19 May 2014 4:40 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

Charlotte Ritchie and Linda Bassett have joined the cast of Call the Midwife.

Filming for the upcoming Christmas special and fourth series of the BBC One drama has begun in Chertsey, Surrey.

Bassett (Lark Rise to Candleford) has joined as Nurse Phyllis Crane, while Ritchie (Fresh Meat) will play Nurse Barbara Gilbert.

Meanwhile, narrator Vanessa Redgrave is to make her first on-screen appearance as present-day Jennifer Worth during the Christmas special.

Series four will see the group of nuns and nurses in 1960, bringing in new challenges at Nonnatus House.

Pippa Harris, Executive Producer for Neal Street Productions, said; "We're all delighted to be welcoming Vanessa Redgrave on screen, having hugely enjoyed her narration of the series to date.

"It's also terrific that Heidi Thomas has created two wonderful new characters for the series, and that we're fortunate enough to have Linda Bassett and Charlotte Ritchie joining our regular and much-loved team at Nonnatus House. »

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