‘Call The Midwife’ fans were left watching Sunday’s (4 March) episode through tears, after the death of one of the show’s leading stars.
Viewers were distraught when Nurse Barbara Hereward - played by Charlotte Ritchie - passed away after contracting a bout of deadly meningitis.
It was an emotional rollercoaster for fans, as it originally looked like the midwife was going to pull through the ordeal, as her husband Tom (Jack Ashton) kept a bedside vigil.
However, in a shock twist, her condition deteriorated, and she died with Tom and best friend Phyllis Crane at her side in hospital.
The development came as a huge surprise to fans, as bosses had not previously announced Charlotte would be leaving her role as Barbara, and many took to Twitter to express their sadness at the character’s demise:
After her exit aired, the former ‘Fresh Meat’ actress reflected on her time on the hit BBC drama, after being inundated with tweets.
“Thanks to everyone for your lovely lovely messages,” Charlotte wrote. “I will miss CTM more than I can possibly say.”
Charlotte joined the cast of ‘Call The Midwife’ in the fourth series, making her debut on screen in 2015.
Her exit follows the temporary departure of fellow star Helen George, whose character, Trixie Franklin, was written out to accommodate the actress’s maternity leave with an alcoholism plot.
‘Call The Midwife’ continues next Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.