Sunday, 12 July 2009

Corrie Decade - 2000s

In 2000, Coronation Street reached a milestone – forty years on screen. This was proof that the soap was still a part then as it was back in the sixties. Although the period between 2000 and 2001 proved to be weak for the soap, the years 2002 and 2003 proved popular, due to the storyline of serial killer Richard Hillman, a story that gripped the nation. The serial hadn’t produced such a dramatic storyline since Alan Bradley’s reign of terror in the late eighties. 2006 proved to be a popular year as well, due to the exits of legendary characters Mike Baldwin and Fred Elliott and veterans Emily Bishop and Rita Sullivan starring in big storylines. The decade saw Ken and Deirdre remarrying and the passing of Vera Duckworth.

Main Characters

Emily Bishop, Rita Sullivan, Blanche Hunt, Jack Duckworth, Vera Duckworth, Ken Barlow, Audrey Roberts, Norris Cole, Les Battersby-Brown, Roy Cropper, Deirdre Rachid/Barlow, Gail Platt/Hillman/Platt, Kevin Webster, Hayley Cropper, Sally Webster, Steve McDonald, Ashley Peacock, Tyrone Dobbs, Maria Sutherland/Connor, Sarah Platt/Grimshaw, Rosie Webster and David Platt


· In 2002, Emily Bishop would fall victim to Richard Hillman. Wanting her dead so he could inherit her house, he failed to suffocate her in Christmas 2002. The following month, he hit her on the head with a crowbar, only to be disturbed by Maxine Peacock, who he also attacked. Emily survived the attack, Maxine sadly didn’t. In 2006, Emily came face to face with hubby Ernest’s killer, Ed Jackson. He asked for her forgiveness, and after much thought, she forgave him and gave him one of Ernest’s cameras

· When Rita Sullivan caught young Chesney Brown stealing sweets from the Kabin, she caught him and gave him a clip round the ear. His mother Cilla accused Rita of assault and Rita had to appear in court. The jury said she was innocent, but she did spend a night in the cell – for contempt of court. In 2006, she suffered a breakdown, when she was tormented by Stacey Hilton’s sugar daddy Stuart for defending the conniving Stacey. She later recovered

· Blanche Hunt has been a comedy asset to Coronation Street since her permanent return in 1999 and her onscreen chemistry with daughter Deirdre and son in law Ken is always a high standard. Her storylines include romances with Archie Shuttleworth and Wally Bannister, protesting against a memorial fountain for Alf Roberts and being kicked out briefly by Deirdre

· During the decade, both Jack and Vera Duckworth’s health deteriorated but still proved to deliver comic lines. Vera temporarily left Jack in 2004, but reunited with him, in time to celebrate their anniversary. They would provide a home for Tyrone Dobbs and his girlfriend Molly Compton and grandson Paul Clayton. Sadly, in 2008, Vera died. They were intending on leaving the street for Blackpool. Since then, Jack has began a friendship with Connie Rathbone

· Ken Barlow remarried Deirdre Rachid in 2005, with all their friends and family watching them. Since their nuptials, Ken has to cope with stepdaughter Tracy being jailed for murder, resulting in him and Deirdre splitting for a while. In 2009, he began an affair with Martha Fraser and considered leaving Deirdre for Martha, but soon realised that Deirdre and the street still had a place in his heart

· Audrey Roberts thought she had dementia in 2002, but she soon found out that it was son in law Richard Hillman that tried to make her mad. He tried to kill her by setting her house on fire. Her accusations against him led to her being isolated from her family. In 2003, daughter Gail had to apologise to her mother when Richard confessed. In 2006, Audrey became involved in a love triangle between her, Fred Elliott and his fiancée Bev Unwin. Sadly, Fred died, leaving Audrey devestated

· Like Blanche, Norris Cole has become a vital role for comedy on the cobbles. A successful pairing with Rita in the Kabin and with Emily has made him popular. Known as a busybody, his nosiness nearly cost him his life when he interfered with Richard Hillman’s deadly dealings. In 2007, he proposed to Rita, only to be rejected. He moved to her friend Doreen Fenwick, but she also rejected. His friendship with Mary Taylor ended in 2009 when he found out that he preferred the company of Rita and Emily than Mary

· Les Battersby-Brown split up from wife Janice in 2001 and in 2003 began a relationship with loud Cilla Brown who he married in 2004. He adopted Cilla’s son Chesney as well. Les left the street in 2007 when he became a roadie for a band

· Roy Cropper’s life was turned upside down in 2003, when he was announced as the father of Tracy Barlow’s baby. This was in fact untrue, but nearly ended Roy’s marriage to Hayley. In 2007, Hayley confessed that she had a son from when she was a man, again threatening the marriage of the Croppers. Later in the year, Hayley decided to help build a school in Africa, leaving Roy alone. He soon found himself part of the comedy trio behind the café counter with Becky Granger and Ken Barlow

· In 2001, Deirdre Rachid had an affair with boss Dev Alahan. When she was found out by daughter Tracy, her relationship with Ken nearly ended, but four years later, they were married again. Their marriage has been threatened twice since their remarriage: 2007 and 2009

· Gail Platt divorced husband Martin in 2001 and soon began a relationship with Richard Hillman whom she married in 2002. Unknown to Gail, he was a serial killer, and when she found out, he drove the whole family into the family. Gail and her children survived, Richard didn’t. Since then, Gail has been involved with two other men: Phil Nail and Joe McIntyre, but children Nick, Sarah and David have, in their time, given their mother grief

· Kevin Webster met and married Alison Wakefield in 2000 and son Jake was born soon after, but he died a few days later. Devastated, Alison committed suicide, leading the way for Kevin to reunite with ex Sally who he married in 2002. Since then, both have had affairs, eldest daughter Rosie has caused some problems and Kevin’s rivalry with Tony Gordon

· In 2001, Steve McDonald married Karen Phillips for a bet, but soon fell for her. They decided to divorce in 2004, so that they could marry properly. They were divorced again within a year, due to the interference of Steve’s ex Tracy. Since Karen, Steve has been in relationships with Michelle Connor and is currently engaged to Becky Granger. He’s the current landlord of the Rovers and also runs the local cab firm with Lloyd Mullaney

· The period between 2002 and 2003 proved to be hard for Ashley Peacock. He found out that son Joshua wasn’t actually his (he’s Matt Ramsden’s son) and in 2003, Maxine Peacock was brutally murdered by Richard Hillman. Soon after, he met nanny Claire Casey whom he married on Christmas 2004. She gave birth to son Freddie in 2006, but suffered post natal depression. Since then, Ashley has lost his father Fred and has had financial difficulties with running the butchers

· In the beginning of the decade, Tyrone Dobbs became engaged to Maria Sutherland, but their relationship ended due to Fiz Brown’s interference. Tyrone is currently married to Molly Compton and has been a lodger at Number 9 with Jack and the late Vera Duckworth since 1999

· As well as Tyrone Dobbs, Maria Connor has been involved with other men that include Charlie Stubbs, Nick Tilsley, Peter Barlow and Jason Grimshaw. In 2008, she married Liam Connor but eight months later he was killed by Tony Gordon. As well as losing her hubby, Maria has given birth to a stillborn baby, slept with her best friend’s boyfriend and has fell for her husband’s killer

· In 2000, Sarah Platt gave birth to Bethany – at the age of thirteen. After her ordeal with stepdad Richard, she found out fiancée Todd was gay. Daughter Bethany was kidnapped by her paternal grandmother, only to be saved by Emily Bishop. In 2007, Sarah married Todd’s brother Jason but after only a few weeks, she left him for Italy

· During the decade, Rosie Webster was in a relationship with Craig Harris, but ended when Craig left for Berlin. Since then, she has been involved with her teacher John Stape, who in the end kidnapped her and held her hostage for 9 weeks. He was later jailed, but is due for release

· David Platt’s life changed in 2003 when stepfather Richard Hillman tried to kill him. Slowly, David has become as evil as his stepdad: he pushed his mum down the stairs, ruined his sister’s wedding, vandalised the street and framed his neighbour for burglary

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