He adds: â€œI love being able to spend quality time with my son, 14 (from a past relationship) and I’ll see my girlfriend – I don’t want to say much about her as I don’t want to jinx it – and my family. I’m close to my sister – she lives in Windsor and it’s likely I’ll spend Christmas Day there.
â€œI got through the bad times with help from my family. I also went to church and I got back on the stand-up circuit – doing my routine was like therapy. Telling jokes was my equivalent of lying on a couch and speaking to a therapist.â€ Even when Richard
CALL THE MIDWIFEâ€™S LAURA:
CI still canâ€™t believe Iâ€™m on TV on Christmas Dayâ€™
his year’s Call The Midwife festive special has a lovely Christmassy feel, with scenes including a carol service set against a backdrop of a tree dripping in sparkly lights and tinsel. In the opening scenes, the Nonnatus House nuns also have a chuckle dousing the Christmas pud in a sneaky tipple.
Look closely, however, and you may spot a bead of sweat on some of the characters’ faces – the episode starts filming in May, with the sun blazing down outside.
â€œFilming the Christmas scenes so early in the year does take off the pressure of holiday season stress,â€ jokes Laura Main
– who plays former nun Shelagh Turner.
â€œWe had the fake snow and a Christmas tree in the church. It was exciting – I think the first year I don’t have a seasonal special to do in the summer, I’ll feel cheated!â€
The episode – going out at 730pm on Christmas Day when we’re full of turkey – sees Sister Monica Joan going missing, heading into the bleak midwinter by herself, and the BBC recording a local carol concert nearby.
â€œAs usual, there are many stories woven in,â€ says Laura, 34. â€œIt’s full of the joys of Christmas, but there are emotional scenes, too. My character is roped into organising the carol service because of Shelagh’s experience with choirs.â€
So, will Laura herself be winding down -mince pie in hand, in front of a roaring fire
– to watch the seasonal special? â€œI still can’t believe I’m on TV on Christmas Day,â€ she smiles. â€œAnd that two Christmases ago my character got married. I’ll watch it with my mum and dad and, if I’m not cringing at the end, I’ll go: ‘Aah, I think that went OK!’â€