There's a new cast member joining Call The Midwife - and she's from a very famous acting dynasty.
Megan Cusack, who is the niece of actress sisters Niamh, Sorcha, Sinead and Catherine Cusack, will join season 10 in May, as Irish student midwife Nancy Corrigan.
Her aunt Sinead appeared in the 2016 Christmas special as D. Myra Fitzsimmonds, a doctor working in a tiny mission hospital in South Africa. Call The Midwife will be Megan's TV debut.
A crucial part of her role is cycling - but Megan admits before she took the part, she hadn't done so in over ten years.
"My agent rang and she was like, ‘Can you ride a bike? Can you ride a bike?’ That’s all she said," Megan told The Mirror. "I was like, ‘Yeah, I haven’t ridden one in years but, yes, I can.
"And she was like, ‘great’ and hung up. Later I got the call saying I’d got it. It’s a good thing I said yes. It was the first bit of TV, proper kind of something that I was doing. The biggest challenge was just keeping the nerves in check."
It was announced in March 2021 that the series been renewed until 2024 (at least!).
Series 11 soon begins filming, and with series 12 confirmed, series 13 and 14 have been given the green light and we can't wait!
Heidi Thomas, the show's creator and writer, 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.
"We are thrilled to be going on for a few more years! Like Nonnatus House itself, we have a proud past but an even more exciting future – full of old favourites, fresh faces, higher hemlines, 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."
Call The Midwife season 10: What's been happening?
Filming on series 10 of the show was halted due to the pandemic, but came to air in March this year. The show posted a behind the scenes picture of the Turner family, including actors Laura Main and Stephen McGann, celebrating their last scene.
Makers of the show took to Facebook to announce that as of 19 February, filming had officially wrapped.
"After a most challenging year, we are DELIGHTED to announce that filming for Call the Midwife Series 10 is now complete!" the post read.
"Our cast and crew achieved an incredible feat - ensuring that, despite all pandemic working restrictions, our series completed its filming schedule without suspension. Congratulations to all our team," it went on.
Previously, makers of the show explained that one of the many challenges causing a delay to filming was something the show's production team hadn't encountered before - winter weather.
"We've often required our actors to portray winter in our drama, as in our Christmas episodes - but this has always been while filming in the warmer months... This year, however, has seen a complete reversal. Our actors have had to brave a real winter, while pretending they are basking in warmer seasons," the show said.
Cast members were tasked with pretending it's summer with a smile while filming outdoors during cold spells, but one issue has needed some extra help to hide.
"Occasionally these low temperatures have meant that the actor's warm breath becomes visible in shots [on freezing mornings] - obviously not desirable for summer! The answer to this has been to use an old movie trick..... ice cubes! Our actors tell us they've been having to suck on ice cubes before filming, so that their warm breath isn't so apparent on a freezing morning! Poor things! As if cycling into a chill January wind wasn't enough!"
Elsewhere, stars including Laura Main and Helen George share behind the scenes snaps of themselves in costume, or with their hair and makeup done, giving us a glimpse into the upcoming series 10.
In March 2020, the makers of the popular BBC programme took to social media to announce that filming on the Christmas special and subsequent series had been paused.
"Very sadly, we have had to postpone the filming of this year's Call the Midwife Christmas Special and Series 10," the statement said.
"Our priority is the safety of our amazing cast and crew, and we don't believe that shooting at the current time is feasible or responsible.
"However, the moment the situation improves, the nuns and nurses of Nonnatus House will be back on their bikes, bringing babies and joy into your living rooms.
"We send our love to the worldwide Call the Midwife family, and look forward to being back in Poplar soon.
"On behalf of everybody at Call The Midwife, we wish you all good health," it concluded.
Following that initial statement, Call The Midwife revealed some work on the show was still happening, adhering to social distancing regulations.
"Our attitude is that isolation needn’t mean idleness! We’re ploughing ahead with all necessary and appropriate work to ensure that we’re ready to start filming as soon as possible," the show revealed on social media.
It shared some information about how team members were getting work done.
"Jade Armstrong is one of our intrepid costume team for the next series – and a key lesson for any member of the Call the Midwife frock squad is to know exactly how to put on the iconic midwife’s uniform in the correct way. So, if one is self-isolating, what better way to learn than to put the uniform on yourself," the post read.
"Meanwhile, down in the workshops, our brilliant Art Director Tamsin Ghandhi works alone to paint an important part of the set for a forthcoming episode story. We can’t tell you what it’s all about yet, but we’re all very excited!"
The programme makers reassured fans they're keeping safe and sent warm wishes.
"All necessary precautions are being taken for the safety of our wonderful team, but we have been deeply touched by the continued good spirit and enthusiasm of everybody involved. Our message to you all is to keep safe, keep your spirits up, and we’ll be back with you just as soon as we can," the post ended.
Then, the makers of the show gave this exciting statement on 18 August:
"Call the Midwife is recommencing filming for the Christmas special 2020 and Series 10! Yesterday, our own Dr Turner (Stephen McGann, pictured with our Head of Make-up, Stella O'Farrell) was back on set – suitably Covid protected - to christen our new season’s filming"
The statement went on to say that "bringing all of the [cast and production staff] back together to film in safety during a pandemic has been our top priority in these last months. But being able to deliver a brand new Christmas Special and Series 10 to you is the very best reward that we could wish for."
The Christmas special aired on Christmas Day 2020 and filming on series 10 wrapped on 19 February 2021.
Call The Midwife season 10: When's it on TV?
It returns to BBC One on Sunday 18th April at 8pm.
Call The Midwife season 10: Who's in it?
Sadly, we know that Nurse Valerie, played by Jennifer Kirby, won't be returning.
"After four joyful years spent with Call the Midwife I have decided to say goodbye to Nonnatus, Val, and the wonderful cast, crew and production team. The programme is truly a national treasure, and it will always be a huge honour for me to have been a part of something so wonderful. I can’t wait to keep watching our beloved Nonnatuns from the other side of the screen. Long live Call the Midwife. So long chicks," Jennifer wrote in a post on Instagram.
Former Coronation Street star Paula Lane is joining the cast, as is Megan Cusack, and expect to see other series regulars to return. This list includes:
Jenny Agutter (Sister Julienne), Linda Bassett (Nurse Crane), Judy Parfitt (Sister Monica Joan), Fenella Woolgar (Sister Hilda), Ella Bruccoleri (Sister Frances), Helen George (Trixie), Laura Main (Shelagh Turner), Leonie Elliott (Lucille), Stephen McGann (Dr Turner), Cliff Parisi (Fred), Annabelle Apsion (Violet), Georgie Glen (Miss Higgins), Max Macmillan (Timothy), Zephryn Taitte (Cyril) and Daniel Laurie (Reggie).
Of course, it's expected there'll be guest stars joining the cast each episode, too, as people come and go through the doors of Nonnatus House and the surgery.
Despite being a popular addition to Nonnatus House, Dr Turner's surgery and fans of Call The Midwife, Dr Kevin McNulty (Lee Armstrong) was deeply troubled and masking a prescription drug addiction. When he overdosed in the season nine finale and Dr Turner finally realised the extent of Dr McNulty's issues, he and Shelagh were on-hand to offer support. They spoke with Kevin about how he'd be going to a clinic to receive help and didn't rule out the prospect of him getting back to work someday. But will he return to Poplar and serve the community with the women of Nonnatus?
Call The Midwife season 10: What's it about?
We can make a few assumptions based on events of the Christmas special:
We saw Sister Monica Joan is rushed to hospital while Trixie receives a subscription to a Marriage Bureau as a Christmas gift. We can expect both of these story lines to continue into season 10.
Throughout the ninth series, Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) was dealing with the threat of hard times ahead for the order of Nonnatus House. This came to a head in the finale when she was told her overall spending budget was to be halved while the rent for Nonnatus House was set to sky-rocket. Despondent, she told her fellow Sister and Midwives, who came to the rescue. After Sister Monica Joan (Judy Parfitt) discovered a stash of letters dating back to the 1920s, proving how much the community relies on Nonnatus House, Nurse Trixie (Helen George) gave an impassioned speech that resulted in the full budget being restored. However, they were told this reprieve was time limited to just 12 months. Does this mean that next series we'll see the end of the order? Let's hope not.
Ever since the lovely Cyril came on the scene, it's been clear he and Lucille share a special connection, however due to their busy work schedules, it's not been smooth sailing for their romance. After what felt like forever, the pair finally rekindled their blossoming relationship towards in the middle of series nine and in the finale, Cyril at last confessed his love. When we meet them again will they be going strong and preparing for wedding? Or will their work lives continue to take precedent?
After the death of her imprisoned grandmother, Valerie was clearly devastated and will presumably need some time to process her grief. Prior to Elsie's death, Sister Julienne told Val that she could take compassionate leave to care for her grandma, but as of yet we don't know if she'll be taking time away from Nonnatus House now that Elsie's gone. Given Val was raised by her grandma in Poplar, the area holds many bittersweet memories. Will she take some time away? Or will the call of duty to help the families she cares for be too strong?
We'll (hopefully) find out the answers to these questions when Call The Midwife returns to BBC One.
Call The Midwife: Will there be a season 11, 12, 13 and 14?
In short, yes! Call The Midwife will be running until 2024 (at least!) after the BBC confirmed series 13 and 14 had been commissioned. Series 11 is currently filming, and series 12 had already been confirmed.
Piers Wenger, director of BBC Drama, added: "The enduring popularity of Call the Midwife is a testament to the extraordinary love and creativity from its creator Heidi Thomas and its producers Pippa Harris and Ann Tricklebank.
"We are delighted to have secured the future of Call the Midwife for two further series beyond those which are currently in production, and look forward to enjoying more adventures for the inhabitants of Nonnatus House for years to come."
Stream seasons one to nine HERE.
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