What happened to Lucille in Call the Midwife and has she left for good?

Leonie Elliot as Nurse Lucille Robinson wearing her nurses uniform and smiling at the camera
Nurse Lucille Robinson left Call the Midwife in episode two. (Image credit: BBC)

Fans were heartbroken to see Lucille Robinson depart Call the Midwife season 12 - and with the character heading to Jamaica after suffering a breakdown, viewers were left worried about whether she would ever be returning to Poplar. 

Here is everything we know about what happened to Lucille and whether she will be coming back to the much-loved show...

What happened to Lucille in Call the Midwife?

Fans of Call the Midwife will know that there was a combination of heartbreaking events that lead to Lucille's departure from Nonnatus House. 

After having a positive start to the show when she joined in 2018, Nurse Lucille Anderson got her happily ever after in the Call the Midwife Christmas special 2021 when she married the man of her dreams, Cyril Robinson (Zephryn Taitte). 

But things took a turn for Lucille in Call the Midwife season 11 when she suffered a devastating miscarriage. The heartbreaking turn of events rocked Lucille and Cyril's marriage, and things were only set to get worse in season 12 when the couple struggled to conceive again. 

But it wasn't only their own private tragedy that was playing on Lucille's mind. She also struggled in the aftermath of Enoch Powell’s 'Rivers of Blood' speech which criticized immigration to Britain. Lucille sadly found herself facing horrific abuse as she went about her daily life, something that dragged her deeper into her depression. 

At one heartbreaking point, Lucille even considered taking her own life... something that spurred her into getting medical help. 

Eventually, in episode two of season 12, Lucille went to see her friend and GP Doctor Turner, who told her she was on the brink of a nervous breakdown and recommended rest.

In a bid to turn things around for his beloved wife, Cyril then dipped into their savings to buy an open ticket to Jamaica so that she could rest with her much-missed family. Lucille didn't need to be asked twice to go and see her beloved sister and was soon on a plane to Jamaica. 

Leonie Elliot as Nurse Lucille Robinson wearing her nurses uniform and looking sad

Lucille hasn't been herself since suffering a heartbreaking miscarriage in season 11.  (Image credit: BBC)

Is Lucille coming back to Call the Midwife?

No, sadly for Call the Midwife fans it has now been confirmed that Lucille won't be returning to Poplar. The news came as season 12 came to an end in the UK, with actress Leonie Elliott confirming the news she had now left the soap in a message on her social media.  

After six years on the show the character has now left with Leonie thanking fans for the love they showed her character: "Thank you all for embracing Lucille and rocking with me on this journey, it is with a heart full of love and appreciation that I embark on pastures new.

"Having spent six years on a truly wonderful show, with a fantastic team, I have fallen deeper and deeper in love with Lucille. I feel honored to have represented the pioneering Windrush generation and their incredible impact on British society.

"I would like to say a MASSIVE thank you to the brilliant cast and our uber-talented creative team: Heidi Thomas, Pippa Harris and Annie Tricklebank. Thank you again for all your support, it is hugely appreciated. Super excited for what's coming next."

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But Lucille's departure from the soap will come as something of an anticlimax for the character with her just heading off to Jamaica in episode two of season 12 and never coming back. 

While Lucille's ticket to Jamaica might have been an open return, Cyril didn't count on his wife being gone for long. He spent most of season 12 pining after his beloved wife, and after a tragic turn of events saw him stabbed, he was clearly missing Lucille more than ever as he recovered at home. 

Violet and Reggie decided to put a smile back on Cyril's face by booking him a telephone call to Jamaica and before the call, Cyril was optimistic that Lucille would be “booking her flight home soon”. However, in a sad twist, it turned out Lucille's exit from the drama was set to continue after it turned out the community midwife had taken a six-month-long job at a local hospital near her parents' house in Jamaica. 

Cyril told Violet: “Her sister said she took a job at the town hospital so she could pay her way at her parents’ home." He then confessed that Lucille had also then been offered a sister’s position on the maternity ward which was to last for at least six months. 

In the second half of season 12, Cyril went out to Jamaica to visit his wife, but despite the pastor coming home to Poplar in the penultimate episode of season 12, Lucille stayed behind with her family. 

Cyril was heartbroken at the fact Lucille had decided to stay in Jamaica and started volunteering at a homeless shelter to keep himself busy in his wife's absence.  

Zephryn Taitte, who plays Cyril, has been confirmed for season 13, but with Leonie now not in the cast, it seems there could be a sad split on cards for Cyril and Lucille.  

Call the Midwife season 12 cast Zephryn Taitte as Cyrill Robinson and Leonie Elliott as Nurse Lucille Robinson

Lucille went off to visit her family in Jamaica in episode 2 of season 12.  (Image credit: BBC / Neal Street Productions)

Who plays Lucille Robinson in Call the Midwife?

Lucille is played by Leonie Elliott, who has appeared in TV shows like Holby City and The Bill. Leonie also starred as Cherry Patterson in the Lenny Henry comedy-drama Danny and the Human Zoo as well as starring in a number of movies. 

Taking to social media recently, the actress opened up about her character's troubled journey in season 12: "This season was incredibly difficult to film. Thank you for all your kind words.

“It's my hope for people watching that if they can see the good in her, maybe they can extend that to people in real life."

She went on to say: “I care about her deeply. Many share her story of miscarriage and depression, and many share her experience of abuse, racial or otherwise.

“Many of us face mental health challenges, I hope we can continue to love one another, support and listen to each other. Look after yourselves and each other."

Linda Basset as Nurse Phyllis Crane and Leonie Elliot as Nurse Lucille Robinson both wearing their nurse uniform and hugging

Nurse Phyllis Crane has been there to help Lucille through her breakdown.  (Image credit: BBC)

Where can I watch Call the Midwife season 12?

All episodes of Call the Midwife season 12 are now available to stream in the UK on BBC iPlayer. 

In the US, you can stream Call the Midwife on Netflix. 

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.