'Emmerdale' star Amy Walsh on Tracy’s breakdown: ‘She thinks her child is scared of her’

Emmerdale Nate asks Tracy to go back to work.
Tracy is uncomfortable when Nate asks her to go back to work in Emmerdale. (Image credit: ITV)

Emmerdale star Amy Walsh has spoken about a ‘horrible’ moment for her character Tracy Metcalfe, when the new mum becomes convinced that baby daughter Frankie is scared of her. 

Viewers have seen Tracy become riddled with worry for the tot; refusing to let people touch Frankie at her recent Christening for fear she would catch germs, and making several trips to the doctors for seemingly minor issues.

Next week, Tracy’s fears rocket when, having reluctantly gone back to work, she returns home to find childminder Faith about to put a dummy in Frankie’s mouth which she has dropped on the floor. 

Convinced that she is the only person who can properly care for Frankie, she tells partner Nate that she is not returning to her job.

Nate asks Tracy to go back to work

Tracy worries about leaving baby Frankie with anyone else while she goes back to work.  (Image credit: ITV)

Later, bumping into Wendy in the village, the nurse reminds Tracy that Frankie’s vaccinations are due, and gently touches Frankie’s face.

Fearing Frankie may have caught ‘germs’ from Wendy, Tracy rushes home and wipes her baby’s face, but accidentally scratches her in the process.

Emmerdale star Amy Walsh spills the beans 

Says Amy, "Tracy’s attitude to Frankie is, 'No-one cares about you and loves you enough to really protect you' and then she has a breakdown because she feels like she has failed her. It’s the first time we properly see her crumble.

“She takes the baby for her injections, and lies about the scratch, saying Frankie did it. 

“Wendy says ‘Just make sure you’re keeping her nails trim’ and Tracy gets very defensive and says ’I’ll do it when I get home.’ But the fact is, she is absolutely petrified of taking nail clippers to a baby’s tiny fingers, and she feels Frankie is scared of her at that moment. 

“She’s like ‘You’re petrified of me. Daddy does it all the time and you laugh with him,’ and then there’s a switch that flicks in her head and she thinks ‘My child is scared of me because I hurt her.’ It’s horrible.”

Tracy's not happy when Wendy touches baby Frankie.

A seemingly innocent chat with Wendy leaves Tracy on edge.  (Image credit: ITV)

Emmerdale producer Kate Brooks has previously confirmed that Tracy is suffering from postnatal depression. The soap has worked with the charity APNI (The Association For Post Natal Illness) on the plot, which Brooks says will ultimately be a story about ‘love and hope.’

Adds Amy, "In some cases of postnatal depression, women don’t feel the connection and love for their baby that they feel they should have. But that’s not the case with Tracy. 

“For me, it had to be very clear from very early on that there was no doubt about her wanting the baby or not loving the baby.

“It’s important to see how much love she has got, and that’s where the anxiety and depression is coming from; the overwhelming love that you can have, and the fear that your baby may not be okay.”

She continues, “I think it needs to be a positive outcome, we have to highlight that people do get through this, whether it’s with medication, counselling, people do come out the other end live and live a happy life. 

"It’s really important to tell that, otherwise you’re just giving people that are already suffering no hope. So I really hope it brings them closer together and she gets her happy ever after."

This week there are schedule changes to Emmerdale because of Euro 2020. You can tune in to ITV on Wednesday at 6.45pm, Thursday at 8pm, and Sunday at 7.30pm, or stream all of this week's episodes on ITV Hub. See our TV Guide for full listings.

Alison Slade
Soaps Editor
Alison Slade has over 20 years of experience as a TV journalist and has spent the vast majority of that time as Soap Editor of TV Times magazine.  She is passionate about the ability of soaps to change the world by presenting important, issue-based stories about real people in a relatable way. There are few soap actors that she hasn’t interviewed over the years, and her expertise in the genre means she has been called upon as a judge numerous times for The British Soap Awards and the BAFTA TV Awards.

When she is not writing about soaps, watching soaps, or interviewing people who are in soaps, she loves going to the theatre, taking a long walk or pottering about at home, obsessing over Farrow and Ball paint.