Call the Midwife fans can expect a heartbreaking story for fan favourite character Sister Monica Joan when the show returns this month.
The period drama is back on BBC One on Sunday (January 21) for its seventh series and one of the storylines in 2018 will be about Sister Monica losing her sight.
“What is terrific about series seven is you see Sister Monica Joan going on her own journey: she is initially terrified at the thought of losing her sight, but equally terrified of the surgery that might prevent that loss of sight,” said executive producer Pippa Harris.
“Judy Parfitt is such a fine actress, so nuanced and delicate in what she does as she takes us along with her on Sister Monica Joan’s battle.”
Harris added: “Sister Monica Joan is in many ways the beating heart of Call The Midwife. She has been there since the beginning. She’s someone who has been part of Nonnatas House forever, who knows all the history, the secrets, everything about that community. She is always the person who will remember somebody’s Grandma or remember being at the birth of one of the characters that you meet. I think that gives the viewers a real link to the past through her.”
Other key storylines for the returning drama will be around racism and the treatment of the show’s first black midwife Lucille Anderson, played by Leonie Elliott and the continuing troubles for Nurse Trixie (Helen George) and her alcoholism.
Meanwhile, the Turner family will have to deal with the arrival of an au pair from the continent.
"The Turners employ Magda, a young au pair, to help with baby Teddy. This is Shelagh’s idea and she is thrilled with the prospect of having the help,” said Harris.
"But when this glamorous young Eastern European lady arrives it’s not quite what she envisioned! She is first put out by the fact she has brought her own coffee pot and infers English coffee isn’t worth drinking. But she is also an incredibly attractive young lady wearing figure-hugging dresses, and Shelagh, who has just got back into her pantyhose after having Teddy, isn’t very keen to see this around the house.”
Call the Midwife returns for its seventh season on Sunday, January 21st at 8pm on BBC One.
Catch up with BT TV via the BBC iPlayer app.