A former drug abuser, Abi relied entirely on Seb's support in paying the bills and looking after her younger children Charlie and Lexi. In 2017, she suffered an overdose and the twins were placed in foster care. After a voluntary stint in rehab, Abi put the twins up for adoption to give them a better life and began to better herself by finding work as a mechanic at Webster's Autocentre. However, everything fell through when Tracy Barlow sabotaged Michelle Connor's car to frame Abi, thinking she was having an affair with Steve McDonald. When Seb learnt the truth he trashed Preston's Petals but Abi took the blame and was sent to prison where she befriended Sally Metcalfe.
Abi moved in with Sally at No.4 upon being released and later found love with Sally's ex-husband Kevin. The pair got engaged but on Abi's hen night in 2021, Seb was injured in a brutal, unprovoked gang assault and later died from his injuries. Months on from the tragedy, Abi continues to reside at No.13 with Kevin while she seeks justice for her son.
2001-2017: Motherhood and addictions
In 2001, Abi Franklin gave birth to her eldest son, Sebastian. However, his father didn't stick around long after the birth and Abi was forced to raise Seb alone. The pressures of being a single mother were too much to bear for Abi and she often found herself being consoled by alcohol, and on occasion even drugs. By 2012, Abi had become involved with an abusive man called Darren, who fathered her twins Charlie and Lexi.
Seb took on a parenting role for the twins, as Darren was just as unreliable as Abi. He would often allow himself to be physically assaulted by Darren, something which Abi was aware of but was unable to prevent. As a result of her inability to stand up to Darren's abuse, Abi's relationship with her son became increasingly strained, but she still cared deeply for him and attempted to look out for him, especially after his ex-girlfriend Lacey passed away, by deciding against telling him that he may have contracted HIV from Lacey.
In September 2017, Seb suffered a vicious attack at the hands of Darren which made him finally speak out and tell his girlfriend, Faye Windass, about the domestic abuse. The attack also opened Abi's eyes; she finally finished things with her partner and threw him out. Despite allegedly cleaning up her act, Seb still didn't trust Abi to take full responsibility with the twins and, when his girlfriend Faye suggested that the pair run away together to escape threats to their relationship by her father Tim Metcalfe and adoptive mother Anna Windass, Seb refused as he didn't want to leave Charlie and Lexi alone with their mother.
After discovering that her daughter's boyfriend had actually put a stop to the plan of running away, rather than being the instigator as she first thought, Anna began taking an interest into Seb's home life and became concerned for the well-being of Charlie and Lexi. Anna's involvement infuriated Abi, who found her to be patronising. However, she later began to take advantage of Anna's caring nature when she allowed her to look after the twins while she took naps upstairs. Despite allowing Anna to continue to help, Abi still found problem with her constant criticisms - especially after Anna lectured her against drinking while she should be looking after her children.
Eventually, after another heated row between Abi and Anna, Seb confided in Anna that his mother used to be a heroin addict and that he was scared after seeing her former dealers hanging around the house. In October, Abi relapsed and overdosed on drugs, lying unconscious in the living room Abi was discovered by the twins before getting assistance from a horrified Seb and Faye. After an ambulance was called to assist her, Abi was confirmed to be back on drugs and social services, assisted by the police, arrived to take Charlie and Lexi into care. After the incident, Seb accused Anna of being the one to call social services, when in fact it had been Faye's stepmother Sally Metcalfe.
A few weeks later, when Seb found himself accidentally falling from a ladder whist cleaning windows, Anna became a prime suspect. However, she was more focused on Abi's confession that Seb might have HIV, given that he may have passed it onto Faye. Abi refused to take responsibility for not informing Seb of the virus, and attempted to blame Faye. After Abi informed Seb about the possibility of him having HIV, Seb took the news badly and told her to leave. Before she left Abi attempted to cause more trouble by telling the police that Anna had threatened her, in order to back up the claims that she had pushed Seb off his ladder.
Later, in January 2018, Abi returned, having endured a stint in rehab, to ask Seb to give her a second chance and to move away and help her get the twins back. Seb, who was scared of Pat Phelan, agreed to leave Weatherfield with his mum. Abi explained that she was placed on a re-housing scheme whilst in rehab, and she might have been able to get them onto the register, but she was later forced to admit that she had fabricated the whole story to gain Seb's support again. Seb, who was disgusted by his mother's actions and at first kicked her out, later agreed to go with her in order to escape Phelan.
Days later Phelan met with Abi, where he pretended to look like a caring boss by handing her the last of Seb's wages, in actuality attempting to track Seb down in order to silence him. Abi lied and agreed that she would report back to him if Seb contacted her. However, Gary Windass later tracked Abi and Seb to a cafe and begged Seb to stand up against Phelan in court and defend Anna. Eventually, Seb decided to go to court and testify alongside Anna, and once again his relationship with Abi deteriorated.
In April, a now homeless Abi once again returned to Seb's life. Breaking into Eileen Grimshaw's house, 11 Coronation Street, she slept on the sofa hoping to be gone before either Seb or Eileen woke up. However, she was later discovered and Eileen took pity on her, agreeing that she could stay another night on the sofa. In May, Abi was able to secure herself a job at the garage working for Kevin Webster, however unbeknown to everyone she was still homeless and was sleeping in a car in the garage. Following Pat Phelan's death in June and then Eileen and Nicola Rubinstein's departure the same month, Abi moved into Eileen's house alongside Seb without Eileen's knowledge. Abi lied to social services pretending that she owned the house, in order to better her chances of getting her children back, and turned away the estate agents that Eileen had hired to sell the house.
Abi developed a feud with Eileen's friend Steve McDonald, who became concerned about Abi living in Eileen's house without her knowledge. However, when Abi took a picture of Steve with a bunch of her female friends and threatened to contact his fiancée, Tracy Barlow, if he reported back to Eileen, Steve agreed to keep quiet about Abi's living arrangements but advised her to sort her life around. In July, Steve believed that he had witnessed Abi being taken in for questioning after returning to drugs, but she was actually being taken in to provide a statement after she reported a customer who had drugs in his vehicle, and Steve reported back to Eileen. Discovering that he had made a huge mistake, Steve along with Tracy helped Abi and Seb sort Eileen's house out before she could return. Eileen was furious to find Abi living there and threw her out, but Steve later persuaded her to let her stay permanently.
Grateful for Tracy's help, Abi began to grow a friendship with her, much to the frustration of Tracy's best friend and matron of honour, Beth Sutherland. However, Abi secretly broke Tracy's trust in August when she kissed Steve whilst drunk after he comforted her following a meeting with the twins which hadn't gone to plan. Abi and Steve both agreed to completely forget about the kiss, and Abi became more involved with the wedding, helping Steve pick out an engagement ring and also suggesting that the pair have a very public and professional first dance, something she knew Steve would not enjoy. Later, Steve later found out that she had been the one to encourage Tracy to have a first dace and he forced Abi to help him practice the routine.
In September, a few weeks before Steve's wedding, Tracy offered Steve a free pass to a gym. However, Steve assumed that she had given him a "free pass" to sleep with another woman before being tied down permanently by marriage and wanted to use the pass on Abi. Just before he was about to make a move on Abi, Steve stopped himself realising that it may be a trap to test his loyalties, but Abi knew nothing about it. Steve began to wonder why he was so tempted by Abi and started to reconsider marrying Tracy. All this ended in him sleeping with Leanne Battersby. When Abi discovered Steve's betrayal she told him that she had no choice but to tell Tracy, but Steve threatened to reveal her drunken kiss from earlier in the year so Abi remained quiet. On the day of Steve and Tracy's wedding, Tracy came under the impression that Abi and Steve were having an affair and so damaged Michelle Connor's car in order to frame Abi. However, Tracy ultimately discovered that the reason Steve and Abi had become close was because she was helping him practice the first dance routine. Apologising, Tracy asked Abi to be her Maid of Honour.
Upon her return from her honeymoon, Tracy discovered that Abi was being blamed for damaging the car. She kept her involvement in the crash quiet and was left unable to help Abi as she lost her job as a result of punching Kevin, who believed her to be guilty. Steve later found out that Tracy had been behind the crash, but agreed to keep it to himself as he wanted to win her back. The pair attempted to help Abi through her difficult times by offering her a job as a switch operator at Street Cars but Abi eventually reverted back to her old ways and ended up hospitalised after drinking excessively.
Unable to cope with the guilt, Tracy confessed to Abi that she was the one who sabotaged Michelle's car. Abi was furious and discharged herself from hospital, however she only told Seb about Tracy's confession as her time in prison had conditioned her not to report someone else to the police. When Abi contacted social worker Claire Manton, and told her she was planning on putting Charlie and Lexi up for adoption, Seb freaked out and destroyed Preston's Petals. Ken Barlow came across the shop and called the police, believing someone was burgling the place, leading Abi to take the blame.
Despite Tracy being adamant that she wouldn't press charges against Abi, it was too late and she was sentenced to sixteen weeks in prison. On the outside, Seb located Tracy and told her that he knew she was the true culprit for sabotaging the car and that, unlike his mother, he wasn't against reporting someone to the police. Tracy informed him that she knew he was behind the break in at the shop and threatened that she would report him too if he didn't stay quiet. Seb later made plans to adopt the twins himself but Claire informed him that he would have to cut contact with Abi and that, after she was released from prison, she would no longer be able to live at No.11.
In prison Abi was reunited with her old friend Marcia after the pair were made cellmates, however Abi quickly requested to move as Marcia began attempting to draw her back towards drugs. Coincidentally, Abi's replacement cellmate was Sally Metcalfe and despite their previous strife, they both forged a strong friendship. In order to delay Sally's court hearing, so that her daughter Sophie Webster could uncover some essential evidence regarding her case, Abi helped put Sally into hospital by punching her in the face, however the court soon caught on to the subterfuge, much to the horror of Sally's lawyer Paula Martin. Despite the fact that the plan failed, Sally was able to repay Abi for her help by assisting her in keeping away from the drugs and standing up to Marcia, but when Sally was sentenced to four years she was left fearing what Marcia would do to her when Abi was released and not around to protect her.
In January 2019, Abi was released from prison, but Seb was not best pleased to see that she had returned to the street and coldly informed her that she wasn't welcome at Eileen's. Abi was able to find a place to live, sleeping on a friend's couch, but when Sally was released from prison she announced that she wanted Abi to move into 4 Coronation Street with her, Tim and Faye. Now that she was in stable accommodation, Abi was able to begin job hunting once again, but found that employers were unwilling to take her on after learning about her chequered past. Eventually, Abi got chatting to Peter Barlow, who was repairing his new boat, and found herself being taken on as a mechanic to help him get the vehicle sea-worthy. While working on the boat together, Abi and Peter began to grow closer and she was able to open up to him about her past and about her feelings on Seb's ongoing custody battle for the twins.
Following a gruelling day in court, during which Abi had exposed Seb as being unfit to raise Charlie and Lexi, Abi found herself relying on Peter more than ever and the pair became intimate with each other after sharing a kiss. Afterwards, they both began having regular sex with each other and Abi found that her time being loved up with Peter took her mind away from her troubles, however, both agreed that their time together was just fun and nothing serious.
In February 2019, the day after the court hearing, Abi and Seb were given one final chance to say goodbye to Charlie and Lexi. An emotional Abi went straight back to seek solace from Peter, leaving Seb to chastise her selfish actions. Realising that she had nothing left in Weatherfield, Abi proposed the idea that she could join Peter when he set off sailing. Unfortunately, Peter wasn't keen on the idea, as he had only been with Abi to make his ex Carla Connor jealous, but when Carla made it clear that she didn't love him any more, Peter invited Abi to come with him on a work trip to Kefalonia setting sail in only two weeks time. Carla attempted to warn Abi about Peter's nature, pointing out that he had a history of stringing women along, but Abi ignored her, believing her to be jealous that Peter was taking her instead. However, when Peter's son Simon Barlow discovered that Abi was going on the boat, he was furious, as Peter had originally planned to take him on a sailing adventure in the summer following the completion of his exams. Peter attempted to make things up to Simon, but was told bluntly that the only way he could put things right was to break things off with Abi.
Peter planned to tell Abi that she was uninvited but was beaten to it by Seb, who had overheard his and Simon's conversation in the cafe. Abi was left humiliated and took her anger out on Peter, before drowning her sorrows in a bottle of alcohol. That same night, Peter's boat was set on fire by a burning cinder from a lit candle, leaving Simon trapped inside. Fortunately, Simon was able to be rescued but the boat was completely destroyed.
Following Peter's accusations of starting the fire, Abi was paid a visit by the police, who questioned her about her actions on the night in question. Abi confided in Sally that she had been blind drunk on the night in question and feared that she could have been the culprit. However, Cathy Matthews later came to Abi's defence, claiming that she couldn't possibly have been the arsonist as she had spotted her in town at the time the fire had broken out. The police conducted further inquires and visited Underworld to observe the CCTV footage, although Carla, who had reviewed the tapes and had learnt that Roy Cropper had accidentally started the fire by knocking over a candle while sleepwalking, had deleted the files. The police eventually closed the investigation, ruling the fire an accident. Despite this, Roy eventually discovered the truth after finding his clothes, which Carla had attempted to dispose of, and confessed everything to Peter. Peter decided to take no further action but asked that Carla publicly apologise to Abi.
Over the next few weeks Tim and Sally continued to support Abi, and Tim once again offered her a job at Street Cars, this time as a valet. However, Eileen had also offered Seb the job and he reacted angrily to discover that his mother had already taken the position. In order to make amends Abi suggested that she could resign, but Seb refused and was able to return to working as a builder for Gary. Later, Abi was shocked to find that Seb had blown his second chance with Gary after he attempted to have sex with Gary's partner Sarah Platt. Discovering that Seb's relationship with Faye had also ended as a result of his actions, Abi attempted to reach out to her son but was once again rejected.
Due to being a regular drug user, Abi was unable to properly care for her three children. Seb was old enough to care for himself but found that he was also forced to take on an active parenting role towards his younger siblings. Seb would do the housework, take the twins to school and prepare their meals, while also attempting to hold down a steady job.
Meanwhile, Abi would introduce a string of suitors (or "low-lives" as Seb called them) into their lives, but none of them stuck around for very long except for the twin's father Darren. Darren treated Abi poorly, and would often physically abuse Seb, who would take the beatings so that the twins wouldn't have to. Abi was a protective mother, and had hidden the fact that Seb may have contracted HIV from a deceased girlfriend called Lacey, but she found herself unable to stand up against Darren, though following one viscous attack she threw him out and promised Seb that she would clean up her act.
Seb didn't believe that Abi was serious about changing, and therefore began accepting help from Anna Windass, this led to Abi relying more heavily on drugs and almost dying following an overdose. As a result of this, the twins were taken away from Abi and into care. Over the year that followed, Seb attempted to distance himself from his mother and planned to fight a custody battle for the twins himself. However, he realised that Abi was his best bet at getting them back and allowed Abi to move into No.11 when she became homeless.
However, after a few more setbacks for Abi, including being wrongly accused of damaging Michelle Connor's car and being imprisoned after taking the blame for Seb's vandalism of the florist Preston's Petals, she decided that she was unwilling to continue her fight for the twins and believed that they would be better off with foster parents. Seb disowned his mother and continued to fight alone, but Abi eventually exposed him in court as being unfit to raise two children. Following her decision, Abi attempted to call a truce with Seb, but he refused to accept.
Hobbies and interests
Actress Sally Carman joined the cast of Coronation Street in August 2017, and Abi's scenes were first aired in October 2017. This was a guest stint, with the character being written out the same month. However, she was later brought back in for another few episodes in January 2018 and then permanently from April 2018.
In Episode 10320 broadcast on 7th May 2021, Abi's son Seb died after an unprovoked hate crime assault on him and his girlfriend Nina Lucas, and close-ups of Abi's hand touching Seb's face were shown. The hand was actually that of Harry Visinoni's girlfriend Ellie Isaacs, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic meant the episode had to be made with social distancing rules in place.
A few months later, Sally Carman was nominated for the National Television Award for Best Serial Drama Performance. The award went to Street co-star Mollie Gallagher, who plays Seb's girlfriend Nina Lucas.
First and last lines
List of addresses
|Unknown estate, Weatherfield||Unknown to October 2017|
|Rehab||October 2017 to January 2018|
|11 Coronation Street*||20th April 2018 to 23rd April 2018|
|11 Coronation Street||13th June 2018 to 16th November 2018|
|Norcross Prison||16th November 2018 to 7th January 2019|
|Unknown friend's address||7th January 2019 to 18th January 2019|
|4 Coronation Street||18th January 2019 to 22nd May 2020|
|13 Coronation Street||22nd May 2020 to present|
* Indicates a temporary residence
|Mechanic||Webster's Autocentre||21st May 2018 to 26th October 2018|
|Switch operator||Street Cars||9th November 2018 to 12th November 2018|
|Mechanic||N/A||28th January 2019 to February 2019|
|Valet||Street Cars||1st March 2019 to 29th July 2019|
|Mechanic||Nixon's Autos||31st July 2019|
|Mechanic||Webster's Autocentre||2nd August 2019 to present|