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‘Call The Midwife’ series 4 commences filming

Charlotte Ritchie

Charlotte Ritchie joins as Nurse Barbara Gilbert

East Is East actress Linda Bassett and Fresh Meat’s Charlotte Ritchie are joining the regular cast of BBC One’s midwifery drama, Call The Midwife, as filming commences on the Christmas special and series four.

Linda Bassett will play Nurse Phyllis Crane and Charlotte Ritchie will play Nurse Barbara Gilbert, in the community of nuns and nurses of Nonnatus House.

Vanessa Redgrave who has narrated the series to date mirroring the actual, life-long friendship which continued between Jennifer Worth and the residents of Nonnatus House. Vanessa will also appear on-screen for the first time as the mature Jennifer Worth during the Christmas special episode.

Jenny Agutter, Pam Ferris, Miranda Hart, Judy Parfitt, Helen George, Bryony Hannah, Laura Main, Emerald Fennell, Victoria Yeates, Ben Caplan, Stephen McGann and Cliff Parisi will all reprise their roles in the new series.

The series is made by Neal Street Productions and created and written by Heidi Thomas and based on the books of Jennifer Worth.

Series four sees the community of nuns and nurses in 1960, on the cusp of much change in London’s East End. A new decade dawns, and with it come different and exciting challenges for the team at Nonnatus House. Can the nuns and midwives hold onto their traditional values in a rapidly changing world?

Pippa Harris, Executive Producer for Neal Street Productions, says: “We’re all delighted to be welcoming Vanessa Redgrave on screen, having hugely enjoyed her narration of the series to date. It’s also terrific that Heidi Thomas has created two wonderful new characters for the series, and that we’re fortunate enough to have Linda Bassett and Charlotte Ritchie joining our regular and much-loved team at Nonnatus House”.

Heidi Thomas, creator, writer and executive producer, says: “The medical, social, and emotional stories at the heart of Call The Midwife continue to inspire and compel me. The Nonnatus House nurses and midwives feel like my best-loved friends.”

Stories of childbirth are at the heart of Call The Midwife, but the show also tells district nursing tales and depicts the grittiness of the world surrounding the characters at that time.

Call The Midwife is currently filming on location at the historic Chatham dockyard and at its studio base in Chertsey, Surrey. The Christmas Special will air in 2014 with the new series of eight episodes in 2015.