Played by: David Neilson
2012 character poll position (men): 3
Roy was brought into the serial in 1995 as the eccentric neighbour of Deirdre Rachid at Crimea Street. A secondary character for two years, he became a regular in 1997 when he became Gail Platt’s partner at Jim’s Café. As he was the major shareholder he renamed the café Roy’s Rolls. He later bought Gail’s share and relocated from Rosamund Street to Victoria Street.
Known for his shopping bag, Roy was and still is a popular character, known for his quirky conservations filled with facts and for being a bit serious. Soon after he became a regular he was paired off with Hayley Patterson. She was no ordinary woman – she was a transsexual. But this didn’t stop their romance and they had a blessing ceremony and Hayley changed her name to Hayley Cropper. In 2010, due to a change in the law, Roy and Hayley could get properly married, which they did. For more than a decade, Roy and Hayley established themselves as one of Corrie’s classic couples, side by side to the Duckworths, Ogdens and Barlows and they were well loved by fans. In 2013, Hayley received the devastating news that she had cancer. Over the next few months, the Croppers spent time ticking off Hayley’s bucket list like re-visiting the lake where they first kissed and dancing in the ballroom in Blackpool Tower. Hayley made the controversial choice of wanting to kill herself by taking an overdose. Roy was devastated when she drank the cocktail and slowly passed away.
Roy struggled to move on with his life without Hayley but with the support of friends Carla, Anna, Fiz, Tyrone and Chesney he eventually came to terms with it. A year after losing Hayley he befriended Cathy Matthews on his allotment and their friendship blossomed into courtship.
Roy has starred in many storylines over the years including being tricked by Tracy Barlow; taking in various waifs and strays; being suspected of dealing drugs with Ken Barlow; finding about Hayley having fathered a child; nearly murdered by Tony Gordon; and reuniting with mum Sylvia after many years of estrangement. Not one to show his emotions, Roy showed his caring side when looking out for Becky McDonald, who fondly called him ‘Royston’ and saw him as a father figure.
Should Royston be at 2? Are you a fan?
Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street - official ITV tribute to a soap icon. Available here.
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