• Tue. Jan 18th, 2022

‘Everyone was exhausted’ Helen George details gruelling Call The Midwife filming schedule

Dec 28, 2021

Call the Midwife: Helen George recalls early days on the show

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Call The Midwife viewers were thrilled to see the cast return for a heartwarming feature-length festive special on Christmas Day. Helen George, who plays nurse Trixie Franklin in the BBC drama, was one of the midwives delivering “more babies than ever” in the special which marked the first instalment of series 11. However, making the highly-anticipated series was not all smooth sailing, with Helen detailing how gruelling the filming schedule was. 

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk and other publications ahead of series 11 of Call The Midwife landing on BBC One, the 37-year-old actress admitted how “exhausted” the cast felt after filming wrapped. 

The star explained: “Normally we have six months between filming but because of the pandemic we crammed two series together so we actually only had two months in between them. 

“I think everyone is a bit exhausted as filming two series back to back is quite a task.”

Season 11 will begin on BBC One on Sunday, January 2 which means the new episodes will arrive just eight days after the festive special. 

Helen also opened up on the pressures of filming the 90-minute Christmas special which covered romance, addiction, illness and plenty of births.

She explained: “It always feels different doing a Christmas special as it’s an hour and a half so there’s a bit more pressure I suppose, so it’s a bit more of a thing than the series feels like.” 

The actors who will be returning to screens for the upcoming series include Lucille Anderson (played by Leonie Elliott), Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter), Stephen McGann (Dr Turner), Laura Main (Shelagh Turner), Cliff Parisi (Fred Buckle) and Zephryn Taitte (Cyril Robinson).

Although the storylines for the ladies of Nonnatus House have not yet been revealed, Helen teased romance could be on the cards for her character and Matthew Aylward (Olly Rix). 

She explained: “Yes we are getting closer and it’s going well, he’s still here and he’s invested. 

“It’s such a deeply emotionally situation and there are so many obstacles to overcome so it’s a bit of a friendship really and a support mechanism before it becomes anything romantic. 

“I think it’s possibly one of those things that everyone sees around them that they don’t see themselves. 

“It’s a friendship that develops upon truth because she’s been there and cared for his wife as she died and there’s a connection because of that. 

But does he drive me to drink, you’ll have to see.”

Olly made his Call The Midwife debut as heartthrob Matthew in season 10. 

During his first appearance on the show, his wife gave birth at the Lady Emily Clinic where Trixie encouraged him to be more involved in the childbirth process and bond with his newborn son. 

However, in the following episode, his wife tragically died after being diagnosed with leukaemia leaving Matthew widowed.

He returned to the show later in the series where he invited Trixie to his son’s Christening and the pair have grown closer ever since. 

Viewers will have to wait and see how their relationship develops in series 11. 

The upcoming series is set in 1967 which was a year that included the legalisation of abortion and the Sexual Offences Act 1967 which decriminalised “homosexual acts” between adult men. 

As the BBC drama has a history of covering challenging subjects, the cast has hinted certain hard-hitting topics will be addressed in series 11. 

Call The Midwife series 11 airs on BBC One on January 2 and the Christmas special is now available on BBC iPlayer. 

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