The cast of Call The Midwife: Everything you need to know

Virgin Radio

20 Jun 2023, 14:40

Laura Main, Stephen McGann and Helen George on the red carpet at the BFI and Radio Times Television Festival.

Credit: Getty

Who is your favourite character in Call The Midwife?

The popular period drama follows the midwives working at Nonnatus House in Poplar, London, during the 1950s and 60s.

Over the last 11 years, its emotional storylines have never failed to make us laugh, smile and cry.

Fans have been able to watch the characters grow, as many whom we met in series one are still involved in the show.

And as the drama has just been renewed for two more seasons, viewers will be able to keep watching them until 2026 (maybe even longer if it is renewed again).

Creator, writer, and executive producer Heidi Thomas said: "It's an incredible privilege to be able to look back on a decade of Call The Midwife, and yet know that our journey is still very far from over.

"Like Nonnatus House itself, we have a proud past but an even more exciting future – full of old favourites, fresh faces, higher hemlines, [and] new ideas. 

“The stories we tell are like babies – they never stop coming, we love them all, and we vow to do our best by every single one," Thomas revealed.

Ahead of the 2023 Christmas special and the 13th season, which is likely to air in early 2024, let’s have a look at some of the show’s current beloved cast members.

Helen George

Helen George has played the fun yet assertive midwife Trixie Franklin since the drama began in 2012. 

Back in January, George joined Tom Allen on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with cinch, and praised the show for its exploration of difficult topics.

She explained: “I think the writing is amazing, and I think it's fresh. 

“I think these subjects that we tackle, even though it's a Sunday night drama, it's quite hard-hitting, and some of the subjects are still relevant today."

Stephen McGann

Similarly to George, British actor Stephen McGann has starred in Call The Midwife since the first series.

The 60-year-old plays Dr. Patrick Turner, a GP who works closely with the midwives at Nonnatus House.

McGann has confirmed that he will be returning to Call The Midwife, after posting a picture of his character’s desk on Twitter with the caption: “Hello again old friend.”

In real life, he is married to the programme’s creator, Heidi Thomas.

Laura Main

When we first met Laura Main’s character, Sister Bernadette, in episode one, she was one of the nuns working at Nonnatus House. 

But after suffering from tuberculosis in series two, Sister Bernadette gave up being a nun in order to marry McGann’s character, Dr. Patrick Turner.

She changed her name to Shelagh Turner and since then, the couple have had four children together, both adopted and biological.

As for her livelihood, Main’s character has continued to help the midwives wherever possible.

Cliff Parisi

Ex-Eastenders star Cliff Parisi has played Fred Buckle in Call The Midwife since it began.

Buckle is the caretaker at Nonnatus House, and despite having a traumatic childhood and losing his first wife, he always makes the other characters smile.

In an interview with PBS, Parisi spoke about what it is like to work on the show.

He said: "I haven’t got a clue what they’re talking about half the time. It’s a woman’s world on set and I don’t have anyone to talk to about football – I’m at the mercy of the nuns and nurses! 

“Occasionally all the men are in together and we have a lad’s day, but we’re like a family now so it’s all great fun."

Daniel Laurie

Daniel Laurie, the son of the late actor Leslie Grantham who played Dirty Den in EastEnders, first appeared on Call The Midwife in 2017.

His character Reggie Jackson, who was born with Down’s Syndrome, became an orphan in season six after his mother Ivy died of a heart attack.

He then went to live with his distant cousin, Fred Buckle (Cliff Parisi), before moving to the Glasshouse Trust, a place in the countryside where young adults with learning difficulties can live and work together.

Jackson regularly visits his older cousin in Poplar and works as an assistant in his shop, Buckle’s Newsagents.

Viewers can expect to see Laurie in future episodes of Call The Midwife, after a photo of him and his co-stars was shared on Twitter when filming began on 2nd May, 2023.

Linda Bassett

Linda Bassett joined the cast of Call The Midwife during series four in 2015.

The 73-year-old plays the role of Nurse Phyllis Crane, a private district nurse and midwife from Leeds who was transferred to Nonnatus House to cover for Sister Evangelina, who was on sick leave after being diagnosed with fibroids.

When Crane first arrived, she came across as stern and snobby, but over the years, the other midwives have grown to love her after seeing her more caring side.

Bassett is also known for playing Cora in Calendar Girls (2003), and Ella Khan in East Is East (1999).

Olly Rix

Olly is one of the Call The Midwife core cast's newest additions, having only joined the show for 2021's series 10.

The LAMDA graduate plays Matthew Aylward, a rich barrister who thanks to his father's business estate, became the benefactor and owner of Nonnatus House.

In series 12 of the show, Matthew married Trixie, making it appear as if his character was set to become a longstanding member of the cast.

Unfortunately for fans of the couple, it was revealed in mid-2023 that Olly may be leaving Call The Midwife in series 13, much to the shock of his fellow castmates on the show. The certainty behind this rumour has been called into question, however.

Away from Poplar, Olly is known for his roles in other TV dramas such as The Spanish Princess, Our Girl, and The Musketeers.

Judy Parfitt

Judy Parfitt has been a part of Call the Midwife's core cast ever since its first episode.

Playing the role of Sister Monica Joan, the 87-year-old actress' character, who is a retired midwife and the last surviving founder of Nonnatus House, is known for moving viewers with her story lines.

Suffering from what appear to be the early stages of dementia, Sister Monica Joan is often confused, but remain always keen to help and often wise to the problems which are are arising emotionally around her - if not directly from her own actions.

Judy has enjoyed a long and celebrated career on TV, film and in theatre. Some of her most celebrated past roles include that of Mildred Layton in ITV's The Jewel in the Crown, and as Lady Catherine de Bourgh in the 1980 Pride and Prejudice TV adaptation.

Jenny Agutter

Another of the original core cast members, Jennifer Agutter plays Sister Julienne - Nonnatus House's sister-in-charge.

Sister Julienne offers a calm but strong leadership for both her sisters and the house's midwives, and is also notable for her respectful care of Sister Monica Joan in her old age.

Jenny Agutter, 70, is well known for her early appearances as Roberta, or 'Bobbie', in The Railway Children (both on TV and in the film), as well as for her more recent roles in dramas such as Spooks.

Rebecca Gethings

Another of the Call the Midwife cast's most recent additions, Rebecca joined the nuns at Nonnatus House as the slightly prickly but still very kind Sister Veronica in series 12.

The actress, who was born in Canada but moved to the UK when she was a child, had starred in comedies such as The Thick of It and Extras prior to her new BBC role.

Renee Bailey and Natalie Quarry

Not much is known yet about pupil midwives Joyce Highland and Rosalind Clifford, who will be joining Nonnatus House's beloved midwifery crew in series 13.

What we do know however is that they will be played by Mood actress Renee, and Doctors actress Natalie Quarry.

All 12 series of Call The Midwife are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.