel Cheer Squad – A Get Even Series.” Additionally, she has had a recurring role as Paris in the BAFTA-winning series “Mood” for BBC Three/Bonafide. Theatre enthusiasts may recognise her from performances in “Unknown Rivers” at the Hampstead Theatre and “(This Isn’t) A True Story” at the Almeida Theatre.
Natalie Quarry, a newcomer to the screen, will portray the character of Rosalind Clifford. Quarry’s previous television work includes the BBC series “Doctors,” while her recent theatrical accomplishments include “Amphibian” at The King’s Head Theatre in 2021.
Series 13 of “Call the Midwife” will continue to delve into complex medical and personal situations within the realm of midwifery and district nursing. Set in the year 1969, the series explores a time when hospital births are more prevalent than ever before. Nonnatus House and its Sisters play a crucial role in managing the high demand for maternity beds, while home births remain a popular choice in the Poplar community.
The upcoming series will feature stories centred around the Sylheti and Nigerian communities, as well as the vibrant dockyards. The enduring issue of inadequate housing will present challenging social and health obstacles for the Nonnatus team. Furthermore, the series will shed light on topics such as Cerebral Palsy, Congenital Hip Dysplasia, Tetanus, Porphyria, and TB.
The regular cast members making a return include Judy Parfitt as Sister Monica Joan, Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne, Laura Main as Shelagh Turner, Helen George as Trixie Aylward, Cliff Parisi as Fred Buckle, Stephen McGann as Dr. Turner, Linda Bassett as Nurse Crane, Megan Cusack as Nancy Corrigan, Annabelle Apsion as Violet Buckle, Georgie Glen as Miss Higgins, Zephryn Taitte as Cyril Robinson, Olly Rix as Matthew Aylward, Rebecca Gethings as Sister Veronica, Daniel Laurie as Reggie Jackson, Max Macmillan as Timothy Turner, Alice Brown as Angela Turner, Francesca Fullilove as Colette Corrigan, April Rae Hoang as May Tang, and Edward Shaw as Teddy Turner.
Heidi Thomas OBE, the creator and writer of the series, expressed her excitement for the upcoming season, stating, “After so many years, our much-loved regular characters are like family to me – and our wonderful fans so often tell me that they feel the same.” Thomas assures fans that Series 13 of “Call the Midwife” will be filled with poignant moments that celebrate the young, the old, and the precious bonds that connect them. While the Nonnatus House community appears stronger than ever after Trixie’s memorable wedding, the realities of life in Poplar are far from a fairy tale. As 1969 unfolds, the beloved nuns, nurses, medics, and midwives will face change and challenges that will rock their world.
Dame Pippa Harris, the executive producer, added, “We’re so excited to be back for our thirteenth series, with all the treasured Nonnatus team returning – and also to welcome Renee and Natalie to the cast.” Harris expressed anticipation for audiences to meet Joyce and Rosalind as they embark on their journeys through the lives and streets of Poplar, using their bicycles as a means of transport. Harris assured fans that the series has much in store, thanks to the exceptional storytelling abilities of Heidi Thomas. The upcoming episodes promise to intertwine joy, despair, love, history, medicine, and a diverse array of newborn babies.
The popularity of “Call the Midwife” remains evident, as demonstrated by the ratings of Series 12. The Christmas special attracted a staggering 8.9 million viewers, while Episode 1 captivated 8.1 million.
Commissioned by Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, and Gaynor Holmes, Commissioning Editor for BBC Drama, “Call the Midwife” is a production of All3Media’s Neal Street Productions for the BBC. The series is created, written, and executive produced by Heidi Thomas, with Pippa Harris serving as executive producer for Neal Street Productions. Ann Tricklebank takes on the role of producer, while Gaynor Holmes serves as the executive producer for the BBC. BBC Studios handles the global distribution of “Call the Midwife,” having sold the series to over 240 territories worldwide and counting. Neal Street Productions celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2023, marking two decades of remarkable television production.
The eagerly awaited Series 13 of “Call the Midwife” promises to deliver heartwarming stories and emotionally charged moments that have endeared the show to audiences worldwide. As production begins, fans eagerly anticipate immersing themselves once again in the compassionate and compelling world of Nonnatus House and its dedicated team of midwives and nurses.