Call the Midwife star Helen George says it’s only a matter of time before her own baby makes her debut on the programme.
Helen, 34, hopes one-year-old Wren will bag a role on the show that made her mum and dad Jack Ashton household names.
The actress, back in the BBC drama after maternity leave, has already taken her daughter on the set in Chatham, Kent.
And she said being a mum had transformed her life on the show in which she plays party-loving nurse Trixie Franklin.
“I’m different with the babies,” said Helen.
“The midwife on set said, ‘God, I can tell you’re a mum now.’ I guess I’m a bit more caring. I’m a bit more motherly, I suppose.
(Image: Helen George/Instagram)
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“I’m discovering what it’s like to be a working mum. We do 12-hour days so it’s hard.
“I did take Wren on set. I’m really excited that she’s going to see both of her parents working.
“She hasn’t been cast. I need to get on that.”
Helen, who met 35-year-old Jack, the show’s dashing vicar Tom Hereward, on the show in 2013, had to hide her baby bump under capes and coats while shooting her last scenes.
She returns in this year’s Christmas Day special, which features stories of child refugees in the 1960s and kicks off the eighth series of the hit Sunday night drama.
Helen and Jack
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Trixie arrives back at the nursing convent in East London in 1964 after being in rehab in Italy for alcoholism.
There she meets formidable new Sister Mildred, played by Harry Potter star Miriam Margolyes.
Sister Mildred sparks Christmas joy – and chaos – by bringing four Chinese orphans found abandoned in Hong Kong. “Trixie comes back with lots of cases with her garb in,” said Helen. “She’s really excited to see everybody. At the table is this new nun, which is quite a shock.”
Trixie arrives back just in time to cover for the nuns who have to leave their HQ when their order’s Mother Superior falls gravely ill.
Jenny Agutter, who plays Sister Julienne, said: “Mother Superior is on the way out and the call is there for someone there to replace her.”
Also joining the cast are Harlots star Fenella Woolgar as Sister Hilda, The Last Kingdom’s Ella Bruccoleri as Sister Frances, and Waterloo Road’s Georgie Glen as Miss Higgins, the surgery’s new receptionist.
But the midwives are still getting over the death of Nurse Barbara, played by Charlotte Ritchie, towards the end of the last series from septicaemia.
A scene from the Christmas special
Jenny said: “We felt Charlotte’s loss quite deeply, she is missed. Her photograph is still there,”
Jenny added that the show was unique on TV in its portrayal of a nursing convent. She said: “We don’t investigate that in television at all – an entire house of women who’ve taken vows of chastity, poverty and obedience.”
Jenny and other cast members want the Beeb and series creator Heidi Thomas to make a film version – as ITV rival Downton Abbey prepares to hit the big screen.
“I wish there was a film,” said Jenny. “I think our Christmas episodes are like a film. What’s harder for us is that we’re totally BBC. If there was outside money, people would be talking film.”
The festive episodes have been the most watched programmes on Christmas Day with around ten million viewers. But 77-year-old Miriam won’t be among them. “I never watch programmes that I am in,” she said.
Stephen McGann, who plays Dr Turner and is married to writer Heidi, said they also struggle to watch it.
“In our house Heidi gets the Christmas dinner ready then everyone sits down to watch the nation’s favourite programme and it’s like going to work for us. Me and Heidi are hiding behind our hands.”
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