The creator of hit TV drama Call The Midwife has hailed the remote island location for this year’s Christmas special as being “possibly the most beautiful place I’ve ever been”.
The festive edition of the popular BBC show will see the nuns and midwives leave London and Nonnatus House for the Hebridean islands, providing much-needed medical help for local residents.
Call The Midwife creator Heidi Thomas said: “It was so magical filming the Christmas episode in the Outer Hebrides, it was possibly the most beautiful place I’ve ever been in my life.”
The episode, which was filmed in April this year, saw the cast and crew visit famous locations on both Harris and Lewis, including the Callanish Stones circle.
For one scene, filmed at the Eilean Glas lighthouse on Scalpay, the remote location meant that all the equipment had to be brought to the set on quad bikes.
Tourism chiefs admitted it had been “challenging” to accommodate the 100-strong cast and crew on the islands during a busy period for visitors.
Rob McKinnon, the chief executive of Outer Hebrides Tourism, said: “The popularity of the Outer Hebrides has grown considerably in recent years, with 218,000 people now visiting annually from throughout the world.
“The islands are an absolute dream location, both in terms of the stunning scenery but also the inspirational story. Despite life on the islands at times being very tough in the past, they have an almost magical sense of beauty and mystery surrounding them, which is almost impossible to find anywhere else in the world.”
Mr McKinnon, whose great aunt Kate MacKinnon was herself a midwife in the Outer Hebrides during the 1950s, added: “It was great to welcome Call The Midwife to Harris and Lewis, although trying to accommodate a 100-strong crew at the height of the season was challenging to say the least.
“From a personal perspective, I’m looking forward to seeing the show’s portrayal of life on the islands during the 1950s and my aunt’s work with the Harris District Nurses during the very same period. It has bought back fond memories of a woman who had that unique Hebridean mix of stern authority and unfiltered kindness.”
The Call The Midwife Christmas special will air on BBC One at 7pm on Wednesday December 25.