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Call The Midwife: Jessica Raine leaves in series three finale

Actress said she wants to 'explore pastures new'

Jessica Raine, the lead actress in Call The Midwife, has left the show after an emotional series three finale.

Jenny Lee, The actress’ character, left her job as a midwife in London to take up a new position as a nurse in a Marie Curie cancer hospice, and to start a new life with Phillip Worth (Stephen Ashfield).

But the voice of a mature Jenny will feature as a narrator in future series, voiced by Vanessa Redgrave, as it was explained she will remain in contact with friends at Nonnatus House.

Raine said: “It’s been a real privilege to help bring Jenny Lee’s story alive and amazingly satisfying to see how the public have embraced the series, but as is in keeping with Jenny’s story, it’s time for me to explore pastures new.”

The actress has secured a number of new TV roles in past months, including BBC Two’s Line of Duty and Doctor Who biopic An Adventure in Space and Time.

She is also due to appear in new Sky Atlantic drama Fortitude, alongside The Killing’s Sofie Grabol, Christopher Eccleston and Stanley Tucci.

The first series of Call The Midwife, which debuted in 2012 when Jenny Lee arrived in Poplar to begin her work, became the BBC’s best-rated drama in a decade.

In its third series, the drama continued to attract over 10 million viewers every Sunday night.

A fourth series of Call The Midwife has been commissioned and is due to air next year.