The BBC has confirmed the first details of Call The Midwife series 9 as filming begins.
A Christmas special will air later this year ahead of eight brand new episodes in 2020.
Created and written by Heidi Thomas, the series 9 of Call The Midwife follows the latest run of episodes earlier in 2019 which averaged 9 million viewers on Sunday nights.
Teasing the new series, the BBC said today: "This year’s Christmas special will see the team take their work to the Outer Hebrides. Led by Mother Mildred, they embark on a trip to the remote yet idyllic Scottish island, where residents have a desperate need for nurses and midwives.
"Exposed to the elements, they operate in bleak conditions with limited access to water and electricity to help their patients, just in time to reconvene in Poplar for Christmas.
"Opening with the funeral of Winston Churchill in January 1965, series nine then continues with Nonnatus House entering a bold and innovative era. As the tower blocks multiply, and a new East End rises from the ashes of the old, society becomes more prosperous, but more complex. Our familiar team of medics and midwives face unexpected challenges as the population shifts, rules change, and old diseases come back to haunt them.
"Alongside the joy and optimism of birth, they must cope with cases including diphtheria, drug abuse, cancer, tuberculosis, and fistula. Meanwhile, their own experiences are fuelled by love, loss, and doubt - and the very fabric of their lives is jeopardised when Nonnatus itself comes under threat of demolition."
Confirmed cast for Call The Midwife series 9 includes; Miriam Margolyes (Mother Mildred), Jenny Agutter (Sister Julienne), Linda Bassett (Nurse Crane), Judy Parfitt (Sister Monica Joan), Fenella Woolgar (Sister Hilda), Ella Bruccoleri (Sister Frances), Helen George (Trixie), Laura Main (Shelagh Turner), Jennifer Kirby (Valerie) and Leonie Elliott (Lucille).
Joining them are Stephen McGann (Dr Turner), Cliff Parisi (Fred), Annabelle Apsion (Violet), Georgie Glen (Miss Higgins), Max Macmillan (Timothy), Trevor Cooper (Sgt Woolf) and Daniel Laurie (Reggie).
Dame Pippa Harris, Executive Producer, said: “After an exciting journey to the Outer Hebrides for this year’s Christmas Special, it’s wonderful to be back in Poplar watching the cast and crew craft another powerful series, based on Heidi Thomas’s magnificent scripts.
"As we move into the mid 1960s the Nonnatus team face challenging new medical and social changes, with their customary winning combination of steely determination, empathy and love.”
Heidi Thomas, Creator, Writer and Executive Producer, added: “After a magical Christmas experience in the Hebrides featuring wild seas, stormy skies and some very disobedient sheep, we return to the harsher reality of city life in 1965. Society is changing fast and in series nine we will see Nonnatus House shaken to its foundations.”
Mona Qureshi, Commissioning Editor at BBC, commented: “Call the Midwife really is such a special show, which consistently rewards us with challenging and compassionate stories that relate to modern audiences in all their diversity of experience.
"We are thrilled to be filming once again with the beloved team of midwives and nuns from Nonnatus House. Our audiences are in for another treat with the Christmas special and new series.”
Call The Midwife airs on BBC One.
A ninth and tenth series have already been confirmed keeping the show on air on 2022.