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Six things to expect from the sobfest that is the 'Call the Midwife' Christmas special

By
Ellie Walker-Arnott
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Like a reliable stork, BBC1 is sdelivering a festive instalment of 'Call the Midwife' this Christmas. It's the heart-warming/emotionally draining annual treat we've come to expect on the evening of December 25. And this year fans won't be disappointed. 

Well, aside from the fact that... 

It's not very Christmassy

This image (above) is just a little misleading. We've come to rely on 'Call the Midwife' for snowflakes, kids in nativity costumes and east-London cheer. But this year the period drama just ain't that Christmassy. There are a few festive moments at the beginning but it's all over rather quickly. 

BBC

It's not set in London

Early on in the episode the nuns and midwives of Nonnatus House are called upon to help ailing mission hospital Hope Clinic in South Africa. Trixie, Barbara, Tom, Sister Winifred, Shelagh, Doctor Turner, Fred, Phyllis and Sister Julienne all pack their one-pieces and their sunnies and head abroad. 

Their trip to South Africa is tough

Trixie's mascara runs, there are creepy crawlies and it's a lot hotter than any of them were expecting. But the gang also face some life or death situations and are shocked by the prejudices they find in 1960s South Africa. 

BBC

It's not all hardships

The are some lighter moments. You know the stuff: glamorous outfits, '60s music and girl power, plus some insanely beautiful South African scenery and Fred, our comedy relief who has come along for the ride. The plot also progresses for a few of our 'Call the Midwife' faves. No one will come back from their Christmas trip the same. 

They go to the beach

Not only are there minimal Poplar snow scenes, the gang actually have a trip to the beach. And get sunburned. If you like your Christmas specials 100% Christmassy, you might be disappointed. But you probably won't be because the episode will charm your socks off all the same. 

BBC

You will cry

Obviously. It wouldn't be 'Call the Midwife' if it didn't pack an emotional punch. It's not all carols around the Christmas tree, but this festive episode will undoubtedly leave you a sobbing, shuddering mess. In fact, there's potential for both tears of sadness and joy in this special so brace yourself. And maybe hold off the festive spirits until it's over. 

'Call the Midwife' is on Christmas Day at 8pm on BBC1. It also returns for a new series in early 2017. Watch the trailer here

More TV? Here's our pick of the best TV to watch this Christmas

Fancy a film? Here are the best movies on TV this Christmas, the best Christmassy movies on TV and the best Christmas movies of all time. Plus, the best movies on Netflix and the best family-friendly kids' movies on Netflix

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