Extramarital dalliances, paternity pickles, tearful farewells, and whodunit mysteries — the stuff of soap opera legend. And during its 59-year reign, Coronation Street has had it all. What follows is but a small curated sampling of the program’s best-remembered episodes, moments, and storylines.
Coronation Street – Barlow Family Curse
After spending nearly a decade as Mrs. Kenneth Barlow, Valerie came to the conclusion that her spouse’s family was cursed. “…like the Kennedys. Violence and sudden death. They don’t grow old.”
Amongst the biggest blows dealt to the clan was matriarch Ida being run over and killed by a bus, young David Barlow and his toddler son dying in a car accident after emigrating to Australia, and Valerie being electrocuted to death after plugging in a faulty hairdryer.
So Long, Ernie
When actor Stephen Hancock decided to quit his Coronation Street role amidst protests over his salary, the soap’s writers decided that the character would be leaving with him.
To that end, wage clerk Ernest Bishop took a shotgun blast to the chest during an attempted snatch and grab orchestrated by a pair of youths. He survived long enough to be rushed to Casualty but died after surgery.
Love, It’s Complicated
Despite her immense attraction to factory owner and London transplant, Mike Baldwin, divorcee Deidre Langton chose to marry Ken Barlow. However, married life to the staid, bookworm wore thin and Deidre began to regret her decision.
Soon she was seeking Mike’s company and telling her hubby lie after lie. Although she and Mike did little more than kiss, it was obvious that they both wanted more.
The sordid roundabout came to a screeching halt when Ken overheard the pair planning an assignation on the telephone. “Baldwin! Of all people! You decide to have an affair to enliven the tedium of your marriage and you have to go and pick a little creep like him.”
The Only Way To Travel
After years of widowhood, Rita Fairclough finally thought she found a White Knight in Alan Bradley. However, the man wound up playing her for a sap as he not only slept with other women but also took out a secret mortgage on her house by pretending to be her deceased husband.
And rather than fess up to his crimes when caught, Alan tried to suffocate Rita to death! A plea bargain saw him get away practically scot-free and his continued harassment of Rita led her to develop hysterical amnesia and flee Weatherfield for Blackpool.
Alan, now realizing that everyone thought he was a murderer, made it his mission to track Rita down and prove his innocence. He located her at a hotel but following a struggle, Rita fled out onto the street. During the ensuing chase, Alan was run over and killed by a tram.
Free The Weatherfield One
With two divorces behind her and still in mourning following the death of a lover, Deidre was surprised to find herself falling head over heels for airline pilot Jon Lindsay. Later, she would be just as surprised to find herself framed for fraud and imprisoned on testimony given by Jon, who turned out to be little more than a tie-selling shyster.
Living Her Truth
After being set up by a mutual friend, Hayley Patterson and Roy Cropper began to take the first tentative steps at forming a relationship. But, during the duo’s first “official” date, Hayley insisted on informing Roy about a truth she had kept closely guarded for years. “I’m a transsexual. I mean, I’m not a female by birth, Roy.”
The Coronation Street Psycho
It’s an undeniable fact that Gail Potter had terrible taste in husbands. Her first, Brian Tilsley, was a serial moaner. Martin Platt, the second, was a serial cheater. As for her third, well, Richard Hillman was a serial killer. Or, as Gail more succinctly put it, “You’re Norman Bates with a briefcase.”
Extra Special Delivery
Initially fearful that her 13-year-old daughter was suffering from an eating disorder, Gail took her to a doctor. However, the news that followed was a shocking blow. “It’s very clear that Sarah Louise is pregnant. I’d say as much as five months.”
A Woman Scorned
Tracy Barlow didn’t expect or ask much of her ne’er-do-well boyfriend Charlie Stubbs — but she did demand fidelity. When she learned that he had been unfaithful, she swore she would kill him if it happened again.
But happen again it did. And Tracy, being a woman of her word, began to plot her revenge. First, she worked to make it appear that Charlie was physically abusing her. Then, she conned him into thinking she wanted to reconcile and while performing a striptease, she struck him in the head with a metal sculpture — killing him!