Saturday, 19 December 2009

Top 30 Coronation Street Couples

29. Harry and Concepta Hewitt

After wife Lizzie was killed in a road accident in 1959, Harry found himself a widower and a single father to Lucille. He put Lucille in an orphanage but by the end of 1960, she returned to the street. Coincidentally, Irish barmaid Concepta Riley returned to Weatherfield after spending some time in Ireland and began a relationship with Harry. He proposed to her in Blackpool and the couple married in 1961. Harry didn’t settle down easily into his second marriage with arguments and his choice of drinking with old pal Len Fairclough rather than spending time with his new wife. Soon enough, Concepta fell pregnant and Christopher was born in 1962. Christopher was kidnapped on the Hewitts’ first anniversary by Joan Akers but was saved by Elsie Tanner. By 1964, Concepta was worried for Christopher’s health and wished to move to Ireland. Although reluctant and first, Harry agreed and they emigrated. Lucille refused and moved in with the Walkers at the Rovers. Harry and Concepta returned for Elsie’s wedding to Steve Tanner in 1967 but Harry was crushed when a car jack gave way, leaving Concepta widowed.

Should Harry and Concepta be at 29? Leave comments!

Monday, 14 December 2009

Top 30 Coronation Street Couples

30. Alf and Renee Roberts

After being married to Phyllis Plant for 26 years, wooing Maggie Clegg and dating Donna Parker, Alf Roberts met Renee Bradshaw in 1976. She was the new owner of the corner shop and a friendship developed between the lonely individuals. A drunken Alf proposed marriage in 1977 but he quickly hesitated when he sobered up. But after some soul searching, he proposed again and Renee accepted. They married in 1978, but the wedding didn’t go smoothly. Renee’s stepfather Joe Hibbert accused Alf of marrying her for her shop to which Alf punched him. In 1979, Alf was injured in the Rovers lorry crash and suffered mood swings and was rude to shop customers. Alf soon retired from the GPO and helped Renee to run the shop full-time. In 1980, Alf and Renee were offered to run a shop and sub-post office in Grange-over-Sands. At the same time, Renee wished to learn to drive. On driving home after visiting Grange-over-Sands with Alf, Renee stalled while going through traffic lights and a lorry crashed into them. Alf survived. Renee sadly didn’t, thus ending a two year marriage.

Should Alf and Renee be at the bottom? Should they be in the poll? Leave comments!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

1. Ena Sharples

And at number one is the inspiration for the likes of Blanche Hunt, Ivy Tilsley and Maud Grimes – Mrs Ena Sharples! On our screens for 20 years, Ena was the original battleaxe and ruled the roost on Coronation Street. Known for her hairnet and her Christian morals, Ena had her fair share of disagreements – with Elsie Tanner, Annie Walker and Leonard Swindley. During her tenure, she worked as a caretaker, first at the Mission Hall and then at the Community Centre. If she wasn’t working, she would be found gossiping with pals Minnie Caldwell and Martha Longhurst in the Rovers snug. She was also a dab hand on the piano, and led a sing-along in the Rovers. She also played the organ in many weddings in the early years. Although they constantly clashed, Ena did comfort Elsie Tanner when she was down in the dumps and even saved her from committing suicide. By the 1970s, she had mellowed and her appearances were more recurring with Violet Carson (who played Ena) having health problems. She became more of a caring grandmother figure by the end of her tenure, babysitting for the Langtons and such.

Should she be at No. 1? Leave comments!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

2. Blanche Hunt

At number two is a Coronation Street legend. Played by the late Maggie Jones to a tee, Blanche was the street’s battleaxe for a decade, following the footsteps of the likes of Maud Grimes, Ivy Tilsley and the original battleaxe Ena Sharples. Mother to Deirdre, Blanche first appeared in 1974 to plan her daughter’s wedding to Billy Walker and found a nemesis in his mother Annie. There was no wedding and Blanche stuck around to run the corner shop until she was whisked away by Dave Smith. She returned for the birth of granddaughter Tracy in 1977 and to comfort Deirdre after the breakup of her marriage to Ray Langton in 1978. It would be at Deirdre’s marriage to Ken Barlow that Blanche would appear next. She disappeared again and reappeared 17 years later and became a permanent fixture at 1 Coronation Street until 2009. The acid tongued pensioner enjoyed gossiping and found an ally in Norris Cole, but it was ridiculing son in law Ken and daughter Deirdre that made her popular. As well as Dave Smith, she has dated Steve Bassett, Archie Shuttleworth and Wally Bannister.

Should Blanche be at 2? Or does she deserve the top spot? Leave comments!

Friday, 4 December 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

3. Bet Lynch

She is not only the most famous barmaid of the Rovers Return, but in British soap history. Hired by Billy Walker in 1970, Bet served behind the bar for 25 years, 10 of those as landlady. Following the footsteps of Elsie Tanner, she became the Street’s siren and her conquests include Len Fairclough, Mike Baldwin and Jack Duckworth. Bet is also remembered for her comic scenes with snobbish landlady Annie Walker, Betty Turpin and Fred Gee in the 70s and 80s. After 17 years of trying to find a husband, she married Alec Gilroy. They became popular due to their sarcastic banter. Their marriage lasted five years, and ended when Bet refused to move to Southampton with Alec. Bet continued behind the bar until 1995, until she went into debt. When old friend Rita refused to lend her money, she sold the Rovers and left the cobbles. Since her departure, she has made three comebacks. In 1999, she returned to congratulate Betty on 30 years behind the Rovers bar, in 2002 when she reconciled with Rita, and finally in 2003 when she had a whirlwind romance with Cecil Newton. Cecil died of a heart attack before the ceremony.

Should Bet be at 3? Leave comments!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

4. Hilda Ogden

At the same ranking as Corrieblog’s countdown, Hilda is a soap legend. On our screens for 23 years, she was leading the soap through its golden age during the 1970s and 1980s. Married to Stan for 41 years, Hilda was known for her curlers and her warbling singing voice while cleaning and symbolized the working-class woman of Northern England. Hilda and hubby Stan were inseparable even though life was hard and they constantly bickered. She was a cleaner and throughout her tenure she was employed as the Rovers cleaner. She constantly clashed with the formidable Annie Walker, who looked down on her and Stan. Hilda wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. As well as Annie, she had catfights with next door neighbour Elsie Tanner and even accused Elsie of having an affair with Stan! By 1984, Stan’s health deteriorated and he sadly died, leaving Hilda heartbroken. After his death, her soft touch came out when she provided a home for young Kevin Webster and later his wife Sally. Hilda left the street in 1987 and her neighbours gave her a farewell party on Christmas Day.

Should Hilda be at 4? Or should she be higher? Leave comments!

Monday, 23 November 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

5. Tony Gordon

Following the footsteps of Alan Bradley and Richard Hillman, villain Tony Gordon was introduced in 2007 as the owner of a clothing firm who gave a contract to Underworld owners Carla and Liam Connor. Over the course of two years he courted and eventually married Carla, found out about Carla’s affair with her brother in law Liam and planned revenge by ordering a hitman to run Liam down on Tony’s stag night. Not only a murderer, he was a ruthless businessman. In 2008, he planned to expand Underworld and to do that he wanted to buy The Kabin and the garage. When that failed, he planned to demolish a terraced street where Jed Stone lived. Evicted Jed found himself lodging with Emily Bishop which infuriated Tony. And on Christmas Day 2008, Jed accused Tony of murdering Liam. Tony strangled Jed, who survived. Carla found out about Liam’s death and left Tony, who began a relationship with Liam’s widow Maria. He then proposed to Maria who accepted. In October 2009, Roy Cropper discovered Tony was a murderer and Tony tried to kill him as well. Guilty, he eventually confessed to the murder.

Should Tony be at 5? Leave comments!

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

6. Eileen Grimshaw

Is it a coincidence that Eileen has the same maiden name as Elsie Tanner, who also lived at No. 11? I believe the writers should look into that. Brought into the serial in 2000 with sons Jason and Todd, Eileen is currently one of the soap’s favourite characters, and is depicted as a strong no-messing woman. Like Elsie with Ena, Eileen found a nemesis in Gail Platt. Constantly clashing over their children’s relationships (Todd and Sarah and then Jason and Sarah), the two are very similar. They look out for their children. A memorable scene is Eileen and Gail brawling in the street – Corrie at its best! Never married, Eileen has had many boyfriends that include Dennis Stringer (who left her for Janice Battersby) and Ed Jackson (who turned out to be Ernest Bishop’s killer). She’s currently dating Jesse Chadwick. Working at the cab firm as the receptionist, Eileen has starred in many storylines that include discovering Todd was gay, Jason’s failed marriage to Sarah and finding out that dad Colin slept with best friend Paula in 1977 and that friend Julie was actually her sister.

Should Eileen be at 6? Or lower down at 14? Leave comments!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

7. Vera Duckworth

For 34 years, Vera was an iconic figure on the cobbles of Coronation Street. Her perm, her foghorn of a voice and huge earrings became legendary. Originally working at the warehouse, she was later hired as a machinist at Mike Baldwin’s factory denim factory. In 1979, her husband Jack made and appearance and in 1981 he became a regular. They moved to Coronation Street in 1983, with son Terry. After Vera was made redundant from the factory and in 1995, she became the Rovers landlady. Jack and Vera were behind the bar for 3 years, before going bankrupt and then returning to 9 Coronation Street. Her last job was a cook at the local café, Roy’s Rolls, and when she fell down the stairs, she decided to retire. Jack and Vera, like Stan and Hilda before them, were involved in many hilarious antics and their marriage is classed as one of the best partnerships on the soap. Jack and Vera celebrated their golden anniversary in 2007. A few months later, Jack and Vera decided to move to Blackpool. Sadly, Vera died in her armchair before they moved, ending an era on Coronation Street.

Should Vera be at 7? Or should she be lower down at 24? Leave comments!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

8. Elsie Tanner

Known as the first siren or femme fatale of Coronation Street, Elsie graced our screens for 21 years. An original character, Elsie worked her way through three marriages and nineteen boyfriends. Mother to Linda and Dennis, Elsie was also a mother figure to other young girls like Gail Potter, Suzie Birchall and Deirdre Hunt. As well as her romantic liaisons, Elsie is also remembered for her fiery catfights with the likes of Ena Sharples, Hilda Ogden and Annie Walker. Although they’re remembered for clashing, Elsie usually found comfort with her old sparring partner Mrs Sharples and an example of this was when Ena convinced Elsie not to commit suicide. Elsie’s best friend on the street was Len Fairclough, who she dated in the sixties and who saw Elsie as the perfect wife. Elsie saw Len as her confidante and not her hubby and he was there for her during her turbulent marriages to Steve Tanner and Alan Howard. Elsie was genuinely happy when Len married Rita Littlewood (who saw Elsie as a threat) and was devastated when he died in 1983. Elsie left the street in 1984 to run a bar with Bill Gregory in Portugal.

Should Elsie be at 8? Or should she be at 3? Leave comments!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

9. Steve McDonald

Over the course of 20 years, Steve McDonald has gone from a mischievous teen that caused trouble for Alf Roberts to a father and a publican. He arrived on the street with parents Jim and Liz and brother Andy. For a man who’s not reached forty, Steve has been married four times! First wife Vicky Arden was wealthy and he only married her for money. When he got into trouble and blamed her, she quickly filed for divorce. After dating Fiona Middleton, he married Karen Phillips for a bet in 2001. But they fell in love and became popular amongst viewers. The marriage ended when Karen had an affair with Joe Carter and Steve with Tracy Barlow – who became pregnant and thus baby Amy was born. After a few
months, Steve and Karen were reunited and they married again in 2004 but he ended it that year. Karen left the street and filed for divorce in 2006. After Karen, he dated Tracy, Ronnie Clayton and Michelle Connor before having an affair with Becky Granger who he married in 2009. As well as the Rovers, Steve jointly owns cab firm ‘Street Cars’ with Lloyd Mullaney.

Should Steve be at 9? Or lower down at 19? Leave comments!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

10. Rita Sullivan (known as Rita Fairclough)

The Queen of the Kabin and Duchess of the Street, Rita has been a prominent and popular character since she made her debut in 1972, although she had made an appearance eight years prior. A personal favourite of mine, Rita has been through the mill and is a true survivor. She married Len Fairclough in 1977 and they were married until 1983. In 1992, she married Ted Sullivan, but he died of a brain tumour three months later. As well as Len and Ted, she’s had other liaisons that include Ken Barlow, Jimmy Graham, Tony Cunliffe, Benny Lewis, Alec Gilroy, Anthony Stephens and Colin Grimshaw. But her most famous conquest was Alan Bradley, who proposed to her twice and when she rejected him, he took revenge by robbing her. When she found out, he tried to kill her and when she escaped to Blackpool, he chased her on the prom and was fatally hit by a tram – ending her nightmare! Since 1973, Rita has been manageress of the Kabin and with assistants Mavis Riley and Norris Cole; she’s starred in the soap’s comedy moments.

Should Rita be at 10? Or should she be at 1 like in Corrieblog's poll? Leave comments!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

11. Annie Walker

The landlady of the Rovers between 1937 and 1983, Annie Walker has been dubbed the Queen of Coronation Street. Known for her snobbishness and delusions of grandeur, Mrs Walker was on our screens for 23 years, and was one of four originals still in the show in the early eighties, the others being Ken, Albert and Elsie. Married to Jack for 33 years, they formed one of the earliest double acts in the soap’s history. Annie was heartbroken when Jack died of a heart attack in 1970, but continued to run the pub in his honour. With the absence of a man in the pub, Annie’s son Billy returned and helped his mother until he fled to Jersey in 1975. With Billy gone, Annie was glad to have Fred Gee as a cellar man. And who can forget her faithful subjects – barmaids Betty Turpin (who Annie called Elizabeth) and Bet Lynch or as they called themselves ‘B&B from the R&R’. By the 1980s, she depended on her staff and played the role of pub hostess, reminiscing with old regulars Len Fairclough, Elsie Tanner and Albert Tatlock. Annie’s last appearance was in 1983 and she passed on the reins of running the pub to Billy.

Should Annie be at 11? Or lower down at 13? Leave comments!

Monday, 12 October 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

12. Richard Hillman

Richard’s first appearance was in the funeral of his alleged cousin Alma Halliwell. He soon became friends with Alma’s friend Gail Platt and they dated. Richard married Gail in 2002 and thus began the most gripping storyline in British soap history. A charming financial advisor, he persuaded Emily Bishop and the Duckworths to invest in him. He went into partnership with Duggie Ferguson, but when Duggie fell down the stairs, Richard left him to die. Ex wife Patricia seemed a threat to Richard’s life with Gail and he dealt with her by fatally killing her with a spade. He then became interested in Audrey’s finances and convinced her that she was going senile in a bit to access her money and even tried to kill her by setting her house on fire. Failing to kill Audrey, his next victim was Emily. He tried to smother her and when he tried to bludgeon her, he was caught by Maxine Peacock, who he murdered. Soon enough, Gail became suspicious and confronted him. Richard confessed everything and escaped. But he returned, only to kidnap the family and drive them to the canal. Only Richard perished.

Should Richard be at 12? Is he the best soap villain? Leave comments!

Friday, 2 October 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

13. Jack Duckworth

Although he made his first appearance in 1979, Jack didn’t become a regular until 1981. In 1983, he bought No. 9 on Coronation Street and since then he has become a prominent part of the cobbles for the past 25 years. Married to Vera for 50 years, Jack also had his share of affairs, mainly bored housewives. His biggest conquest was Bet Lynch, but that came to an end after she found out about Vera. A layabout, Jack has had many jobs that include a window cleaner, lollypop man, cellar man and cab driver. He miraculously became landlord of the Rovers in 1995. After going bankrupt, he sold the pub to Alec Gilroy in 1998 and ran Eunice Gee’s B&B. Soon enough, they were back at No. 9. Since his retirement, Jack has been interested in pigeons, much to Vera’s annoyance. In 2008, Jack and Vera decided to leave the street and move to Blackpool. Sadly, Vera died before they made it. Since her death, Jack has led a quiet life, revolving around his newly-married lodgers Tyrone and Molly Dobbs. He moved to Middleton with friend Connie Rathbone in 2009, but will pop back now and again.

Should Jack be at 13? Or lower down at 23? Leave comments!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

14. Roy Cropper

Roy was brought into the soap in 1995 as the eccentric neighbour of Deirdre Rachid at Crimea Street. A secondary character for two years, then producer Brian Parks decided he had potential and made him a partner at the café with Gail Platt. Roy was and still is a popular and well loved character, known for his historical linked conversations and for being a bit serious. A year after he became a regular, a love interest for Roy was introduced, in the form of Hayley Patterson. But Hayley was no ordinary woman – she was a transsexual. Although controversial, Roy and Hayley married in 1999, although not by deed poll, in the café after being rejected by the church. Over their decade of a marriage, the Croppers have been established as a popular couple, in the same league as Jack and Vera, Stan and Hilda and Ken and Deirdre. Roy has starred in many storylines that include thinking he was the father of Tracy Barlow’s daughter Amy, taking Fiz Brown and Becky Granger in, being suspected of dealing drugs with Ken Barlow and finding out that Hayley had a son from when she was called Harold.

Should Roy be at 14? Or lower at 31? Leave comments!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

15. Fred Elliott

I did think of repeating every sentence in this paragraph, as that what Frederick Handel Elliott would’ve done. But, I won’t. Known for his booming voice and for his role as the local butcher, Fred was introduced as a friend of Alf Roberts in 1994 and who had a soft spot for Alf’s wife Audrey. As well as running a butcher’s, he was the Rovers landlord for six years, until he retired and sold it to Steve McDonald. Fred is also known for his tendency to propose to every woman he dated and those included Rita Sullivan, Doreen Heavey, Audrey Roberts and Penny King. He also became engaged to con woman Stacey Hilton (impersonating a Thai bride). But he did manage to get two women down the aisle during his twelve year tenure: Maureen Holdsworth in 1997, but she left him for Bill Webster a week later, and Eve Sykes, who turned out to be a bigamist. He was on his way to marry his fourth wife (first wife Sybil had died before he was introduced) Bev Unwin when he collapsed of a heart attack in old flame Audrey’s house in 2006. In 1999, Fred was revealed as the father of ‘nephew’ Ashley Peacock.

Should Fred be at 15? Or at 50 like in Corrieblog's poll? Leave comments!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

16. Becky McDonald (known as Becky Granger)

In the course of three years, Becky has developed from a drug dealer who stole Roy and Hayley Cropper’s Morris Minor with friend Neil Ackroyd to a funny and loveable part of the cobbles, now that she’s married to Rovers landlord Steve McDonald. She was brought in as an ol
d friend of Kelly Crabtree in 2006, who she soon framed for theft. She fled the street but returned and found refuge at Roy’s Rolls, but she took advantage by stealing from the till and threatening customers. As always, Roy and Hayley forgave her and thus began a wonderful trio. When Hayley left the street for a year to build a school in Africa, Becky moved in with Roy and a double act was born, as well with café worker Ken Barlow. Although she’s best known as a comic, Becky has starred in key storylines, making her one of the strongest females in the soap’s history. Storylines including a romance with Jason Grimshaw, a love triangle between herself, future husband Steve and Steve’s girlfriend at the time and Becky’s best friend, Michelle Connor and being framed for keeping drugs by a bent copper.

Should Becky be at 16? Is she a Coronation Street icon as people say? Leave comments!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

17. Betty Williams (known as Betty Turpin)

Betty holds two records: the longest serving barmaid in soap history and the oldest barmaid in soap history. Nearly ninety, she’s still pulling pints behind the Rovers bar, forty years after she first did it. First husband Cyril Turpin was a policeman and Betty was heartbroken when he died of a heart attack in 1974. The same year she was revealed as the mother of her ‘nephew’ Gordon, a storyline that angered Bill Kenwright (Gordon Clegg) and Irene Sutcliffe (Maggie Cooke). It would be 21 years before Betty, now 75, would walk down the aisle again. Second husband Billy Williams was an old flame from the war and they met on the fiftieth anniversary of VE Day. He died in 1997 of the same fate as Cyril. Betty is famous for her Lancashire hotpot, a dish she has served since the seventies. Betty has always been popular with the punters and has been a shoulder to cry on to many. She formed a close friendship with co barmaid Bet Lynch in 1970 that lasts to this day and although she didn’t like being bossed around by her, she respected her boss of 14 years – the formidable Mrs Annie Walker!

Should Betty be at 17? Or down a bit at 18? Leave comments!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

18. Mike Baldwin

Mike Baldwin was brought into the serial as the owner of the new built factory in 1976. His affair with Deirdre Barlow in 1983 made headlines and began his long feud with her husband Ken. In 1986, he angered Ken more when he married his daughter Susan. Their marriage lasted two years, ending when Mike rejected Susan’s intentions of having a child. Three years later he married Jackie Ingram, who he married for her money. A week after the wedding, Jackie confronted him with a gun and they later divorced. A year later, he married Alma Sedgewick. They’d previously dated before Mike married Jackie and their marriage lasted nine years and ended when Alma found out about Mike’s affair with Julia Stone. In 2000, Mike married Linda Sykes but that also ended within the year after Mike found about Linda’s affair with his son Mark. In 2006, Mike began behaving strangely and was later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s’. While walking confused on the street, he was found by old rival Ken and suffered a heart attack and died in Ken’s arms.

Should Mike be at 18? Or lower down at 29? Leave comments!