List of Coronation Street characters (1968)

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Maggie Cooke[edit]

Maggie Cooke
Coronation Street character
Portrayed by Irene Sutcliffe
Duration 1968-75
First appearance 1 April 1968
Episode 761
Last appearance 13 January 1975
Episode 1459
Introduced by Michael Cox (1968)
Susi Hush (1974)
Classification Former; regular
Occupation Shop owner (1968-1974)
Morphine worker (1974–)
Home Zaire

Margaret "Maggie" Cooke (née Preston, previously Clegg) is played by Irene Sutcliffe. She ran the Corner Shop from 1968 to 1974. Maggie's storylines included her life with alcoholic husband Les Clegg, who she divorced in 1969, a son Gordon who wasn't really hers (he was her sister, Betty Turpin's love child) and a further marriage to reformed alcoholic, Ron Cooke on 10 July 1974. She emigrated to Zaire after the wedding but made a brief return to the street in December of the same year when Gordon found out that Betty was his mother. She rejoined her husband the following month and has not returned to the street since. By 2003, she was still living in Zaire. In 2012, when her sister Betty died, Maggie wasn't present at the funeral, or even referred to. A photograph of her could be seen on the shelf in the background when Gordon, Emily, Rita and Stella went to Betty's house to sort through her belongings.

Les Clegg[edit]

Les Clegg
Coronation Street character
Portrayed by John Sharp
First appearance 1 April 1968
Episode 761
Last appearance 12 June 1968
Episode 782
Introduced by Michael Cox
Classification Former; guest

Les Clegg is played by John Sharp. He and his wife Maggie buy the Corner Shop from David Barlow in 1968. Les was an alcoholic, and this leads to the breakup of their marriage; Maggie divorces Les in 1970.

Gordon Clegg[edit]

Gordon Clegg
Coronation Street character
Portrayed by Bill Kenwright (1968–1995, 2012)
Geoffrey Leesley (2002–04)
Duration 1968–69, 1974–76, 1982, 1995, 2002, 2004, 2012
First appearance 15 April 1968
Episode 765
Last appearance 20 April 2012
Episode 7849
Introduced by Michael Cox (1968)
Susi Hush (1974, 1975)
Bill Podmore (1976, 1982)
Sue Pritchard (1995)
Jane MacNaught (2002)
Kieran Roberts (2004)
Phil Collinson (2012)
Classification Former; recurring
Home Wimbledon

Gordon Clegg (né Preston), played by Bill Kenwright, made his first screen appearance on 15 April 1968. Kenwright played the role until 1995 and Geoffrey Leesley took over from 2002.[1] On 31 January 2012, Sharon Marshall revealed Kenwright would reprise his role as Gordon for Betty Williams' funeral, which was held on 16 April.[1]

In 1968, Les Clegg bought the Corner Shop in Coronation Street, Weatherfield and the Cleggs moved there, with Gordon living in the flat above the shop, with Maggie intent that he didn't have to help out behind the counter, so that he could focus on his studies. It was therefore much to Maggie's dismay when Gordon fell for young Lucille Hewitt. It took some convincing for Lucille to agree to go out with Gordon, as she thought he was too mothered by Maggie, but he impressed her when he fought for her attentions with Gary Strauss and Ray Langton. Gordon and Lucille faced the objections of Maggie (Les having been admitted to a psychiatric hospital for his alcoholism) and Lucille's guardians Annie and Jack Walker, and eventually Gordon decided to show Lucille that he was committed to her by suggesting that they run away to Gretna Green and return as husband and wife, even though it would mean missing his exams. He and Lucille went to the train station, without telling their families, but when they missed their train Lucille convinced him that they should return. Gordon passed his exams, and began thinking about his career prospects. As Lucille pressed ahead with wedding preparations and set a date for Easter Saturday 1969, Gordon realised he couldn't marry her and cancelled the wedding at short notice. Ashamed of his actions, he took a job at the head office of an Accountancy firm in London, and upset Maggie by making a permanent move there. In 1971, Gordon became engaged to Jennifer Swann. She visited Weatherfield, without Gordon, to meet Maggie. She and Gordon didn't marry. Gordon returned to Weatherfield in 1974 for Maggie and Ron Cooke's wedding. Gordon gave Maggie away and saw her off as she moved to Zaire with Ron. Gordon agreed to handle the sale of the shop but arranged to rent it to Megan "Granny" Hopkins for £14 a week, with the money counting towards the eventual sale to the Hopkinses. Before leaving for London, he infuriated Betty, who had moved to the area in 1969, by having a one-night-stand with Beverley Marshall in her house. The Hopkinses were determined to get a good deal on the shop and when they found Gordon's birth certificate behind a sideboard, revealing his true mother's name. Granny Hopkins was intending to use blackmail against Gordon but Maggie told Gordon the truth herself before the Hopkinses could do so. Gordon was stunned by the news, and reacted firstly by warning the Hopkinses, who left the Street abruptly in a midnight flit, and going out to celebrate the fact that Les Clegg was not his father. After getting over the initial shock, he began treating Betty as his mother. In 1976, Gordon visited to arrange the sale of the shop to Renee Bradshaw.

In 1982, Gordon married Caroline Wilson. This was followed by the birth of their son, Peter, in 1985. In 1995, Gordon gave Betty away when she married Billy Williams. As Billy was an old flame of Betty's, Gordon wondered if he could be his real father, but Betty told him he wasn't. When Betty decided to retire in 2002, Gordon invited her to live with his family in Wimbledon, although this caused friction with Caroline as she wasn't keen on the idea. After some consideration, Betty decided not to take up the offer, as she enjoyed working too much. Gordon extended the invitation again the following year after Betty had a fire at her house in Weatherfield, but she only lived with the Cleggs temporarily. In 2004 Gordon visited Betty and brought her flowers for her 84th birthday.

Betty continued to visit Gordon for many more years, including Christmases. In 2012 when she fell sick, he went to visit her. But she had died, and a devastated Gordon turned up at the Rovers Return to tell her friends of her death. He planned on having her buried in London, but seeing how loved Betty was by her friends, he decided it was best to have her buried in Weatherfield, and next to her late first husband Cyril. Gordon later went through her things with Emily Bishop, Rita Sullivan and Rovers landlady Stella Price. A letter written by Annie Walker was found which revealed that she wanted Betty to run the pub after her retirement in 1984, but Stella didn't want Gordon to know until she saw a solicitor. On the day of the funeral, they let Gordon know about the letter, but he knew that his mother had still been happy working at the pub although she had turned down the offer. After the funeral in the Rovers Return, he read a letter from Betty written before her death, thanking all her friends for all the good years. Gordon handed barman Sean Tully another letter from Betty, containing her secret hotpot recipe. Gordon then said goodbye before departing later in the evening.

Dickie Fleming[edit]

Dickie Fleming
Coronation Street character
Portrayed by Nigel Humphries
Duration 1968–70
First appearance 5 June 1968
Episode 780
Last appearance 6 May 1970
Episode 977
Introduced by Richard Doubleday
Classification Former; regular

Dickie Fleming is played by Nigel Humphries. Eighteen year-old Dickie, and his fiancé Audrey Bright move into number three shortly before they wed in 1968. The following year, the Flemings took Ray Langton as a lodger and Dickie became jealous as Ray and Audrey flirted with one another. Audrey later fell for Ray and when Dickie confronted her, she admitted she no longer loved him. Rejected, Dickie informed Ray's fiancé Sandra Butler of what had been going on, before leaving Weatherfield for good.

Audrey Fleming[edit]

Audrey Fleming
Coronation Street character
Portrayed by Gillian McCann
Duration 1968–70
First appearance 5 June 1968
Episode 780
Last appearance 13 May 1970
Episode 979
Introduced by Richard Doubleday
Classification Former; regular

Audrey Fleming (née Bright) is played by Gillian McCann. Shortly after arriving, 16 year-old Audrey married Dickie Fleming and they set up home at number three. In 1969, the Flemings took Ray Langton as lodger and Audrey enjoyed a flirtation with Ray, leading Dickie to become jealous and throw him out, before having a change of heart. Ray and Audrey became closer and he was about to make his move before a coach accident lost him to use of his legs.

Ray instead took a liking to new girl in the area Sandra Butler, who liked to care for him, and they became engaged. As Ray recovered, his and Audrey's attraction grew and Audrey fell in love with him. Eventually, Dickie confronted Audrey and she admitted she no longer loved him, she had fallen for Ray. Feeling rejected, Dickie took revenge in telling Sandra what had been going on before he left the area. Ray was committed to Sandra however, and after stringing her along and effectively ending her marriage, he let her down and Audrey fled Weatherfield.

Effie Spicer[edit]

Effie Spicer
Coronation Street character
Portrayed by Ann Dyson
Duration 1968–69
First appearance 26 June 1968
Episode 786
Last appearance 26 March 1969
Episode 862
Introduced by Richard Doubleday (1968)
John Finch (1968)
Classification Former; regular

Effie Spicer is played by Ann Dyson. She moved into the new maisonettes that were built after the Glad Tidings Mission Hall was demolished in 1968. During her time on Coronation Street she clashed on many occasions with her neighbour Ena Sharples. Effie left the street in 1969.

Joe Donnelli[edit]

Joe Donnelli
Coronation Street character
Portrayed by Shane Rimmer
Duration 1967, 1968, 1970
First appearance 21 August 1967
Episode 697
Last appearance 21 December 1970
Episode 1036

Joe Donnelli, played by Shane Rimmer, is a former American GI. Joe is dealing with Gambling debts and blames Steve Tanner for it, and in his idea of revenge, he pushes Steve down a flight of stairs, killing him. For nearly two years Joe gets away with the murder when the chief suspect is Len Fairclough. On 12 December 1970, Joe returns to the Street and kidnaps Minnie Caldwell but his plan backfires when he is cornered by Irma Barlow, so he holds her hostage in the corner shop and confesses to murdering Steve. Irma manages to escape and Joe goes to No. 5 Coronation Street and holds Minnie and Bobby hostage. Later Stan Ogden takes Minnie's place, but Stan is unaware that Joe is armed with a gun and is forced to sing Christmas carols to Joe. When the police arrive and surround the house, Joe commits suicide by shooting himself after realising there is no escape.

Alice Pickens[edit]

Alice Pickens
Coronation Street character
Portrayed by Doris Hare
Duration 1968, 1969
First appearance 18 November 1968
Episode 825
Last appearance 1 September 1969
Episode 906
Introduced by John Finch (1968)
H.V. Kershaw (1969)
Classification Former; recurring

Alice Pickens is played by Doris Hare. She appears in the series between 1968 and 1969. She became engaged to Albert Tatlock but the marriage was called off.


  1. ^ a b Kilkelly, Daniel. "Bill Kenwright to return for Betty's funeral". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 31 January 2012.