List of Coronation Street characters (1976)

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Coronation Street is a British soap opera first broadcast on 9 December 1960. The following is a list of characters that first appeared in 1976, by order of first appearance.

John Lane[edit]

John Lane
Coronation Street character
Portrayed by Ian Hastings
Duration 1976
First appearance 19th January 1976
Last appearance 21st January 1976
Classification Former, recurring

John Lane, portrayed by Ian Hastings, was Gail Potter's (Helen Worth) stalker.

In January 1976, Gail began getting mysterious phone calls, although she and her then best mate Tricia Hopkins (Kathy Jones) thought they were from a secret admirer. However, Gail got a phone call with breathing on the line, making her frightened. She called in the Exchange, and she was all alone when John arrived (pretending to be from the GPO) whilst Tricia was out on a date with Philip Harper (Mark Drewery).

Gail started to find John rather creepy, and discovered that he was her stalker after she also discovered he was going to assault her when he told her to get into bed so he can wait for the anonymous phone caller. However, thanks to Emily Bishop (Eileen Derbyshire), cops came round to Gail and Tricia's flat, and Gail was soon rescued and John was arrested.

Roy Thornley[edit]

Roy Thornley
Coronation Street character
Portrayed by Sidney Livingstone
Duration 1976
First appearance 26th April 1976
Last appearance 1st September 1976
Introduced by Bill Podmore
Classification Former, recurring
Occupation Merchandising manager

Roy Thornley, portrayed by Sidney Livingstone, was the "business associate" of Sylvia Matthews (Rosemary Dunham). He began a relationship with nineteen year old Gail Potter (Helen Worth), and took her virginity in the stock room. Gail's then best mate Elsie Tanner (Pat Phoenix) tried to warn her that Roy was married to another woman and had two children with her, but Gail thought that Elsie was acting jealous until she was convinced that she was having an affair with Roy; Gail, disgusted by her own actions, told Roy that they were through.

Poor Gail was cited in a messy divorce after Roy's then wife Doreen (Jane Lowe) discovered the affair and Gail was sacked from her job at Sylvia's Separates. Roy tried to make Gail look like the guilty party by having her lie to the court, which she refused to do. However, Gail was soon proven innocent as it was revealed he had an affair with Sylvia.

Doreen Thornley[edit]

Doreen Thornley
Coronation Street character
Portrayed by Jane Lowe
Duration 1976
Appears on 1st September 1976
Introduced by Bill Podmore
Classification Former, guest

Doreen Thornley, portrayed by Jane Lowe, was Roy Thornley's (Sidney Livingstone) wife. She went over to 11 Coronation Street to meet nineteen year old Gail Potter (Helen Worth), who unknowingly had an affair with her husband. However, it was Elsie Tanner (Pat Phoenix) who answered the door, and she also tried defending her friend. Gail then broke down at the bottom of the stairs and revealed she didn't know she was having an affair, but Doreen didn't believe her. However, Gail was excused from the divorce proceedings as there was proof she was innocent.

Derek Wilton[edit]

Derek Wilton, played by Peter Baldwin, made his first onscreen appearance on 23 February 1976 and last appeared on 7 April 1997. Derek was introduced as a love interest of Mavis Riley (Thelma Barlow).[1] Derek spent years playing with Mavis' emotions until they finally married in 1988. They are a "comic pair" who go through an entire series of misunderstandings and setbacks.[2] Their first attempt at marriage does not develop as they jilt on another on the day. Derek goes on to marry Angela Hawthorne (Diane Fletcher) but eventually realizes that he belongs with Mavis.[3]

In 1997, Brian Park decided to axe the character.[4] Derek's exit storyline was devised by Paul Marquess.[5] Baldwin filmed his final scenes on 16 March 1997. The storyline sees Derek become stressed over work, Mavis' birthday and finally an incident with an angry motorist. The stress becomes to much for Derek and he suffers a heart attack and dies. A spokesperson from the show branded the exit as "high drama" and some of Baldwin's most dramatic material.[6] Gavin Docherty from the Sunday Mail said that Derek was a dopey character.[7] While a writer from the Daily Mirror similarly branded him "dozy Derek".[8]

Terry Bradshaw[edit]

Terry Bradshaw, played by Bob Mason, made his first onscreen appearance on in 1976 and departed in December of that year. Terry was introduced as a new employee at Ray Langton (Neville Buswell) and Len Fairclough's (Peter Adamson) builders yard. Show writers then devised a relationship with Gail Potter (Helen Worth), but their romance ended when Gail said that she did not love him. He left in December to join the army. His sister Renee Bradshaw (Madge Hindle) was also introduced into the series.[9][10]

Terry arrives on the street to take a job at the local builders yard. His sister Renee arrives to visit and notices that the Corner Shop is for sale. As the two catch up on their mother's love life, she approaches Betty Turpin (Betty Driver) to purchase the shop. Renee manages to buy the shop and Terry becomes in need of a home. She lets Terry move into the shop flat and realising that he needs independence, Renee evicts tenants Gail Platt (Helen Worth) and Tricia Hopkins (Kathy Jones) onto the street. Terry soon becomes attracted to Gail and the pair begin a relationship. But when Gail reveals that she does not love him, he decides to leave and join the army. Renee then blames Gail for her brother's departure.

Wendy Nightingale[edit]

Wendy Nightingale, played by Susan Tebbs, was introduced as a love interest for Ken Barlow (William Roache).[11] Wendy is a graduate who becomes attracted to Ken. Daran Little, wrote in his book "The Coronation Street Story", that it took only two home cooked meals for Wendy to be seduced by Ken. But Wendy is already married to Roger Nightingale (Matthew Long). She reveals that she has never been unfaithful but finds married life boring. Ken urges her to leave Roger.[11] She moves in with Ken and Roger attacks Ken for ruining his marriage. Little said that Wendy and Ken wanted different things. Wendy was well travelled in comparison to Ken who only knew life on Coronation Street.[12] She could not cope with the "clutter, noise, smoke, noisiness and openness of the denizens of the street". Wendy lived with Ken for five weeks and admitted that she had made a mistake. She returned to Roger who was happy to forgive her and resume their marriage.[12] Wendy and Ken were Coronation Street's first unmarried cohabiting couple.[13]

Roger Nightingale[edit]

Roger Nightingale, played by Matthew Long, first appeared onscreen in April 1976 and departed on 2 June 1976. Roger is introduced as the husband of Wendy Nightingale (Susan Tebbs) who begins an affair with Ken Barlow (William Roache). She feels that her marriage to Roger has become too boring and Ken convinces her to leave him.[11]

When she moves in with Ken, Roger becomes angry and goes to visit the new couple. He ends up attacking Ken and knocking him unconscious.[12] In the book "The Coronation Street Story", Daran Little wrote that Ken had expected Roger to acknowledge that his marriage was over, but he was not as cooperative as Ken had hoped. When Wendy decides that she has made a mistake, Roger is willing to forgive her. Wendy returns home to Roger and they attempt to rebuild their marriage.[12]

Renee Bradshaw[edit]

Irene "Renee" Roberts (née Bradshaw), played by Madge Hindle, made her first onscreen appearance on 10 May 1976 and departed on 30 July 1980. The character began a relationship with widower Alf Roberts (Bryan Mosley). The duo married in the episode dated 20 March 1978 despite accusations that Alf was only interested in Renee's wealth.[14][15] Renee was written out of Coronation Street in 1980. Hindle told Rosemary Long from Evening Times that she was upset to learn her character would be killed off.[16] Renee is involved in a car accident and dies from a ruptured spleen and liver.[17] The episode that aired on 30 July 1980 featured Renee's final appearance.[18]


  1. ^ Little 1998, p.131.
  2. ^ Hayward 1991, p.68.
  3. ^ Hayward 1991, p.69.
  4. ^ Malone, Carole (21 December 1997). "I saved The Street; He killed some of your favourite characters ...but TV's most feared axeman Brian Park says he has breathed new life into Weatherfield". Sunday Mirror. (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Penfold, Phil (30 November 2001). "Axeman of soap; Sacking stars is just a job for Paul Marquess". Daily Record. (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  6. ^ "Consternation Street; Dopy Derek killed off in road-rage terror". Daily Record. (Trinity Mirror). 17 March 1997. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  7. ^ Docherty, Gavin (13 April 1977). "The Scot who's spilled all the blood on the Street...". Sunday Mail. (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "Laugh respects; Stars giggle at dopey Derek's funeral". Daily Mirror. (Trinity Mirror). 25 March 1997. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  9. ^ Randall 2010, p.242.
  10. ^ Randall 2010, p.129.
  11. ^ a b c Little 1998, p.129.
  12. ^ a b c d Little 1998, p.130.
  13. ^ Egan 2010, pp.138–139.
  14. ^ "Coronation Street 50 Years: The 88 Weatherfield weddings". Manchester Evening News. (Trinity Mirror). 28 September 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  15. ^ Mines, Lucy (22 September 2004). "Matrimony Street; In its 44 years Coronation St has filmed 58 marriages --the latest a Hindu ceremony. This sequence shows just how society has changed". Daily Mail. (Associated Newspapers via Highbeam Research). Retrieved 17 August 2013. (subscription required)
  16. ^ Long, Rosemary (14 January 1987). "Killed off for the good of the show". Evening Times. (Newsquest). Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  17. ^ Randall 2010, p.115.
  18. ^ "Coronation Street 50 Years: The 114 Weatherfield deaths". Manchester Evening News. (Trinity Mirror). 28 September 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 

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