Call The MidwifeIt’s been compared to the ITV costume drama since it first aired in January 2012, and the two shows even went head-to-head on Christmas Day.

But even though Downton narrowly won in the viewing figures, Call the Midwife stars Jessica Raine and Helen George insist they don’t see the programme as a rival.

‘I love Downton, and don’t see it as competition,’ says Jessica, 30, who plays leading lady Jenny Lee. ‘I love the girls in it.

‘They were on the same plane as us when we flew over to America last year. I just bounded over and said hi!’

Co-star Helen George, also 30, who plays Trixie says, ‘We all had a drink together and they were really lovely. They’re fans of the programme as well, so it’s a mutual love!’

Call The Midwife returns to our screens this Sunday, 21 January, on BBC1.