Monday, 31 August 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

26. Raquel Watts

Beating her ex husband to the 26th position is ditzy Raquel Watts. Introduced as an assistant at Bettabuys, she was later a barmaid at the Rovers, forming a close friendship with fellow barmaids Bet Gilroy and Betty Turpin. Soon enough, she was in a relationship with Des Barnes, but it ended when his ex Steph returned. After failed relationships with Gordon Blinkhorn and Wayne Farrell, Raquel married Curly in 1995 – but the aching truth was, she never loved him. She longed for Des. She eventually left Curly – not for Des, but for a job in Malaysia. Blonde and beautiful, Raquel was a vital comic character in the nineties and her random conversations were always favourites. Notable scenes include having French lessons with Ken Barlow in the Rovers backroom and having a conversation about football with Alma Baldwin and Denise Osbourne in the Rovers bar. Five years after her departure, Raquel appeared on Curly’s doorstep with a 5 year old girl called Alice – revealed to be their daughter. She also asked for a divorce and Curly agreed, and she left Weatherfield again – to France this time.

Should Raquel be at 26? Or lower at 28? Leave comments!

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

27. Curly Watts

First appearing in 1983, Norman ‘Curly’ Watts was part of the cobbles for twenty years. Lodging with Emily Bishop and best friends with Kevin Webster and Terry Duckworth, Curly was a bin man and was known as an oddball. He would make history by being involved in the first inter-racial relationship when he dated black factory machinist Shirley Armitage. In 1989, he was hired as an assistant at Bettabuys and developed a comical double act with manager Reg Holdsworth. Like Reg, Curly was an unlikely Lothario with his conquests including Kimberley Taylor, Anne Malone, Angie Freeman, Maxine Heavey and Reg’s fiancée Maureen Naylor. In 1995, he married Rovers barmaid Raquel Wolstenhulme, but within a few months she left him for a job in Malaysia. She returned briefly in 2000 to introduce him to their 5 year old girl Alice. The same year, he met and married policewoman Emma Watts and son Ben was born in 2001. After 20 years, Curly left the str
eet when Emma was transferred to Newcastle upon Tyne, bidding goodbye to old friends Emily and Jack and Vera Duckworth.

Should Curly be at 27? Or does he deserve to be higher at 8? Leave comments!

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

28. Alf Roberts

Ranked at 28 – receiving 7 votes – is everyone’s favourite grocer – Alf Roberts. Part of the cobbles for over thirty years, Alf was known for his white grocer coat and trilby hat and for his eighteen year tenure behind the corner shop counter. He lost first wife Phyllis to cancer in 1972 and soon found himself falling for corner shop owner Maggie Clegg. She rejected his proposal and married Ron Cooke and immigrated to Zaire. In 1978, he married Maggie’s successor – Renee Bradshaw. They were married for two years, until Renee was killed in a car/lorry collision. Alf married floozy Audrey Potter in 1985, producing the most successful partnerships in the soap’s history. As well as a shopkeeper, Alf was involved in local politics – serving as mayor in 1973 and 1994 and was a long serving and well respected councillor. By the mid nineties, Alf’s health deteriorated and he died of a stroke on New Year’s Eve 1998 in stepdaughter Gail’s house. In memory of him, the council wanted to erect a fountain, but the street’s OAPs (led by Emily Bishop) opposed.

Should Alf be at 28? Or should she be lower down at 47 like in Corrieblog's poll? Leave comments!

Friday, 28 August 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

29. Alma Halliwell (known as Alma Baldwin)

At 29 is Audrey’s best friend for twelve years – Alma Halliwell. Played by Amanda Barrie, Alma first appeared in 1981, when she sacked Elsie Tanner from the café. Originally, she was married to café owner Jim Sedgewick, but they divorced in 1982 and Alma moved to Florida, before returning in 1989. She became a partner in the café with Gail Tilsley and soon fell for Mike Baldwin, who she eventually married in 1992. A popular couple, they were married for nine years, until Mike’s affair with Julia Stone. Alma was quite prominent in the storyline when Don Brennan tried to kill Mike. Don kidnapped Alma and put her in the boot of his cab, before he drove into the canal. Both survived. Don eventually died when he crashed Alma’s car into the viaduct. When she sold the café to Roy Cropper, Alma secured a job at Firman Freezers, where she befriended Hayley Patterson. Alma played Cupid between Roy and Hayley and was overwhelmed when they married in 1999. In 2001, Alma received devastating news that she had cervical cancer and she died at home with her friends around her.

Should Alma be at 29? Or should she be at 44 like in Corrieblog's poll? Leave comments!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

30. Audrey Roberts

Played by Sue Nicholls for thirty years, Audrey was brought in as the mother of Gail Potter. Embarrassing Gail, she flirted with son in law Brian and although in her 40s, she believed she was still young. She finally found stability in grocer Alf Roberts, who she married in 1985 – establishing the strongest partnerships in the soap’s history. They were married for 13 years, before Alf died of a stroke at Gail’s house on New Year’s Eve. Between 1989 and 2001, Audrey’s best friend was Alma Baldwin and they were known for being gadabouts. After 12 years, the friendship ended when Alma died of cancer. In 2002, Audrey though
t she was going senile, but it was actually son in law Richard Hillman who was trying to kill her – and making her more fragile by convincing her that she had amnesia. She luckily escaped his clutches. Since her Alfeh’s passing, the hairdresser has been wooed by many gentlemen that include Fred Elliott, Archie Shuttleworth, Keith Appleyard and Bill Webster, but none have matched up to Alfeh in her eyes.

Should Audrey be at 30? Or should she be in the 33rd position like in Corrieblog's poll? Leave comments!

Monday, 24 August 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

31. Alec Gilroy

At 31 is another pompous man – Alec Gilroy. Although he’s remembered for his stint in the serial between 1986 and 1992 and then from 1996 to 1998, he first appeared in 1972, as the agent of Rita Littlewood, when she used to sing around the clubs. Fourteen years passed before he reappeared as the new owner of The Graffiti Club and his business boomed when the Rovers was being refurbished. Through this he got to know the landlady – Bet Lynch. They became friendly and in 1987, he married her and took over the licence. Alec was a contrast to Bet’s former conquests – Len, Ken and Mike. Their marriage was tempestuous, with their witty banter and sarcasm making them a popular pair. After five years, Alec left Bet for a job in Southport and filed divorce. By the time he returned in 1996, Bet had left the street and the Rovers were in the incapable hands of the Duckworths. Alec went into a partnership with them and began a liaison with old friend Rita. By 1998, Alec became the sole owner of the Rovers and ended his engagement with Rita and by the end of the year he sold the pub to Natalie Barnes and left Weatherfield.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

32. Reg Holdsworth

A part of the street for six years, Reg is one of the soap’s most well remembered and popular characters. A comic character, Reg was from the same mould as pompous Swindley in the 60s. He was introduced in 1989 as the boss of Curly Watts at Bettabuys supermarket and a new double act was born. Comedy scenes that Reg was involved in included wearing a toupee to attract the ladies and when his waterbed was accidentally punctured by Derek Wilton, dampening his romantic evening with fiancée Maureen Naylor. An unlikely Romeo, Reg had many romances that included first wife Veronica and a platonic relationship with Rita Fairclough. Reg wanted more but Rita denied him the chance. In 1993, he met up with old flame Maureen and married her the following year. A thorn in Reg’s side during their three year marriage was mother in law Maud Grimes – and their relationship echoed Gail and Ivy’s in the 1980s. As well as the supermarket, Reg owned the Corner Shop between 1994 and 1996 with Maureen and Maud managing it. They had a blissful life until Reg left for Lowestoft.

Should Reg be at 32? Or should he be lower at 46 like in Corrieblog's poll? Leave comments!

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

33. Mavis Wilton (known as Mavis Riley)

Prissy Mavis Riley first appeared in 1971 as an old friend of Emily Nugent and was her bridesmaid at her wedding to Ernest Bishop in 1972. In 1973, she became a regular on the street when Rita Littlewood hired her as her assistant at the newly opened newsagents ‘The Kabin’. This partnership would last for nearly 25 years. Budgie lover Mavis had her fair share of romances. She was barely behind the counter before she was wooed by Jerry Booth. Their relationship was more off than on and Jerry died before they could go no further. Jerry was barely cold before Mavis had another love interest – Derek Wilton. For the next 11 years, he would pop in and out of her life. In 1983, the unthinkable happened when Mavis was in a love triangle. B
oth Derek and Victor Pendlebury wished to marry her. After much dithering, Mavis chose Derek and they planned to marry but they both jilted each other! Four years passed before they married, and their marriage lasted until Derek’s untimely death in 1997. After playing the role for 26 years, Thelma Barlow quit the series and Mavis left Weatherfield for the Lake District.

Should Mavis be at 33? Or higher at 26? Leave comments!

Friday, 21 August 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

34. Phyllis Pearce

First appearing in 1982, Phyllis was dubbed as the new Ena Sharples, but it seemed that Phyllis was more of an old dear than a battleaxe. Originally the grandmother of Craig Whiteley and a thorn in his paternal grandad’s Chalkie’s side, Phyllis was seen as interfering and worried for the welfare of her grandson. But after Craig and Chalkie immigrated to Australia, blue rinsed and croaky voiced Phyllis set her sights on community centre caretaker Percy Sugden. Not interested, Percy even became engaged to Maud Grimes to prove his disinterest, but Phyllis was still ignorant. Although in her sixties, she found regular employment at Jim’s Café alongside Alma Sedgewick, Gail Tilsley and Martin Platt and became Des Barnes’ cleaner at Number 6. Played by Jill Summers, Phyllis was a part of the cobbles for 14 years and by the mid nineties, she was retired from the café when Alma took a more active role. Phyllis left the street in 1996, to a retirement home in Mayfield Court. Summers hoped to reprise the role once she’d be better, but she died in 1997.

Should Phyllis be at 34? Or should she be lower at 44 like in Corrieblog's poll? Leave comments!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

35. Gail Platt

Thirty positions down from where she was at Corrieblog’s poll is Weatherfield’s most unlucky woman in love – Gail Platt. Played by Helen Worth, she first appeared in 1974 as a friend of Tricia Hopkins. She would become a lodger at Elsie Tanner’s and would become best friends with her co lodger Suzie Birchall. During her 35 year tenure, she has gone through three marriages – Brian Tilsley (who was stabbed to death in 1989), Martin Platt (who had an affair with a nurse) and Richard Hillman (who turned out to be a serial killer). As well as a wife, she’s a mother to three children – Nick (born in 1980), Sarah (born in 1987) and David (born in 1990), who’ve given their mother their share of grief. As well as her reputation with men, Gail is also remembered for her 15 year feud with her first mother in law Ivy. Currently, happily taking the late Ivy’s place is Eileen Grimshaw, the mother of Gail’s son in law Jason. For nearly thirty years, Gail had long locks of hair but in 2001 she had a new look that coincided with her new relationship with Hillman.

Should Gail be at 35? Or should she be at 5? Should she be happy? Leave comments!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

36. Leonard Swindley

Pompous draper Leonard Swindley was a part of the cobbles for the first five years. He worked at clothes shop Gamma Garments under Mr Papagopolous and was a prominent figure at the Mission Hall. The mission’s caretaker Ena Sharples was a constant thorn in Swindley’s side and they often clashed – most notably when teetotaller Swindley sacked her for drinking during working hours. As well as his scenes with Mrs Sharples, Swindley is well remembered for his humorous scenes with his shop assistant Emily Nugent – or Miss Nugent as he would call her. The foundation of this double act was Emily’s admiration for Swindley and her wish was to be his wife. He was totally oblivious to her feelings and he was shocked when she made a leap year proposal in 1964. They planned to marry, much to the amazement of their neighbours, but sadly, Emily got cold feet and jilted Swindley. Other storylines Swindley had was teaching Emily to drive, when he was running for a council seat and when they organised social activities. He left in 1965 when he was promoted to the head office of Gamma Garments.

Should Swindley be at 36? Leave comments!

Monday, 17 August 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

37. Jack Walker

The first landlord of the Rovers Return that graced our screens back in 1960 was Mr Jack Walker. He would remain behind the bar for a decade, alongside wife Annie and numerous barmaids. A firm favourite with viewers, Jack is remembered for his gentle approach and his broad Lancashire accent – a huge contrast to snobbish Annie with her social pretensions. While Annie wanted to own a hotel, Jack was perfectly behind the Rovers bar, socialising with ordinary folk. His partnership with Annie was the first double act in the soap’s history and is still regarded as comedy gold. Often starring in comic storylines (including being accused of having an affair with Elsie Tanner), Jack played some serious storylines that included being blackmailed by Frank Turner, being injured in a coach crash and Annie leaving him when she suspected that he had a lady friend. Sadly, after ten years on our screens, Jack died of a heart attack off-screen, leaving Annie devastated. He was killed off as the actor who played him, Arthur Lindsay, had died suddenly, the first main cast member to die. Wife Annie continued behind the bar until 1983.

Should Jack be at 37? Leave comments!

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

38. Ivy Brennan (known as Ivy Tilsley)

Although she first appeared in 1971, Ivy didn’t make her mark until 1979 – when son Brian married Gail Potter. Staunch Catholic Ivy hated the fact that ‘our’ Brian had married an Anglican. She was soon given the nickname ‘Poison Ivy’ by the media and she was pictured as the mother in law from hell! Originally working at the warehouse, Ivy is also remembered for being shop steward at Mike Baldwin’s factory and leading strikes and often clashing with supervisor Elsie Tanner. Her friendship with Vera Duckworth - who she would often gossip and attend bingo halls with - was very strong and lasted nearly twenty years. She moved to the street in 1979 and lived at Number 5 – with first hubby Bert until his death in 1984 and then with second hubby Don between 1988 and 1994. Her marriage to Don wasn’t a happy one, and they often argued. Her feud with Gail lasted 15 years, worsening after Brian’s stabbing in 1989. Lynne Perrie (who played Ivy) was controversially sacked in 1994 and Ivy was sent to a religious retreat and was killed off the following year.

Is Ivy at 38 for you? Or does she remain at 39 like in Corrieblog's poll? Leave comments!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

39. Eddie Yeats

A well loved character, ex con Eddie Yeats appeared on the cobbles between 1974 and 1983 and is remembered for being the surrogate son of Stan and Hilda Ogden, who he lodged with at Number 13 during his last three years on the show. He is also remembered for installing the mural of the Alps at Number 13, which became an integral part of its décor. Unreliable at times, Eddie had a heart of gold that was always in the right place. When he wasn’t trying to swindle his neighbours, Eddie had two main jobs during his nine year tenure: a window cleaning partnership with Stan and fixing roofs with Len Fairclough. Unknown to some, Eddie was one of Bet Lynch’s many conquests and remained a good friend to her – even saving her from an attempted suicide! Eddie finally settled down with Marion Willis and married her in 1983 and they moved to Bury. Since then, Geoffrey Hughes (who played Eddie) has played Onslow in Keeping Up Appearances and Vernon in Heartbeat, but he’ll always be Eddie to Corrie fans!

Should he be at 39? Or should he be lower at 49 like in Corrieblog's poll? Should he revisit the cobbles on its 50th anniversary? Leave comments!

Friday, 14 August 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

40. Spider Nugent

At 40 is another one who was a lodger at Number 3, and indeed he was related to the landlady. Spider (his real name’s Geoffrey) was Emily Bishop’s nephew. He appeared in 1997 and remained in the programme until 2003. He appeared on his aunt’s doorstep and brought a smile to dear Emily’s face. An eco warrior, he persuaded his aunt to spend a night up a tree as a protest to keep the Red Rec open. He’s also remembered for playing the didgeridoo and for dating next door neighbour Toyah Battersby. As well as his Auntie Emily and Toyah, Spider had support from Roy Cropper and Ken Barlow and often clashed with Fred Elliott (due to Spider being a veggie) and Audrey Roberts (they fought for a council seat, but Audrey won). In 2001, Geoffrey left for India but returned in 2003 to help his aunt recover after she was attacked by Richard Hillman and to woo back Toyah and both of them left for London.

Should Spider be at 40? Or should he be at 7 like in Corrieblog's poll? Do you think he should visit his aunt, as she soon celebrates her 80th birthday in October? Leave comments!

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

41. Percy Sugden

Stepping into the shoes of grumpy Albert Tatlock was another grump – Percy Sugden. He was introduced in 1983 as the new caretaker of the community centre, and soon clashed with Alf Roberts. He is remembered for his flat cap and recollections of the war. While Albert talked about WWI, Percy reminisced about WWII. He is also fondly remembered for being chased by blue rinsed pensioner Phyllis Pearce for many years – to his annoyance! And he was engaged to Maud Grimes. Even though he was bossy and rude – he was loved by the viewers! He was caretaker for five years until Maurice Jones decided to demolish the centre and Mike Baldwin’s factory and build new houses, a factory and two shop units. Percy found a home with Emily Bishop at Number 3, and a partnership was born, a partnership that would last nine years. Percy would often rub Emily the wrong way, but he was there for her during her breakdown in 1992. In 1997, after 14 years, Bill Waddington (who played Percy) quit the programme – due to the serial producing too much sex scenes. Percy left the street to a retirement home.

Should Percy be at 41? Leave comments!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

42. Len Fairclough

Beating Alan Bradley to the 42nd position is another of Rita’s conquests – first husband and her one true love – Len Fairclough. A mainstay on the programme for 22 years, Len was one of the leading men on the street – alongside Ken Barlow and Alf Roberts. He was introduced in 1961, although he was known by the show’s characters since the 1940s. During his early years, he constantly wooed old friend Elsie Tanner and when she was often dumped by boyfriends, he would be there for her. By the 1970s, he was dating exotic dancer Rita Littlewood who he married in 1977, after a five year courtship. Len’s marriage to Rita was always tempestuous; as she reminded him of old flame Elsie – independent, sexy and her fiery ginger hair! Len was a builder and he had his own builder’s yard and had many workmates and he was responsible for rebuilding Number 7 in 1982 after its demolition in 1965. In 1983, the actor who played Len, Peter Adamson, was controversially sacked and Len was killed off-screen in a car crash, on his way from seeing a mistress in Ashton.

Should Len be at 42? Or should he be at 36 like in Corrieblog’s poll? Leave comments!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Top 50 Coronation Street Characters

43. Alan Bradley

Dubbed as the first long term villain on the cobbles, Alan Bradley’s reign of terror lasted three years. Played by Mark Eden, Alan was introduced in 1986 as the father of Rita Fairclough’s foster daughter Jenny and soon enough was dating Rita. Rita was attracted to him as he reminded of her deceased hubby Len. Unsure of their relationship, Alan embarked on an affair with Gloria Todd, but reunited with Rita when he considered how much money she had. They courted and when Rita rejected both his marriage proposals, and planned revenge – stealing her money. For many months, Alan stole from an oblivious Rita. When Rita found out and confronted Alan, he attempted to suffocate her with a cushion, only to be disturbed by Jenny and her boyfriend Martin Platt. Alan fled and when he was caught, he appeared in court, but was released that day and planned further revenge on Rita – stalking her and mentally tormenting her. Horrified, Rita fled to Blackpool and Alan followed her there. When she saw him on the promenade, she ran and he followed her, only to be fatally hit by a tram, ending Rita’s nightmare.

Should Alan be at 43? Or higher? Leave comments!