Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Top 30 Coronation Street Couples

22. Alan and Elsie Howard

After two failed marriages and a long string of men, Elsie Tanner met Alan Howard in 1969. Fancying his chances, Alan hired her as manageress in his newly opened hair salon. Although uninterested at first, Elsie agreed to a date. After many dates, Elsie married Alan in 1970. But the marriage was fraught with financial difficulties – Alan’s mainly. She found a rival in Janet Reid who tried to start a relationship with Alan, but Elsie saw her off. The marriage was tested in 1972 when Alan started drinking heavily. Elsie feared that he was an alcoholic after he nearly burned the house down after sleeping with a cigarette in his hand. Alan sobered up and recovered. In 1973, Elsie heard that son Dennis was in prison and, ashamed to admit to Alan, went to London under the pretence she was visiting old friend Sheila Crossley. In London, Elsie was knocked down by a taxi and when Alan went down to identify her, he suspected her of having an affair. Later that year, the Howards left for Alan’s native Newcastle. Elsie returned alone in 1976, now separated from Alan and divorced him in 1978.

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Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Top 30 Coronation Street Couples

23. Don and Ivy Brennan

After first husband Bert died in 1984 and a romance with George Wardle in 1985, Ivy Tilsley met cabby Don Brennan in 1987 when he drove her home. Don was a widower, and he and Ivy married in 1988. Ivy’s life changed forever in 1989 when Brian was fatally stabbed. Already a staunch Catholic, she turned more towards religion and away from Don, leading to tension between them. Only being married for two years, Don soon realised that he had made a mistake in marrying Ivy as she became obsessed with the relationship of Gail with toy boy Martin Platt and the effect it had on Nick and Sarah Louise and even got Social Services involved. Don forced Ivy to apologise. By 1992, Don had an affair with barmaid Julie Dewhurst and when Julie later dumped him, he attempted suicide and had to have his lower leg amputated. Ivy, devastated by his adultery, turned to drink. They soon reconciled, but slept in separate rooms. Don left Ivy in 1994 and she went on a long retreat to a convent, where she suffered a stroke and die
d. Although he’d asked for a divorce, Don was left a widower for the second time.

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Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Top 30 Coronation Street Couples

24. Brian and Gail Tilsley

It was in 1978 that Brian and Gail first met and although opposition from Brian’s staunch Catholic mother Ivy, they married the following the year. They moved into Buxton Close and Nick was born in 1980. Money problems and family arguments plagued the young couple with Gail clashing with Ivy while Brian clashed with Gail’s mother Audrey. For a few months in 1982, Brian was away working in Qatar and this made Gail doubt her marriage but it was put to rest when Brian returned and bought a garage on Archie Street. By 1986, the marriage had started to crumble with Brian paying more attention to his mum’s love life more than his own which led Gail to have an affair with Brian’s cousin Ian Latimer. Gail fell pregnant and, convinced that Ian was the father, Brian divorced her. Sarah was born in 1987 and Brian was indeed the father. The following year, Brian and Gail remarried for the kids’ sake. Both led separate lives with Brian drinking with his pals and Gail working long hours in the cafĂ©. In 1989, Brian was fatally stabbed outside a nightclub. The same night, Gail had told him she wanted a divorce.

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Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Top 30 Coronation Street Couples

25. Ken and Valerie Barlow

Beating his brother to the 25th position is Ken Barlow
and his first wife Valerie Tatlock. They first met in 1961 when Valerie was visiting her uncle Albert. They dated and although Val had doubts that Ken was way above her station, they married in 1962. The newly weds moved into N°9 and Val converted the front room into a salon while Ken became a teacher. In 1965, Val gave birth to twins Peter and Susan. During their marriage, both Ken and Val had affairs: Val with Dave Robbins in 1963 and Ken with Jackie Marsh in 1966. In 1968, the Barlows moved into the newly built maisonettes. Soon after they moved in, Val was held hostage by convict Frank Riley but was saved by Ena Sharples. The Barlows nearly split up when Ken didn’t believe Val wasn’t raped. In 1969, Val got a job in Alan Howard’s salon, later owned by Dave Smith. In 1971, Ken accepted a teaching job in Jamaica and while drying her hair for their leaving do, Val was electrocuted, knocked the electric fire that led the house to go ablaze. Ken was in the Rovers at the time and the twins were with Uncle Albert. Ken was left a widower and a single father.

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