Call the Midwife Series 1 – 11 (2012 – 2022)

Nurse Shelagh Turner (Laura Main), Nurse Trixie (Helen George), Nurse Lucille Anderson (Leonie Elliott), dressed in their midwives costumes, stand in a village hall nativity scene. In front of them, in a wooden cradle, sits a baby with a tinsel crown on their head.

Nurse Shelagh Turner (Laura Main), Nurse Trixie (Helen George), Nurse Lucille Anderson (Leonie Elliott) © Nealstreet Productions

Writer: Heidi Thomas
Starring: Vanessa Redgrave, Jessica Raine, Pam Ferris, Miranda Hart, Helen George, Jenny Agutter, Laura Main, Judy Parfitt, Stephen McGann, Cliff Parisi, Ben Caplan, Jennifer Kirby, Leonie Elliot, Linda Bassett, Annabelle Apsion
Production Company: Neal Street Productions for BBC
Kent Locations Used: The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Much-loved BBC period drama Call the Midwife is back for its annual Christmas Special, which will kick off the eleventh series. Based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, the TV drama follows the lives of nuns and midwives working in the East End of London during the 1950s and 60s.

Set in December 1966, the Series 11 Christmas Special promises to be the busiest Christmas yet for the Nonnatus team. With an injury that threatens Lucille’s (Leonie Elliott) upcoming wedding and the Maternity Home filled with expectant mothers, only a Christmas miracle – like the return of Mother Mildred (Miriam Margolyes) – can save the day. The Christmas Special will air on Christmas Day 2021, with the rest of the series to commence from Sunday 2nd January 2022.

Series 1 Episode 1 of Call the Midwife aired for the first time on Sunday 15th January 2012 on BBC One and attracted over 10 million viewers. A new series has aired every year since, along with an annual Christmas Special broadcast every Christmas Day since 2012.

The early series featured actress Jessica Raine as the main protagonist Nurse Jenny Lee, with leading supporting cast Helen George as Nurse Trixie Franklin, Pam Ferris as Sister Evangelina, Judy Parfitt as Sister Monica Joan and Miranda Hart playing Chummy Browne, all led by the calm guidance of Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter). Vanessa Redgrave narrates the series as mature Jennifer Worth.

The more recent series feature now familiar faces Nurse Valerie Dyer (Jennifer Kirby), Nurse Lucille Anderson (Leonie Elliott), Nurse Phyllis Crane (Linda Bassett) and Nurse Trixie Franklin (Helen George) . Supporting cast includes long standing characters Doctor Turner (Stephen McGann) and his wife Shelagh Turner (Laura Main), Fred Buckle (Cliff Parisi) and Violet Buckle (Annabelle Apsion). Following her absence from Series 10, the much-loved Mother Mildred (Miriam Margolyes) will make a comeback in the Series 11 Christmas special.

Three characters from call the midwife looking out to sea on a bridge at the Historic Dockyard Chatham with their blue and red midwife uniforms on.

Call The Midwife Nurses ©The Historic Dockyard Chatham

During all eleven seasons Call the Midwife has made use of the settings of The Historic Dockyard Chatham to stand in for the Victorian buildings of Poplar in East London. The Fitted Rigging House doubles for the Lisbon Buildings and Rakesby Street Homeless Shelter. Meanwhile, Admiral’s Offices exteriors feature as Poplar Maternity Home and the London Hospital. The Tarred Yarn Store has made regular appearances as a Boxing Ring, Chinese Laundry and derelict building. HMS Cavalier, a WW2 destroyer ship and The National Destroyer Memorial, has also featured playing the role of a Russian ship. The Commissioner’s House gardens set the scene for a famous engagement scene in one episode, while Anchor’s Wharf and the Dockyard Railway and steam train have regularly appeared for Poplar Docks scenes. The Victorian Ropery even appears in one episode as a working ropemakers as well as various cellars and tunnels around the building.

An image of an exploded bomb set, a pile of rubble and a sign saying KEEP OFF

Behind the Scenes: Special Effects filming of Call the Midwife (2014) at The Historic Dockyard Chatham © BBC (Click on image for video clip).

The Historic Dockyard Chatham hosts Official Call the Midwife Location tours. For more information see here.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham was established in the mid-16th century and is located on the River Medway. A location with an extensive history, evident through its numerous buildings and exhibitions open to the public. Today Chatham is the only one of the original four Royal Navy Ropeyards to remain in operation and, together with its related buildings, forms the finest integrated group of 18th century manufacturing buildings in Britain. The site offers maritime, industrial, Georgian and Victorian architecture and cobbled streets, an ideal set for many film productions. Recent period dramas to film at the Dockyard include Belgravia (2020), World On Fire Series 1 (2019) and Pennyworth Series 1 (2019) to name but a few.

Call the Midwife Series 11 Christmas Special will air on BBC One on Christmas Day 2021, with the rest of the series to commence from 2nd January 2022.

All 10 series are available to view on BBC iPlayer or purchase on Amazon Prime.

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 


The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses (2016)

 

(HUGH BONNEVILLE), Margaret (SOPHIE OKONEDO), Richard III (BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH), Cecily (JUDI DENCH), Henry VI (TOM STURRIDGE) staring into the camera with trees behind them

The Hollow Crown: The Wars Of The Roses – Gloucester (HUGH BONNEVILLE), Margaret (SOPHIE OKONEDO), Richard III (BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH), Cecily (JUDI DENCH), Henry VI (TOM STURRIDGE) © BBC/Carnival Film & Television Ltd/Robert Viglasky

Director: Dominic Cooke

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Sturridge, Judi Dench, Jeremy Irons, Keeley Hawes, Sophie Okonedo, John Mackay, Stanley Townsend, Ben Daniels

Production Companies: Neal Street Productions, NBCUniversal, WNET

Kent Locations Used: Leeds Castle, Dover Castle, Penshurst Place

The Hollow Crown returns to BBC Two with a second series, The Wars of the Roses that include adaptations of three more historic plays by Shakespeare – Henry VI Part 1 & 2 and Richard III. The series is part of the BBC’s Shakespeare Season commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes, The Imitation Game) stars as Richard III and Tom Sturridge (The Boat That Rocked, Far from the Madding Crowd) plays Henry VI.

The supporting cast includes a wealth of talented actors, including Judi Dench (Philomena, Skyfall), Jeremy Irons (Eragon, The Lion King), Keeley Hawes (Doctor Who, Upstairs Downstairs), Sophie Okonedo (Doctor Who, Criminal Justice), John Mackay (Doc Martin, Casualty), Stanley Townsend (Cars, Ripper Street) and Ben Daniels (Locke, Madaline).

The first series aired in 2012 and featured Richard II, Henry IV, Part I and 2 and Henry V. The latter of which was also partly filmed in Kent; at Penshurst Place and Squerryes Court.

The Hollow Crown The Wars of the Roses (2016) Benedict Cumberbatch as Richard II fighting in battle on a field

The Hollow Crown The Wars Of The Roses © BBC/Carnival Film & Television Ltd/Robert Viglasky

The second series of The Hollow Crown filmed in Kent where Leeds Castle‘s Barbican and moat to depict scenes at the Tower of London, Penshurst Place doubled as the exterior of the Palace of Westminster’s Great Gates and Dover Castle features as The Tower of London as well as Anjou’s Palace and Joan’s Chambers in Rouen in Part 1 and a French Prison and St Alban’s Chapel and Market Place in Part 2.

Rich in history, Leeds Castle is set in 500 acres of beautiful parkland and formal gardens. The castle has opened its doors to a number of film productions over the years including Gadget Man (2014), Henry VIII (2003) and Lady Jane (1987).

Dover Castle is one of the most iconic of all the English fortresses, guarding the gateway to the realm for nine centuries. With its beautiful medieval interior, secret wartime tunnels and set overlooking the English Channel, Dover Castle is a popular film location having previously welcomed productions such as Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Into the Woods (2015) and To Kill a King (2003).

Penshurst Place is a 14th Century Manor House with preserved interiors, including the unique medieval Baron’s Hall as well as 11 acres of Elizabethan walled gardens. Wolf Hall (2015), Merlin (2008) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) have previously filmed at Penshurst Place.

The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses also features in the Kent Film Office Tudor(ish) Trail which celebrates Kent’s Tudor history and film connections.

Don’t miss The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses:

Henry VI part 1 will air on Saturday 7th May 2016 on BBC Two at 21:00.

Henry VI part 2 will air on Saturday 14th May 2016  on BBC Two at 21:00.

Richard III will air on Saturday 14th May 2016  on BBC Two at 21:00.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.