Curly in 1991
|Coronation Street character|
|Portrayed by||Kevin Kennedy|
|First appearance||11 July 1983|
|Last appearance||1 September 2003|
|Introduced by||Mervyn Watson|
|Book appearances||Coronation Street:
The Complete Saga
|The Cruise (1995)
A Knight's Tale (2010)
|Home||Newcastle upon Tyne|
Norman "Curly" Watts was a prominent fictional character in the long-running British soap opera Coronation Street from 1983 to 2003, and in a few spin-off DVDs. He was portrayed throughout by the actor Kevin Kennedy.
Most of Curly's storylines dealt with his repeated failure to form a successful romantic relationship. His nickname resulted from him having straight, lank hair. His hobby was astronomy, and he installed a telescope in the loft of his house.
The character was originally a paperboy for Rita Fairclough, before working as a binman with Chalky Whiteley and Eddie Yeats, whilst lodging with Emily Bishop, Jack Duckworth and Vera Duckworth. He later worked for Mike Baldwin alongside Terry Duckworth. Curly's first serious romance was with Shirley Armitage, a black sewing-machinist from Baldwin's factory. Opposition from his old-fashioned parents Arthur and Eunice led to tension between the couple, and Shirley left when Curly threw out the guests at his surprise party so he could revise for upcoming HND exams in Business Studies.
Having obtained his HND, Curly became an assistant manager at Bettabuy's supermarket, where he became a protégé of manager Reg Holdsworth. Whilst working there, he had a relationship with employee Kimberley Taylor. Once again, opposition - this time from both sets of parents - caused problems. Despite other brief flings with girls such as Anne Malone, Angie Freeman, Reg's future wife Maureen Holdsworth (who tried to get him sacked when he rejected her advances) and Maxine Peacock (who slept with him believing that he was going abroad next day) Curly seemed doomed never to find domestic happiness.
After a prolonged on-off relationship, Curly married Raquel Wolstenhulme, who eventually left him to work as a beautician in Kuala Lumpur, and later moved to France with their daughter, Alice Diana. Curly did not know about the child until Raquel turned up unexpectedly one New Year's Eve to ask for a divorce.
Curly met his second wife, policewoman Emma Taylor (Angela Lonsdale) when she came to investigate a series of crimes in the area in which Curly was innocently implicated. The couple married and had a son who was born on Boxing Day 2001 whom they named Ben, after Norris Cole's middle name, as he helped deliver the child. Later, Emma committed perjury in order to protect a colleague, causing friction between herself and the ultra-honest Curly. The couple left the Street during 2003 to start a new life near Newcastle upon Tyne, in the small town of Ryton. When the character made a comeback for the 2010 spin-off DVD movie Coronation Street - A Knight's Tale, Curly revealed that his marriage to Emma has ended since their departure from Weatherfield.
In August 2007 and again in April 2009, it was revealed that Kevin Kennedy has expressed interest in making a come back to Coronation Street and in March 2013, ITV announced that there were no plans for Curly to return.
Curly Watts made a return in Coronation Street DVD Special in 2010 titled Knight's Tale, which saw the return of another Corrie character Reg Holdsworth.