Call The Midwife’s Trixie Franklin was missing from series 11 after she left to take care of her aunt in Portofino, as actress Helen George gave birth to her second child. Now, the popular character is returning to Nonnatus House for the Christmas special but is set to face a heartbreaking challenge with her alcoholism struggle.
In the upcoming Christmas special, Trixie is forced to face the woes of alcoholism once again after Bernie Mullucks (Chris Reilly) realises he is no longer coping, and using alcohol as a medium.
Rhoda Mullucks (Liz White) and her family were first introduced in series five when the BBC series explored the Thalidomide scandal.
Since the birth of her daughter, Susan, Rhoda has felt responsible for her daughter’s disabilities.
During the Christmas episode, the family return and Rhoda is expecting their fourth child, but the pressure is mounting as the family struggle financially.
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Slowly throughout the episode, Bernie struggles to cope with the pressures of Christmas, money and protecting his daughter.
Realising how dependent he was becoming on alcohol, he turned to the help of Trixie to get him through and get his life on track for the sake of his family.
Touching on the return of the storyline for Trixie, Helen told Express.co.uk and other press: “It is definitely a poignant time of year for this storyline.
“I think Christmas is one of the most testing times for a lot of people and a lot of families so, of course, it is a good time to touch on the subject again.
Trixie Franklin has been a part of the series since it first began back in 2012, with her alcohol consumption first presented in a positive light.
However, over time her consumption began to worsen, with viewers being presented with scenes of the young nurse staying up all night drinking with her friends.
As season four hit, the rug was pulled out underneath her feet and she began to visibly use alcohol as a crutch before she soon passed out one night, drunk, after calling off her engagement to Chaplain Tom Hereward (played by Jack Ashton).
She was eventually forced to face the truth that she was an alcoholic, and with the support of her peers and Alcohol Anonymous (AA) groups, she seemingly came out the other side.
However, after a flurry of professional challenges and a personal setback, Trixie found herself back in her old ways, swigging vodka in the bathroom where no one could see her.
Trixie eventually opened up to Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) about her ongoing struggle, before she made the difficult decision to leave for a six months treatment.
Since then, Trixie has stayed strong to her sobriety and formed a relationship with Matthew Alyward (Olly Rix) and his son Jonathan.
Call The Midwife is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.