Call the Midwife will reflect the changing times of the 1960s by introducing a black character to its main cast next series.
After researching the era, the hit BBC One medical drama's creator Heidi Thomas has created a West Indian nurse called Lucille, who she describes as "elegant, funny and clever" (via BBC News).
"My research is continually bringing up new things," Thomas revealed at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival over the weekend.
"[It] has made me very aware of the contributions made by West Indian and Caribbean nurses to the NHS in the early 1960s. She's going to bring stories with her, and a different cultural point of view, and that's very exciting."
Lucille will help fill in the gap left by Ben Caplan, who plays PC Peter Noakes. Like his on-screen wife Miranda Hart, Caplan will not be returning for Call the Midwife's seventh series in 2018.
Writer Heidi Thomas previously admitted that she had to scramble for a new storyline when Miranda Hart backed out of this year's sixth series at the last possible minute.
"We were thrilled when Miranda approached us, and I storylined the series for her," Thomas explained. "But at relatively short notice she had to withdraw."
"We were hopeful right up to the end that we could make it work, but we couldn't. I just rewrote the series without Miranda in it, which was sad because we would have loved having her in it... She is part of the CTM family. But it wasn't meant to be."
Call the Midwife will be back without Miranda this Christmas on BBC One.
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