Jenny Agutter reveals all about the arrival of the circus in the Call the Midwife Christmas Special
It’s Christmas 1965 in Poplar and the circus is coming to town! The Call the Midwife 2020 Christmas special finds Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) and the team at Nonnatus House dealing with a host of emotional births and yuletide drama when ringmaster Mr Percival, played by guest star Peter Davison, and his sparkly colleagues arrive on the scene.
Here, Jenny Agutter tells us more about the Call the Midwife Christmas special…
What can you tell us about the circus coming to Poplar?
Jenny Agutter: “Everyone’s delighted by the circus coming to town and seeing them parade through. It’s an imaginative story, because everyone is affected by the circus and the peripatetic life of these uprooted people on the move who contrast with the people from Nonnatus House who belong in the community.”
Is Sister Julienne having a good Christmas?
JA: “Sister Julienne is dealing with Sister Monica Joan [Judy Parfitt], who, yet again at Christmas, gets herself into trouble! But she also remains concerned about the future of Nonnatus House and the threat of changes that might push them out. For Christmas, she’d like confirmation they can remain there.”
Tell us about the safety precautions you have had to take on set due to the pandemic
JA: “We have some prosthetic babies and umbilical cords for the births and the real mothers are involved on screen [as doubles for the nuns and midwives] holding their babies. The hardest scenes are those around the dining table, because we can’t sit everybody around it.”
Filming on the Christmas special was delayed by lockdown, you must be delighted that everyone has managed to get it ready in time…
JA: “Yes, everybody’s worked very hard. I’m proud of what the team has managed to pull off this year. We are doing a proper, full, lovely Christmas special. It will just be a real release and a treat because it’ll be removed from what we’re going through. I think it’ll mean so much more.”
What can you tease about the new series of Call the Midwife next year, which will be set in 1966?
JA: “ I’ve just got the script for episode one, so I will be reading that with a lot of interest. I’m sure that Sister Monica Joan will be watching the World Cup!’
Call the Midwife, starring Jenny Agutter, airs on BBC1 on Christmas Day at 7.40pm