Alan Bradley (Coronation Street)
|Coronation Street character|
|Portrayed by||Mark Eden|
|First appearance||Episode 2587
15 January 1986
|Last appearance||Episode 3002
8 December 1989
|Introduced by||John G. Temple|
Alan is one of the most famous villains in the history of the Street. He made his first appearance in 1986 when his ex-wife Pat was killed in a road accident. Because of his absence, working away from home, his daughter, Jenny Bradley, was temporarily fostered by Rita Fairclough.
Alan soon began relationships with both Rita and the Rovers' barmaid Gloria. He dropped Gloria after learning the extent of Rita's financial assets, but at first he appeared to be genuinely in love with her. He tried unsuccessfully to persuade her to marry him. He also confessed to her that he had a conviction for assault. Later, Alan left Rita for another woman, but she coaxed him back to live with her; he was motivated by the fact that his business was in trouble. The woman in question warned Rita that Alan was only interested in her money. In fact, Alan had already "borrowed" the deeds to Rita's house, and had impersonated her dead husband, Len Fairclough, in order to get a mortgage to support his business.
In 1989, when Rita discovered Alan's deception, he assaulted her and almost killed her. At the conclusion of his trial, his plea bargain meant he walked free. He then returned to the Street and conducted a campaign of harassment against Rita, who had a breakdown and moved to Blackpool, having lost her memory. Many residents believed that Alan had murdered her, and he became the object of widespread hatred and suspicion. Having tracked her down, Alan famously met his end after being hit and killed by a Blackpool tram while chasing a distressed Rita across the tracks. 26.93 million viewers watched the character meet his untimely demise in 1989. As of 2010, it is the 9th most-watched UK broadcast of all time.
The first episode of series 2 of Phoenix Nights contains a visual reference to the death of Alan Bradley, where flowers with a sign 'In Memory of Alan, 8th Dec 89', RIP' are tied to a lamp-post beside the tram line.
On 8 December 2009, Mark Eden unveiled a blue plaque to mark the 20 year anniversary of the screening of the famous Coronation Street episode. The plaque is located outside The Strand Hotel, North Promenade, Blackpool which was the venue chosen for the filming of much of the footage.
In further episodes of Coronation Street references to Alan occur, most recently in the episode aired April 2015 when Jenny called into Rita's shop The Kabin, in which Norris Cole asked her if she was travelling to the shops by tram; intended as a cutting quip referencing the way Alan died.
- Tapper, James (1 May 2005). "The biggest TV audience ever ... it is now". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2007-09-05.
- Helen Steel (5 April 2010). "Blackpool: A love affair with the nation's favourite street". Blackpool Gazette. Archived from the original on 1 April 2010.