Friday, 10 July 2009

Corrie Decade - 1990s

Although not the top soap during the decade, Coronation Street was still popular with the public. It had the warmth and humour that other soaps envied. The street itself changed significantly during the decade. After Baldwin’s Casuals was demolished, Maurice Jones built three houses, a new factory and two shop units: a garage and Rita Fairclough’s Kabin. In the late nineties, the soap lost some of its most popular characters, who’d been prominent since the 1970s: Bet Lynch, Mavis Wilton and Alf Roberts. The soap was revamped in 1997 when many characters were axed and new, young characters were introduced. This was an attempt for Coronation Street to become popular among young people as well as with middle aged people and pensioners. This would help the soap to survive the new millennium.

Main Characters

Betty Turpin/Williams, Alf Roberts, Emily Bishop, Rita Fairclough/Sullivan, Derek Wilton, Jack Duckworth, Mavis Wilton, Vera Duckworth, Don Brennan, Ken Barlow, Audrey Roberts, Mike Baldwin, Alma Sedgewick/Baldwin, Jim McDonald, Deirdre Barlow/Rachid, Liz McDonald, Gail Tilsley/Platt, Norman Watts, Kevin Webster, Martin Platt, Sally Webster and Steve McDonald


· Twenty one years after losing hubby Cyril, Betty Turpin met and married wartime sweetheart Billy Williams in 1995. Their marriage would last two years before Billy echoed Cyril’s death – heart attack. In 1999, Betty celebrated 30 years behind the Rovers bar

· In 1994, Alf Roberts became mayor for the second time. Naturally, his lady was wife Audrey. But, soon enough, she got on his nerves, and he sacked her and appointed Betty Turpin in her place. When his mayoral term ended, he retired from the council and the corner shop. He died of a stroke in 1999, leaving Audrey penniless and widowed

· Emily Bishop suffered a breakdown in 1992. Two years later she became engaged to Bernard Norton, but he called it off when he learned of her breakdown. In 1997, nephew Geoffrey turned up on her doorstep and persuaded her to be an eco warrior

· After her ordeal with Alan Bradley, Rita Fairclough met and married Ted Sullivan in 1992. Sadly, he died of a brain tumour three months after their wedding. In 1998, she nearly died when a faulty gas fire fitted by Steve McDonald released carbon monoxide in her flat

· Derek and Mavis Wilton moved from the Kabin into Number Four in 1990. For the next seven years, they would be the butt of their neighbours’ jokes. Their storylines included Derek’s gnomes being stolen by Norris Cole. In 1997, Derek collapsed with a heart attack on the M6. Mavis, devastated, left the street soon after for the Lake District

· A shock to many was when Jack and Vera Duckworth became licences of the Rovers Return in 1995. They would provide three years of comedy behind the bar including Jack pinching Betty’s bum and Vera attempting to seduce Jack with her red nightgown. Their tenure came to an end in 1998 when they became bankrupt and they sold the pub to Alec Gilroy. They would remain to be staffed at the Rovers until their retirement in 1999

· After his marriage breakdown with Ivy, Don Brennan became addicted to gambling and when he lost lots of money to Mike Baldwin, he vowed to get revenge. He kidnapped Mike’s wife Alma and drove his taxi into the canal – they both survived. He then tried to kill Mike by strangling him. When his plans were thwarted by Jack Duckworth, he then tried to run down Mike on the cobbles. Mike dived out of the way leading Don to smash into the viaduct, killing him instantly

· Ken Barlow divorced wife Deirdre in 1990. In 1993, he dated Denise Osbourne and in 1995, son Daniel was born. Soon after, Denise had an affair and left with Daniel, leaving Ken heartbroken. In 1998, Ken was shocked when Deirdre was wrongly jailed for fraud, and was overjoyed when she was released. With the interference of her mother Blanche, they reunited just in time for the millennium

· In 1996, Audrey Roberts met her son Stephen Reid. He’d been adopted in the fifties by Malcolm and Joyce Reid and they immigrated to Canada. When Stephen visited the street, he made business deals with Mike Baldwin and Mike’s wife Alma made a pass at him

· Mike Baldwin married Jackie Ingram in 1991, just to get her money. They were only married a week. He soon dated Alma Sedgewick and they married in 1992. Their marriage had rough patches and eventually ended in divorce when a desperate for money Mike had an affair with Julia Stone in 1998

· Jim and Liz McDonald moved in with twins Steve and Andy to Number Eleven in 1989, and quickly made an impact on the street. During the nineties, they starred in many storylines that included Jim and Liz losing daughter Kate soon after her birth, Jim’s abuse towards Liz, Steve’s non starter wedding to Vicky Arden, Steve pushing his father off a scaffolding resulting in Jim being temporarily paralysed and Jim’s affair with Steve’s girlfriend Fiona Middleton

· After her divorce from Ken, Deirdre met and married Moroccan waiter Samir Rachid in 1994. Within a few months, Deirdre was a widow after Samir was stabbed on the way to donate a kidney for stepdaughter Tracy. The kidney was transplanted when Samir was pronounced dead. Three years later, Deirdre fell for Jon Lindsay who eventually framed her that led to Deirdre being imprisoned. She was cleared and released thanks to old flame Mike Baldwin. Soon enough, she was back in Ken’s arms

· During her grief following Brian’s death, Gail Tilsley found comfort in Martin Platt and she gave birth to David in 1990. The following year, they married. Their marriage included hiring nanny Carmel Finnan who fell for Martin, but he rejected her and Gail’s frequent fallouts with ex mother in law Ivy Brennan

· After flings with many women, Norman Watts married Raquel Wolstenhulme in 1995. Their marriage didn’t last as she left him for a job in Malaysia before moving to France. Norman is best known in the nineties as a part of the well loved Reg and Norman double act at Bettabuys and later Freshco supermarkets

· Kevin and Sally Webster became parents in 1990 when daughter Rosie was born in Don Brennan’s s cab. Four years later, Sophie was born. In 1997, Kevin had an affair with Natalie Horrocks. When Sally found out, she famously slapped Natalie in the street before filing for divorce. Sally fell for Greg Kelly who eventually stole from her, abused her, stalked her and kept her and the girls hostage. He eventually fled the street, leaving Sally to be comforted by Kevin


  1. I personally think the mid 1990s was a golden era for Corrie and I think the whole decade is always overlooked when it shouldn't be. It featured memerable characters such as Bet, Requal, Alma, Curley, Jack, Vera, Derek, Mavis, Alf, Jim, Liz, Des, Reg, Maude, Phyllis and Percy. Sadly all that ended in 1995 when Bet and Reg left followed by other characters in the following years. Infact by 1999 nearly all the characters mentioned above had left. Gosh I miss those days

  2. I wonder if they would ever make a 1990s box set. Unfortunitly I doubt it will happen as itv probally don't think it will sell well as it diddnt feature legendary characters such as Ena, Elsie, Annie and Hilda. It wasent the best decade but it was still good and a boxset should definitly be released!