Friday, 27 November 2015

Top 25 Favourite Corrie Males - No. 6


Duration: 1976-2006
Played by: Johnny Briggs 
2012 character poll position (men): 5

The cheeky Cockney who bought the old warehouse on Coronation Street in 1976 and turned it into a denim factory that employed many over the years. Mike was introduced as an attempt to close the North/South divide between viewers. He quickly became a hit.

He became a Casanova to rival Ken Barlow. Over 30 years he had 18 girlfriends and four wives. His conquests included Bet Lynch, Deirdre Barlow, Maggie Dunlop, Gloria Todd and Penny King. His four wives were Susan Barlow (1986), Jackie Ingram (1991), Alma Sedgewick (1992) and Linda Sykes (2000). It is debatable who his true love was: was it Alma or Deirdre?

Fond of whiskey, he fathered three sons: Danny (who he thought was his nephew), Mark and Adam. Mike didn’t have a lot of luck with his offspring. He only got to spend a few years with both Danny and Adam; and Mark had an affair with Linda.

Apart from romantic life, Mike’s main storylines involved the boom and bust nature of his business. He sold Baldwin’s Casuals in 1989 and established Underworld in 1996. His capitalism clashed with many, mainly Ken Barlow and Don Brennan. Ken detested Mike’s outlook on life and how he treated women. But their rivalry deepened when Mike embarked on an affair with Deirdre and later married Susan. They would later clash over both Alma Sedgewick and Maggie Redman and over Adam’s custody. 

Mike and Don’s rivalry on the other hand was more sinister. Don was a gambler and during a card game he managed to almost bankrupt Don. The rivalry reached its head when Mike sold the street’s failing garage to Don which led him into further debts. Don plotted revenge by setting Mike’s factory on fire; trying to kill Alma; and trying to kill Mike. His last attempt drove him literally to his death. Both Mike’s rivalries are remembered for how both Ken and Don would coldly call him ‘Baldwin’. 

In 2005, Mike began to behave strangely and he was later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It was heart-breaking to see a once powerful man now so helpless and lost. He died on the cobbles in the arms of arch-rival Ken.

Were you a fan of Michael Vernon Baldwin?    

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

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Louby said...

Fantastic character although not always likeable! I think the answer to your question is Alma. Although he cheated on her - was it with Julia first before he moved onto Linda?

Tvor said...

Kind of strange that Ken would detest Mike for how he treated women. Ken had even more women than Mike and dumped a fair few of them himself. I always believed that Deirdre was Mike's true love. Certainly he carried a soft spot for her all the years after their affair. I do believe he did really love Alma, however

Anonymous said...

Ah, but Ken was a romantic and Mike a manipulator. Loved him.

Llifon said...

I agree with Anon below. Mike treated women like dirt while Ken had a coward's way of treating women - he got caught. Mike used women for his own business aims while Ken wanted a mother figure for his children.

You could say they were both the same but Mike lacked the compassion of Ken.

Anonymous said...

Or: Mike lacked the cowardice of Ken...

Llifon said...

Sorry, I meant Ken's compassion generally with youths and community spirit. You couldn't say Mike was a pillar of the community

Tvor said...

Mike would be considered a pillar, he employed people over the years but not morally, no. I still think where women are concerned Ken was just as bad as Mike. I wouldn't say Ken was compassionate to women, not the ones he cheated on. He cheated on the mother of his children, too.

Llifon said...

You win the argument. But what I meant was that Ken judged Mike but was a hypocrite. A classic soap character!

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