Call the Midwife set to return for a second series

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A scene from Call the Midwife featuring Miranda Hart
Image caption,
Comedian Miranda Hart stars in her first dramatic role as midwife Chummy

A second series of BBC One's Call the Midwife has been commissioned after the drama's opening episode attracted nearly 10 million viewers.

Sunday's second episode held up with an average of 8.6 million viewers.

Set in London's East End in the 1950s, it stars newcomer Jessica Raine, Miranda Hart and Jenny Agutter.

"Call the Midwife... manages to be both hard-hitting and emotional, gritty and warm," said BBC One controller Danny Cohen.

"I am already looking forward to the second series."

The drama is based on the best-selling memoirs of the late Jennifer Worth.

The story follows Jenny (Raine) who joins a community of nursing nuns.

It has had good reviews from some newspapers, with the Daily Mirror hailing a "new ratings champion at the BBC".

The Sunday Times' AA Gill described it as "utterly winning... it is proper family watching."

But the Daily Telegraph's John Preston said: "Despite the disgusting bits, it still managed to be thunderously bland stuff."

The second series will feature eight episodes.

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