It’s a New Year, a new series of Call the Midwife, and a new sister for the BBC as Fenella Woolgar joins the show’s cast.
She will play Sister Hilda, who arrives alongside another new recruit, Sister Frances (Ella Bruccoleri) to join the team at Nonnatus House.
Here’s all you need to know about Sister Hilda, and Fenella.
Who does Fenella Woolgar play in Call the Midwife?
Fenella Woolgar has joined the cast as Sister Hilda, who arrives in Poplar alongside Sister Frances (Ella Bruccoleri).
They have been living at the Mother House, but come to Nonnatus House with Mother Mildred (Miriam Margoyles) and end up staying on after she leaves.
The actress shares a strange similarity to her new character, as she explained: “I had a great aunt who was a nun. She was called Sister Mary Hilda. Spooky! Basically, when I got this job, someone was looking down on me!”
How does she feel about joining the show?
It’s a daunting job for any actor to join a well-loved show, so Fenella felt the weight of responsibility for her first day on set.
Asked how it was joining the cast, she replied: “Surreal, freaky, quite frankly terrifying!
“Call the Midwife is a national treasure, so there is a lot to live up to. But you have to put those feelings aside, otherwise you’d get side-tracked by the wrong things.
“But it’s fabulous to join such an incredible team and such a well-loved programme. The cast has been amazing and very welcoming.”
She added that she had been very impressed by how keen the whole production were to get the details of every scene just right.
Fenella said: “We have midwives on set to help us and talk us through each birth, which is fantastic. I’ve had kids, but I’ve learned lots from the midwives here. That’s taken really seriously.
“Terri Coates (the show’s midwife adviser) is completely brilliant. She is there if you need to know anything about midwifery. As an actor, you want to get the specific detail right.”
Is Fenella a Call the Midwife fan?
Obviously, you don’t need to be a Call the Midwife superfan to be aware of the show’s popularity, but Fenella says she knows a good number of obsessives about the series.
She said: “You would have to be on Planet Zog not to be aware of Call The Midwife! My sister-in-law is a mega-fan - in fact, quite a few people I know are mega-fans.
“One Christmas, we were around at my sister-in-law’s house, and suddenly she shut the door and said, ‘You’ve all got to go now because this is my time to watch Call the Midwife’. Okay, thanks. Bye!”
But when it comes to watching the show herself, Fenella says that as much as she loves it, she can’t binge watch it because of all the tragedy it portrays.
She admitted: “I have to monitor how many episodes I watch, because it’s just a tear fest!”
What have I seen her in before?
You may recognise Fenella from one of her many TV projects she’s already taken part in.
She has appeared in Home Fires, War & Peace, and Harlots in recent years, with prominent roles in all three.
Viewers may also have spotted her in the 2017 film Victoria & Abdul.
Call the Midwife returns on Sunday, January 13 at 8pm on BBC One.
Never miss an episode with BT TV - watch on the BBC iPlayer app.