Helen George hopes the new 'Call the Midwife' series will spark a "surge" in smear tests.

Helen George

Helen George

The 34-year-old actress is confident the forthcoming eighth season of the BBC One medical drama will inspire women to get themselves checked out as they did following the death of reality TV star Jade Goody, who passed away in 2009 aged 27 following a public battle with cervical cancer.

Speaking about the upcoming series, Helen - who plays Nurse Trixie Franklin - said: "We see the start of smear tests and she's very much instrumental in pushing that into the Poplar community.

"So you see her fronting campaigns for women's rights.

"I saw something on Facebook that after Jade Goody's death there was a surge in smear tests and it's been quite a few years since her death now, so it's great that this [plot] may well have another surge."

Helen admits Jade's sad demise inspired her to have a smear test, because she realised she hadn't had one "for ages".

She added to Digital Spy: "It definitely did with me because I hadn't had one for ages and I suddenly thought, 'I really do need to have my smear test.' It pushed me."

The new 'Call the Midwife' series will be set in 1964, when Queen Elizabeth gave birth to Prince Edward.

Miriam Margolyes appeared in the 'Call the Midwife' Christmas special as Sister Mildred over the festive period, and Helen recently admitted her co-star shocked the crew of the show with her "blue mouth".

Helen explained: "She plays a fantastic nun and she really, on and off set, just lit up, as you can imagine.

"She said to us, 'I can't believe I've been cast as nun. Who would have thought it?' Because she does have quite a blue mouth, so it was a bit of a surprise.

"She is absolutely filthy and we are all quite prim and proper, so she shocked the crew and these are burly men and they were leaving the room in hysterics."