Two new bicycles on the streets of Poplar as ‘Call the Midwife’ begins filming S13

Renee Bailey and Natalie Quarry in Call the Midwife season 13. Photo: BBC/Neal Street Productions

With a Christmas special and a 13th series on the horizon, Call the Midwife will be adding two new faces as Renee Bailey and Natalie Quarry join the cast as student midwives and roommates, Joyce and Rosalind when the series returns in 2024.

Renee Bailey (Mood, Rebel Cheer Squad, Get Millie Black) plays Joyce Highland, a Trinidadian pupil midwife described as “hardworking, fiercely bright and deeply kind”. But as is often the case with any new arrival at Nonnatus House, Joyce is hiding a secret traumatic past of her own.

Natalie Quarry, (AtlantaDoctors) will star as fellow pupil Rosalind Clifford in Call the Midwife.

Speaking to Radio Times magazine, series creator and writer Heidi Thomas said: “Newcomers Joyce and Rosalind arrive with much to learn. As 1969 unfolds, we’ll see change and challenge rock the world of our beloved nuns, nurses, medics and midwives. Even as man prepares to walk on the Moon, we see them grappling with life’s eternal questions. Who are we?What is love? And where do we belong?

Sometimes, it’s hard to believe the greatness that is Call the Midwife. Originally based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth who worked with the Community of St. John the Divine, the period drama series about a group of nurse midwives working in the East End of London in the late 1950s and 1960s began over a decade ago on BBC1 and PBS.

With 12 series and 104 episodes in the books, it shows no signs of slowing the brilliance down any time soon. Producers have never disppointed nor failed to tackle real-life topical subjects and contemporary social, cultural and economic issues of the times, including nationalized healthcare, infertility, teen pregnancy, adoption, the importance of local community, miscarriage and stillbirths, abortion and unwanted pregnancies, birth defects, poverty, common illnesses, epidemic disease, prostitution, incest, religion and faith, racism and prejudice and same-sex attraction.

To think that the actual memoirs of Jenny Worth were exhausted by the middle of series 3, the longevity of Call the Midwife is a tribute to the amazing writing of Heidi Thomas and all those that have crossed the doorstep of Nonnatus House.

Call the Midwife S13 returns to BBC1 in early 2024 and with a Spring 2024 broadcast on PBS. 


In: Drama