Jerry Morton in 2008
|Coronation Street character|
|Portrayed by||Michael Starke|
|First appearance||18 March 2007|
|Last appearance||29 September 2008|
|Introduced by||Steve Frost|
Jerry Morton, played by Michael Starke, is a fictional character on the ITV soap opera Coronation Street. He was introduced in March 2007. It was announced in April 2008 that Jerry and the rest of the Mortons would leave the show later in 2008.
Character creation and development
In February 2007, it was announced in various British media, that actor Michael Starke, best known for playing Thomas "Sinbad" Sweeney in the Channel 4 soap Brookside, would be joining the cast of Coronation Street as part of a new family, the Mortons. Jerry Morton — the single father of four children — was being introduced as the owner of a fast food takeaway restaurant. The family has been described as "a brash bunch" and it was reported that a "lot of thought [went] into making them a hit family with the viewers...Everyone is always excited when a new character comes into the show but a whole family gives the writers opportunities and we're sure viewers will love the Mortons.... There’ll be some explosive episodes as the Mortons work their way into the hearts, minds and pockets of Weatherfield’s finest. They’re loud, brash and fun and will bring madness and mayhem to the cobbles." The rest of the Mortons are Jerry's eldest daughter Jodie (Samantha Seager); his teenage twins Darryl and Mel (Jonathan Dixon and Emma Edmondson); youngest Kayleigh (Jessica Barden); and Grandad Morton (Rodney Litchfield).
Commenting on the role, actor Michael Starke said, "There are going to be parallels between them and other families but the show is so unique I'm hoping we'll create our own niche". He has revealed that getting the part on Coronation Street at this stage in his career was "a dream... I pinch myself every morning. I think how many people would like to be playing my character? I'm the luckiest actor I know".
Jerry Morton has been described as "a hard-working man who dotes on his family and has no qualms on dodging the taxman." In an interview, actor Michael Starke has said that Jerry is very outgoing, pushy and totally in charge of his family, "what he says goes." He goes on to say "His kids are the be-all-and-end-all and he'll do anything to support them and keep them going. He has his own set of morals in that respect.... He's not a put upon character... he's a go-getter. He thinks he's a lot younger than he is and he's got an idea of himself that no one else has - that's his talent, he uses it to the best of his ability."
Jerry arrived in Coronation Street with his family in March 2007, moving in and opening a new takeaway shop on the street. He immediately clashed with next door neighbour Gail Platt as he was constantly playing his music and full volume. He relied heavily upon his eldest daughter Jodie to care for his younger children - Darryl, Mel, Kayleigh and Finlay - and to run his kebab shop for him, leading to her departure in November that year. He began a romance with Eileen Grimshaw, which ended after several months when she told him she felt she was becoming a surrogate mother to his children, and had no desire to assume that role.
Jerry suffered a heart attack in May 2008, prompting daughter Kayleigh to contact his estranged wife Teresa Bryant. At first Jerry was horrified to see her but eventually conceded that he needed her help. Teresa moved in with the family, much to Mel's displeasure, though swiftly began to outstay her welcome. In a bid to ensure Jerry would not force her to leave, she took control of his medication and began keeping him deliberately ill, forcing him to rely on her. By August 2008, Teresa's tampering had taken its toll and Jerry collapsed, banging his head on the coffee table as he fell and rendering himself unconscious. He was transported to hospital, where his family were informed there was a possibility he may die, though Jerry soon came round at the beginning of September and Teresa later confessed to Jerry. He was horrified by her betrayal. Jerry now refuses to see his divorced wife Teresa, this eventually led to Mel arresting Teresa for attempted murder.
On 26 September 2008 Jerry told his family that he would like it for them all to move to Spain. After the scandal with Teresa he yearned for a new start for the sake of his kids and his health. Mel turned down the chance due to her recent qualification as a police officer and Darryl did not want to leave his friends and wanted to run the chip/kebab shop. Disappointed about their decisions but fully understanding, he left Coronation Street on 29 September 2008 with his younger children Kayleigh and Finlay bound for a new life.
On 14 November, Dev Alahan phoned Jerry in Spain and made him an offer on the Kebab shop and within a week their transaction was completed. On the day the sale of Kebab shop went through, it was revealed Jerry had rented Number 6 to Eddie, Anna and Gary Windass much to the chagrin of Darryl and Teresa.