Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Top 25 Favourite Corrie Males - No. 18


Duration: 1972, 1975, 1986-1992, 1995, 1996-1998
Played by: Roy Barraclough
2012 character poll position (men): 21

Introduced as a theatrical agent who had a number of acts on his books, including Rita Littlewood.

After years of absence he returned to our screens as the manager of the Graffiti Club. When the Rovers was closed after the fire, the regulars frequented the Club. Alec and Bet Lynch, who was Rovers manger, were friendly rivals. When Bet ran into financial trouble, she asked Alec for help which he did.

When Bet left the street due to money problems, Alec stepped up and became Rovers licensee. He tracked Bet down and proposed marriage. Bet and Alec were married in 1987, to the chagrin and amazement of many of Bet’s friends.

The marriage did last longer than many thought it would do. Their marriage included Bet falling pregnant and suffering a miscarriage; Alec finding out he had a granddaughter and various Rovers involving storylines. The marriage became one of Corrie’s golden double acts with Alec’s tightfistedness being ridiculed by a sarcastic Bet.

The Gilroys were together until 1992 when Alec left the street for Southampton to manage cruise liners entertainment. Bet refused to go with him.

Alec returned briefly in 1995 and then permanently in 1996, running a branch of travel agents Sunliners. When he was sacked for being too old, he set his sights on the Rovers and became a partner with the Duckworths before becoming sole owner later on. He also romanced Rita.

He sold the Rovers and left the cobbles for Southampton in 1998 after a run-in with the Duckworths and Rita and hasn’t returned. 

Were you a fan of Alec?

Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street - official ITV tribute to a soap icon. Available here.

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Cobblestone said...

One of my all-time comedy heroes and a lovely man in real life. I was doing an outdoor theatre tour some years ago and Roy came to see it, being a good mate of one of our cast members. He turned up early, settled himself into a deck chair and started observing the rest of the audience as they arrived. I went over for a chat with him and I remember him commenting: "those two old dears over there - they've unpacked their picnic hamper, swathed themselves in mosquito repellent and now they've gone off to find a couple of ices." He was never 'off-duty'; those are the observational skills that feed into his characterisations. And NO ONE could do a telephone routine like Roy. They used to write them in regularly for him, arguing with his improbable 'turns'.

Humpty Dumpty said...

I've seen Roy Barraclough in panto and he was simply wonderful as you might imagine. Alec and Bet were a great double act, both doing comedy and tragedy so brilliantly. Probably, the nearest we've got today is Tim and Sally. I remember Alec hated Betty and that was almost another double act.

Tvor said...

I met him a couple of years ago in the Daisy Nook Garden Center in the Manchester area and he was a lovely, lovely man. Very nice. (Thanks, Mark for the introduction!)

Anonymous said...

I too have seen him in theatre - he was superb. I asked him whether he'd ever return to the cobbles and he said no, that the show had moved on. A delightful man.

David the Wavid said...

Another brilliant character. So miserable and yet so funny but always believable. Putting him with Julie Goodyear was quite a risk as her performance was often quite broad but it turned out to be a stroke of genius. When he left in 1992, the Rovers became a lot less fun. I'm glad we got another chance to see Alec and Bet together in his 1995 return as they were back at their snipey best. His later stint wasn't bad especially the Duckworth stuff but Rita was no Bet and a poor foil for Alec.

It's also surprising how consistent his performance is with the handful of appearances in the 1970s - I wonder if he was able to watch them when he came back? (Unlikely) In retrospect, we were lucky to have Roy Barraclough for so long - if he'd left when he originally wanted to in 1988, we'd have missed out on so much. Thanks for staying put and keeping the laughs coming, Roy.

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