With the big anniversary now only a couple of weeks away, there's been a fair amount of attention lavished on the iconic Corrie stars (and rightly so) such as Annie, Ena, Elsie and Ken. However, here's a chance to remember some of those characters who passed through, maybe only briefly, but who have stuck in the memory - and not always for the right reasons!
Shirley Armitage arrived as the replacement for Elsie at the factory, she rose to prominence when she, shock, lived ‘over the brush’ with Curly Watts. Plus she had to contend with a shockingly racist landlord, Alf Roberts. Intellectually she was never Curly’s equal and eventually disappeared.
Debs Brownlow was the sister of Rovers landlady Natalie Barnes. She was played by former ‘
Brookside’ actress Gabrielle Glaister who went from posh Patricia Farnham to ‘eeh-bah-gum’ northerner . . . unconvincingly. Apparently she had spent years as a hairdresser on cruise ships (Jane McDonald should have sued). No real storylines to speak of save for a dalliance with Duggie Ferguson.
Super-sized nanny Kelly Thomson moved into number one to look after Ken and Denise’s baby. She was a bit dopy and resorted to having a dull relationship with Ashley. Kelly moved slowly through every scene, possibly dazed by the fact that her employers had once enjoyed carnal relations. What happened to her? Presumably she was either sacked, locked in a cupboard or melted down for candles.
Tricia Hopkins was the offspring of Nora Batty and the Welsh bloke from ‘Please Sir’. She originally arrived in order to hero worship Ray Langton and took a job at the Mark Brittain Warehouse with Gail Potter. Notable storylines included one special Christmas when Deirdre gave her a black eye plus the disastrous way in which she mis-managed the Corner Shop with the assistance of Gail. She was eventually sent packing by the doughty Renee Bradshaw.
A cheerless old boot who towed the trade union line at Baldwin’s Casuals, Ida Clough was Arthur Scargill in a tabard. She was usually found jabbing her finger in someone’s face or scowling. However she was a pivotal part of the Tilsley/Duckworth years at the factory before disappearing, only to return around a decade later to work alongside Janice Battersby. The years may have aged her but her misery remained intact.
A bizarre old harridan by the name of Amy Burton was shoe-horned into the script as a replacement Hilda Ogden in 1987. Amy was Vera Duckworth’s mother and was soon employed as the cleaner at the Rovers. However, it was soon apparent that she was little more than a petty thief and was jettisoned out of the show in 1988, never to be seen again. Hurrah!
No, not the leggy blonde but the short, wrinkled pensioner. Played by veteran actor Sam Kydd, Frankie Baldwin was Mike’s ‘cor blimey ‘ave a banana’ dear old dad, from down the Smoke. Frankie liked a drink, a bet and the ladies so obviously the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. He was a blueprint for any ‘EastEnders’ character over the age of fifty five . . . male or female.
Tanya Pooley was the type of woman who made Cilla Battersby look like a fluffy bit of nonsense. She was hard-faced and then some. Most fans will remember her for rubbishing Raquel in front of everyone in the Rovers before doing a runner with Bet’s Sean Connery-lite trucker boyfriend. Tanya is quite rightly remembered as one of Corrie’s über-bitches.
Feisty Angie Freeman was the fashion student who arrived in 1990 to share number 7 with Jenny Bradley. She also ended up sharing Curly Watts’ bed in a never-to-be-repeated romp. For a time she worked for Mike Baldwin before leaving for Mexico. Three years later she returned, much to Mike’s displeasure, as a designer for Kbec. She rented Des Barnes’ house for a while and the Street was a less joyous place when she left for good in 1998.
After Kevin Webster had been promoted at Casey’s garage, the owner’s son Mark Casey was installed as the new grease monkey. However it wasn’t long before the roles were reversed and Mark ended up as boss, firing our Kev and his moustache in the process. Poor old Mark wasn’t lucky in love, having a dalliance with Flick Khan before Jenny Bradley turned her attentions on him. Jenny enjoyed having him as her personal cash dispenser-cum-taxi driver for a while. Mark disappeared from the Street when his business folded and our Kev refused to employ him at Baldwin’s Garage. Served him right!
Do you have any forgotten favourites? Or maybe characters who the rest of us have long forgotten?