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 was a man who stalked nineteen year old Gail Potter (Helen Worth). He made his first appearance on 19 January 1976 and made his last appearance on 21 January 1976. He was portrayed by Ian Hastings.

In January 1976, Gail began getting mysterious phone calls, although she and her then best friend, 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 Drewry).

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 was the husband of Doreen (Jane Lowe). They divorced after he had an affair with nineteen year old Gail Potter (Helen Worth). He made his first appearance on 26 April 1976 and made his last appearance on 1 September 1976. He was portrayed by Sidney Livingstone.

In April 1976, Roy first appeared as the "business associate" of Sylvia Matthews (Rosemary Dunham). He began an affair with Gail, and took her virginity in the stock room. However, after discovering that Roy was married to another woman and had two children in August 1976, she broke off their relationship.

Poor Gail was cited in a messy divorce after Roy's then wife, Doreen, 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 was the wife of Roy Thornley (Sidney Livingstone). She made her first and last appearance on 1 September 1976. She was portrayed by Jane Lowe.

In September 1976, Doreen went over to 11 Coronation Street to have a word with nineteen year old Gail Potter (Helen Worth), who unknowingly had an affair with her husband, Roy. Roy never told his wife that Gail was innocent, and therefore, Doreen put her down as a suspect in the divorce proceedings. Gail's then best mate, Elsie Tanner (Pat Phoenix), tried to come to her defense until Gail broke down at the bottom of the stairs and told her she didn't know she was having an affair and that she is not a tramp. Doreen didn't believe it at first but eventually dropped Gail out of the court case as there was proof she was innocent.

Derek Wilton[edit]

Main article: Derek Wilton

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]

Main article: Renee Bradshaw

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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