|Portrayed by||Tanya Franks|
|Duration||2007–2008, 2010–2011, 2014–2015|
|First appearance||Episode 3410
2 August 2007
|Last appearance||Episode 5019
19 February 2015
Lorraine "Rainie" Cross is a fictional character from the BBC One soap opera EastEnders, played by Tanya Franks. Introduced as the drug-addicted sister of Tanya Branning (Jo Joyner), Franks has had three separate guest stints in 2007 (two episodes), 2008 (four episodes) and 2010 (seven episodes) and between 12 April and 8 December 2011. Rainie returned on 16 June 2014, when she was revealed as Ian Beale's (Adam Woodyatt) mystery phone contact, having been with Ian on Good Friday, the night of Lucy Beale's murder.
Described as "the slightly broken sister who's one step away from a vodka bottle", Rainie's storylines have often centred on her addictions to drugs and alcohol. During her seven episode guest stint in 2010, Rainie was involved in a highly criticised crack cocaine storyline with Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden). It was branded "inappropriate" and "horrid" by the Daily Record. EastEnders star Natalie Cassidy (who plays Sonia Fowler) also criticised the storyline, saying she was "shocked", but Franks defended the storyline, though she herself was not surprised that viewers had complained.
Rainie first appears at Tanya's house claiming that she is no longer using drugs but Tanya catches her attempting to inject heroin and gives her a choice—take £500 and never see Tanya or her children again, or stay the night and get help with her problems. Rainie leaves with the money without Tanya noticing but ignores the ultimatum, returning the following year. Tanya is in an emotional state, having recently split from her husband Max Branning (Jake Wood). Rainie returns the money to Tanya and says she is not using drugs, so Tanya allows her to stay but she tests positive for cannabis so Tanya asks her to leave.
Rainie returns to Walford in 2010 and tells Max she is clean and sober, and asks Max for Tanya's phone number. Tanya's daughter, Abi Branning (Lorna Fitzgerald), wants Rainie to stay and Max agrees. She steals money out of Max's sister Carol Jackson's (Lindsey Coulson) purse, which she uses to buy crack cocaine. Max catches her with the drugs and throws her out. She starts looking for her drugs where a drunken Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) approaches, finds Rainie's crack cocaine and is tempted to try some after she says it helps her block out her memories. Phil and Rainie get high at Phil's home. Rainie goes to get more drugs when Phil steals money from The Queen Victoria public house, but is mugged by a drug dealer. Phil's girlfriend Shirley Carter (Linda Henry) offers to help him get clean but throws Rainie out of the house, calling her pathetic.
In 2011, Rainie returns to Tanya's house as their mother, Cora Cross (Ann Mitchell), is visiting. Rainie says she is now completely clean and is staying with Cora because her counsellor wants her to reconnect with her family. When Tanya and Greg Jessop (Stefan Booth) go on their honeymoon, Rainie looks after their house and meets Phil at R&R. They talk about their past but he tells her that he does not want to associate with her and leaves. She and Jack Branning (Scott Maslen) then get drunk together and later go to his flat and have sex. Jack rejects Rainie the following morning. Tanya and Greg return and see how much trouble Rainie has caused. She also causes trouble with Shirley so Tanya asks her to leave but Rainie persuades Tanya to let her stay, much to Greg's disappointment. Rainie visits Jack's wife Ronnie Branning (Samantha Womack) to find the knickers she supposedly left behind and taunts Ronnie, asking her to tell Jack to phone her, leading to her being kicked out again. She joins a support group to help her stay off drugs and alcohol which Phil also attends. Rainie struggles and calls her drug dealer but Phil catches Rainie with drugs and takes them from her, destroying them. She gets drunk and goes to Tanya's salon, where Tanya takes her home. Greg throws her out after Tanya lies that Rainie tried to stab her. A few days later, Phil finds Rainie in the pub and Shirley catches them talking and wrongly assumes they are romantically involved but finds out that Phil has been sponsoring Rainie. Shirley almost gives Rainie a job in the café but changes her mind.
Rainie leaves Walford again but insists on her return that she is still not taking drugs. However, she faces several temptations by people offering her drugs, eventually buying some from Ryan Malloy (Neil McDermott). When Phil finds out, he asks Ryan to not sell to Rainie again. Dot Branning (June Brown) takes pity on Rainie and helps her to clean herself up, telling her about drug addict Donna Ludlow (Matilda Ziegler) and giving her a Bible, which makes Rainie decide to change as she finds religion. Rainie apologises to Tanya for being rude to her earlier in the week, and Tanya agrees to let her stay with her and Greg. Rainie and Cora confide in one another when Rainie says Tanya treats her like a child. When it is revealed that Tanya had an affair with Max, Rainie nearly turns to drink, but stops herself. She gets a job at the R&R club, unaware that she only got it because her boss, Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks) wanted to irritate Phil. The next week, Phil demands Janine sack Rainie and she agrees but Rainie later applies for a job as an office worker with Janine's new property management business but Janine makes her a cleaner. When Phil is sent photos relating to an incident from his past, Rainie stops him turning to drink. Phil tells her about the incident and they start to kiss, but are interrupted by Pat Evans (Pam St Clement). Rainie mentions the photos to Shirley, making Shirley think Rainie is sending them so she threatens Rainie, telling her to stop.
Rainie later discovers that Tanya has cervical cancer. Max returns with his brother, Derek (Jamie Foreman), and Derek recognises Rainie from Max and Tanya's wedding and is attracted to her, later mentioning that they had sex. Rainie demands to know why Tanya stopped her treatment and she explains that it did not work for their father and admits she helped him die, shattering Rainie and Cora. Though Tanya and Cora reconcile, Rainie is still angry, telling Tanya she hopes the cancer kills her. She sleeps rough, but then meets Derek and starts a sexual relationship him. When Rainie asks Tanya to apologise over their father but she refuses, as she does not regret it. Cora backs Tanya up and tells Rainie she is ashamed to be her mother so Rainie decides to leave for Tanya's sake, though she apologises for her comments. She breaks up with Derek and leaves.
In October 2012, Tanya and Max decide to remarry. Tanya wants Rainie to attend the wedding but doesn't know where she is and asks Cora to track her down. With help from Jack, Cora manages to get in touch with Rainie and arranges to meet her at a pub, but upon arriving, Rainie has sent her sponsor Olivia (Samantha Best), to the pub with a letter. Olivia explains that Rainie has been sober for 41 days and has a boyfriend. Rainie is pleased to have been invited to the wedding but declines to attend, stating that Cora is the reason for her alcohol and drug addictions, requesting that she will leave her alone from now on.
For several weeks following the death of his daughter Lucy Beale (Hetti Bywater), Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) receives texts and calls from "R", all of which he ignores. After texting her to leave him alone, "R" comes to Walford and is revealed to be Rainie. She blackmails Ian, threatening to tell his fiancée Denise Fox (Diane Parish) and son Peter Beale (Ben Hardy) that he was seeing her as a prostitute on Good Friday, the night of Lucy's death. When Patrick Trueman (Rudolph Walker) sees Rainie, she reveals what Ian has done, but he is unable to tell Denise when he suffers a stroke. Ian meets Rainie to tell her that he will not pay her anymore, but Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) catches Ian and pulls up behind him. Ian drives away so Rainie approaches Mick, thinking he is a customer. He rejects her but the police arrest him for soliciting a prostitute. To protect Ian, Mick pleads guilty. Rainie and Cora meet at the court, as Cora has come to support Linda Carter (Kellie Bright). Cora confronts Rainie, and realises that she is the prostitute involved, and sees how low she has fallen and gives her money to fund her addiction so she can stop her prostitution. Ian tells Phil what has happened, so Phil pays Rainie, telling her to stop blackmailing Ian. Phil finds a flat for Rainie in Walford but she is thrown out by her landlord because of her prostitution. Phil takes Rainie to Cora to deal with her, so Cora lets Rainie live with her. Rainie tries to blackmail Mick into giving her more money but he insults and humiliates her. She then tells Denise about her night with Ian. Cora promises to help her get clean, but when she goes out, she returns to find Rainie gone and that she has stolen all her money. A flashback later reveals what happened between Rainie and Ian on the day Lucy died.
Introduction and characterisation
The character originally appeared for two episodes on 2 and 3 August 2007, and then returned for four episodes between 7 and 11 January 2008. Franks was asked to return again later in 2008 but could not make it, so Franks thought Rainie would not be seen again. She returned for the longer stint in 2010, starting on 3 August. Franks did not expect to be asked to return in 2010, and said the call came as a surprise. She said it was "ideal" because it fitted in with another acting job she was undertaking at the time. She commented that Rainie would be "unlikely to return without stirring up a bit of trouble". Rainie returned again on 12 April 2011 as a regular character, for Tanya's wedding to Greg Jessop, along with Tanya and Rainie's mother Cora, where Cora tries to build bridges between the sisters.
|“||Rainie's been round the block and back again. Sly, manipulative and ruthless, Rainie struggled with everything - family, men and drug addiction. She was a thorn in her sister's side - she would beg, borrow and steal to fuel her heroin addiction. Selfish, and frequently self-pitying, Rainie was quick to point the finger of blame at Tanya and her mum Cora, rather than take responsibility for her actions.||”|
|— The BBC on Rainie (2011)|
In April 2011 it was reported by The Sun that Rainie would have a one-night stand with Jack Branning on 6 May 2011 after he discovers his son is dead and she comforts him. In May 2011, it was announced that Cora would return to the series, and executive producer Bryan Kirkwood said he was "keen to establish the Cross women—Rainie completes the mix as the slightly broken sister who's one step away from a vodka bottle." Rainie has been described as "troublesome" and "troubled". On her official BBC character profile she is described as sly, manipulative and ruthless, and that she "spells trouble with a capital T!". It finishes saying, "But behind the wild partying, Rainie is a lost soul with a soft, vulnerable side that yearns to get her life back on track and impress her older sister Tanya."
Rainie's relationship with Phil Mitchell (McFadden) was first explored during her stint in 2010. Rainie and Phil were to be involved in a storyline involving the taking of crack cocaine. Discussing her return in 2010, she said she was pleased to be working closely with McFadden as they had not worked together. Franks explained that after being thrown out of the house by Tanya's ex-husband Max, and moving in with Phil that, "it gets quite dark and dirty, really. Phil and Rainie are two people who meet at a point in their lives where they both see something equivalent in each other. He offers her something that she wants, and that is a place to be, while she has something that he wants, and that's drugs—so it's a match at that time." Franks was given advice from the charity DrugScope on how to act the part and also undertook some of her own research, and she said she believed the scenes to be very realistic. She wanted the drugs storyline to help people, saying, "If there are people who have a drugs problem, or an addiction problem of any kind really, they might watch something like this and it could trigger something in their mind that is relevant to them, or someone that they know. Hopefully it could make people think twice about carrying on with that, and perhaps look into getting some help. The organisation that we worked with, DrugScope, gives a lot of help and advice for people with drug addictions. I think it can be hugely helpful when a show as popular as EastEnders does something like this." She also stated that if EastEnders "has saved one life by putting this story out it's been worth it. The whole point of soaps is to reflect a certain amount of everyday life. Some of it is going to be light entertainment, some isn't."
Rainie's relationship with Tanya has always been fractured, though Rainie tries to resolve the tension with Tanya during her return in 2011. When Rainie was first announced on 13 July 2007, it was said Rainie was said to "[drag] up a past which Tanya would rather forget". Rainie persuades Tanya to let her stay and forgive her and then going back on the promise, which leads Rainie to be kicked out. When Franks returned in 2010 she said "she was disappointed not to be working with Joyner this time." On her return to for Tanya's wedding, a spokesperson said, “Tanya soon softens towards Rainie and her mother but will the harmony last between all three women or will past problems cause the women to Cross swords once again?”. Franks has commented that she is excited about exploring the family dynamic between the Cross ladies in upcoming storylines and her future in EastEnders. Joyner said that Tanya would forgive Rainie for her past actions. In an interview with Digital Spy, Kirkwood said that he was 'delighted' at the expansion of Tanya's family and that "The new characters are excellent additions to a cast that's already very strong."
Tanya Franks returned to the role of Rainie Cross for a stint on 16 June 2014. Her return was kept a secret by the cast and crew of EastEnders, and followed the surprise returns of Laurie Brett, Nicholas Bailey and Emma Barton as Jane Beale, Anthony Trueman and Honey Mitchell respectively. All of these returns were under new executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins.
Rainie was reintroduced as part of the 'Who Killed Lucy Beale?' storyline, a story that began in April 2014 when Lucy Beale (Hetti Bywater) was murdered, and climaxed as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations of EastEnders in February 2015. Lucy's father Ian Beale's (Adam Woodyatt) alibi was revealed as fake soon after Lucy's death, and on 16 June 2014 it was revealed that he was seeing Rainie, who had become a prostitute to fund her drug addiction, on the night Lucy died. Rainie then began blackmailing Ian for more money in return for keeping his actions secret from the police and his fiance Denise Fox (Diane Parish).
Her appearances became more regular from July 2014 onwards, with her stepping up her blackmail and revealing Ian's actions to Denise's protective father figure, Patrick Trueman (Rudolph Walker). In August 2014, Ian's friend Mick Carter, played by Danny Dyer, pulled over behind Ian and Rainie when he spotted them talking. Ian drove off and Rainie approaches Mick, believing him to be a customer of her prostitute services. The police then pulled up behind Mick, and arrested him for soliciting. When Ian explained Rainie's blackmail, Mick agreed to cover for him, to ensure the safety of his fake alibi. As a result of this, Rainie was reconciled with her mother, Cora Cross (Ann Mitchell), as Cora supported Mick's wife Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) in court before bumping into her daughter. Rainie wants nothing to do with Cora, and pretends the allegations against Mick are true.
The storyline also saw Franks film scenes alongside Steve McFadden, who plays Phil Mitchell, for the first time since their controversial drugs storyline in 2010. Ian told Phil about Rainie's blackmail, and Phil took Rainie to the allotments to 'deal with her'. He later told Ian that she would not be a 'problem' any longer, leaving Ian fearful of what lengths Phil had gone to. Phil was later revealed to have set Rainie up in a flat, but when his fiance Sharon Rickman (Letitia Dean) discovered what he was doing she ordered him to let Rainie go as she was not his problem. As a result, he abandoned Rainie on Cora's doorstep, where Rainie promises to get clean with Cora's help. Ian's actions were revealed when Rainie, depressed after a confrontation with Mick Carter and his family, told Denise about their night together. Cora and Rainie have a heart to heart, but when Cora heads out for a short time, she returns and find Rainie gone along with her purse.
Franks said that after her stint in 2008, many people recognised her in the street and asked if she would return. Scenes showing Phil and Rainie taking the drug crack cocaine in 2010 prompted over 200 complaints from viewers who felt the scenes were inappropriate. The BBC responded by saying "EastEnders in no way—and at no point—glamorises or condones the use of drugs, and furthermore we took great care to avoid any demonstration on how to prepare or take drugs. [...] We took care to signal the nature of the episode's content to viewers in advance through programme publicity and billings, and the BBC Action Line was trailed following the episode for anyone affected by the issue. In addition to this, our website includes links to organisations who can offer help and advice on this issue. [...] We worked closely with drug and alcohol charities, including Addaction and DrugScope, throughout the editorial process to ensure that we handled the storyline accurately and sensitively." The Daily Mail asked some viewers about the scenes, including one who said, "I was shocked at the content of the episode. The graphic detail of the drug use with Phil and his friend was terrible and in view of the time that the episode was aired, entirely inappropriate. Viewers do not need to see this kind of storyline. Please, BBC, no more of these horrid storylines." Other viewers said, "They look like they're having a good time. They're in danger of making it look appealing." Finally, "It was a bit much. I've found EastEnders distressing over the last month." The Daily Record described the scenes as 'disturbing'.
EastEnders star, Natalie Cassidy also criticised the scenes, saying, "You can't swear or show two people making love before the watershed, yet you can show people smoking class A drugs? I was really shocked." Franks was not surprised that people complained, but defended the storyline, saying that "the good that comes from storylines like this far outweighs whatever concerns people might have".
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|last1=in Authors list (help)
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