EastEnders: Rainie agrees to let Bernie be her surrogate
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Fans of BBC’s EastEnders know Bernie (played by Clair Norris) has agreed to be a surrogate for Rainie Highway (Tanya Franks) and Stuart Highway (Ricky Champ). Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, actress Clair said Bernie’s actions will prove to be “life changing.”
Clair explained: “Bernie kind of takes it upon herself to sort the family’s financial troubles.
“If Bernie was younger that maybe could have been hidden from her, like what you see happening with Bailey, but because Bernie is that little bit older I think she sees herself as having that responsibility.”
Recent scenes have shown the family is in desperate need of some luck after Karen Taylor (Lorraine Stanley) lost her job, increasing the household’s financial troubles.
Clair added: “For Bernie, family comes first, and this is what is going to help her family, so she’s taking the responsibility on herself to try to help.”
Bernie is keeping the secret to herself at the moment, and her family have no idea of the huge promise she has made to Rainie and Stuart.
Clair said the Taylors will certainly be vocal if they find out the truth, and are bound to be shocked that Bernie kept it a secret.
“No one knows yet,” she added. “When they do find out, whether they find out – perhaps that’s way later down the line or maybe not, they’re going to have something to say.
“But at the minute it is literally Bernie on her own, making her own decisions and again, it’s quite nice to see that, but whereas before she would rely on someone else, now she is 18 and she knows that this is the world that you live in and you have to step up when things need to be paid.”
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Clair said she is looking forward to viewers seeing how things turn out for Bernie, and that she has enjoyed being a part of the storyline.
“It’s nice to have something a bit juicy going on with your character,” she said. Bernie joined the soap in 2017 as a schoolgirl, and views have seen her evolve in the family.
“It’s been really nice to be trusted with that storyline as well,” Clair added. “I’m very grateful.”
Bernie’s mum Karen has reached breaking point in recent episodes, with her options to sort out her money troubles seemingly running out.
She’s also trying to protect Bailey Baker (Kara-Leah Fernandes) from the truth, but the smart 10-year-old soon clocks on to the situation.
Mitch Baker (Roger Griffiths) is also stuck for options and the pressure is piling on him and Karen to keep their family afloat.
With the Taylors falling apart, it’s understandable that Bernie would go to such extreme measures, but could this decision drive her family further apart?
It seems likely that Karen will be devastated her daughter has made such a life-altering decision in order to help her, and her pride may stand in the way of seeing the benefits.
Speaking about the close-knit Walford family, Clair said: “When we first arrived, we weren’t very liked at the beginning, but I think people started to see the real heart of the family.
“And I think that’s what it is with Bernadette as well, her heart. And she’s relatable to the younger generation as well.
“And just how the family always pulls together. You see these close, working class families in real life and I think that’s why they’re so relatable.”
EastEnders continues on Friday at 8pm on BBC One.
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