Coronation Street’s Best Villains!
The cobbles of Coronation Street have been trodden by as many villains as the corridors of the Old Bailey, but who was the worst of them all? And by worst, we mean best in terms of great villain behaviour!
Well in Corrie right now, we’ve got two contenders for the title, albeit one of them is just a bit of a wazack really – John, the deluded kidnapper – but Tony’s shaping up to be right up there with the likes of Richard Hillman!
So, let’s take a look at the characters who’ve been the bad boys and girls of the Street since it began…
Corrie’s first real villain committed murder on the Street in September 1968. A character called Joe Donnelli murdered fellow American GI Steve Tanner by pushing him down the stairs after a row about a gambling debt. Joe later shot himself dead inside No5 Coronation Street.
In fact, 1968 was a busy year for the criminally inclined in Weatherfield for it also saw the appearance of our next baddy, Frank Riley. He was an escaped prisoner who broke into the Barlow’s then home and held Valerie Barlow – one of Ken’s many wives – hostage while Ken was at a school theatre group. She was terrified that he intended to rape her but was able to signal to her neighbour, Ena Sharples, by banging on a pipe. The police eventually captured Frank and Valerie was unharmed though traumatised by her ordeal.
Things were quiet on the villain front for a while, but in 1975, a character called Roy Johnson killed his wife Lynn on the Street. Roy had been a wife beater for quite some time but on the 29th January that year, he went too far and battered Lynn to death. Her body was found in Len Fairclough’s kitchen and Roy later confessed to the murder.
The next murder to occur on the Street was that of Ernest Bishop in 1978. In January, two raiders burst into the office of Mike Baldwin’s factory where Ernest was doing the wages. They were armed with sawn-off shotguns and demanded the cash and poor old Ernest stupidly tried to reason with them. When he realised they meant business, he handed over some money but just then, Mike walked into the office and nudged one of the criminals, who then accidentally shot Ernest who subsequently died on the operating table at Weatherfield General. One of the men involved in the robbery and murder turned up in the show not that long ago as someone from Emily’s church – and would be suitor for Eileen – in the form of Ed Jackson.
Next up was bad egg Alan Bradley. Alan was the first psycho to bring Coronation Street really big viewing figures; his demise pulled in around 26 million viewers when it originally aired on 8th December 1989.. He first showed up on Coronation Street in 1986 when he was trying to find his daughter, Jenny. She’d run away after her mother was killed in a hit and run and was living with Rita. First, Alan started stealing from Rita and then tried to trick her into marrying him. After that, Alan turned from charming lover and father into abusive boyfriend, and tried to kill Rita by smothering her with a pillow. He was thwarted by Martin Platt and Jenny who rescued her just in time. Martin was dating Jenny then by the way, before he became an old lady botherer and took up with Gail. Alan disappeared but managed to track Rita down in Blackpool which heralded the classic scene when Alan met his end after being hit by a Blackpool tram.
Over the course of the 90s, the Street saw several of its residents meeting violent ends at the hands of local gangsters, and one of the nastiest of those gangsters was Jez Quigley. First of all, he got some of his unsavoury mates to go and give Des Barnes’s stepson Tony a good hiding. Des intervened and was murdered, but they didn’t kill Tony. Jez wasn’t going to let that stop him getting his man though and in 1999, he finally saw Tony off. Jez also battered Steve Macdonald to within an inch of his life, but he was to pay for that later when Steve’s dad Jim caught up with him and killed him.
The next bad boy in the frame – or actually, cunningly not in the frame – was Jon Lindsay; conman, seducer of lonely widows and all round cad. He charmed and bedded Deirdre Rachid, then got her sent to prison when he framed her for frauds he’d committed. He was later arrested and taken away to do things the Strangeway.
1997 saw average Joe turn nutcase in the form of Don Brennan. Don, who was once married to Ivy Tilsley – Gail’s ex-mother in law – had always felt hard done to by Mike Baldwin. That fateful year, Don lost money gambling with Mike and to add insult to injury, Don was tricked into buying the garage for much more than it was worth. He lost everything, including his girlfriend Josie Clark, and he blamed Mike for it all. To exact revenge, Don kidnapped Alma Baldwin and drove into the canal with her, but they both survived. Don went to prison but that wasn’t the last the Street saw of him. He developed cancer in prison so was transferred to a hospital from which he escaped and held Mike hostage, beating him up in the process. He then stole Alma’s car and drove himself into the wall of the viaduct at high speed, dying in the ensuing explosion.
Then we had Corrie’s first bad girl in the form of Anne Malone. She was a nutter and a domineering woman who caused all sorts of trouble for first Andy McDonald and then Curly Watts, who she secretly fancied. He didn’t feel the same way and rejected her so she set things up to make it look like he was sabotaging Bettabuys where they both worked. After Curly went on the run from the law – and also to search for ex-wife Raquel – Anne got locked in the store’s freezer and died.
Perhaps the biggest, baddest villain of all so far was Richard Hillman. He was the baddy we all loved to hate but his first appearance was when he turned up at Alma’s funeral. Richard was Alma’s cousin and his first major evil deed was watching as his friend and associate Dougie Ferguson took a header over a banister. Instead of going for help, Tricky Dicky rifled through Dougie’s pockets for cash and left him to die. Then, he smashed his ex-wife in the face with a shovel on 20th May 2002, and, not surprisingly, he killed her in the process. He then married Gail Platt in July 2002 and soon after was trying to make Gail’s mum, Audrey Roberts, think that she was going mad. Richard burned down her house, but didn’t manage to kill Audrey. Then, he tried to kill Emily Bishop with a crowbar but instead, he had to kill Maxine Peacock – our Ashley’s wife – who walked in on Richard as he tried to murder Emily. Richard finally died when he drove his people carrier into the local canal, trying to take Gail and her kids with him.
Then there was another lady murderer and all round nasty piece of work, Maya Sharma. Maya was a lawyer who became romantically involved with Dev. Her first evil doing was when she killed Monica, Kirk’s dog – before taking Dev for a potentially lethal 90mph joyride. It turned out that the money-hungry Maya had married six illegal immigrants under the name Sunita Parekh and as if all that wasn’t enough, she also burnt down all of Dev’s shops. Maya apparently died after a lorry crashed into the back of her car as she watched the Corner Shop burn.
And our final baddy offering is Katy Harris. Katy was a mixed up teenager who had a volatile relationship with her dad, Tommy, which culminated in her having a huge row with him at Kevin’s garage where he worked. Katy killed him by smashing him over the head with a monkey wrench on 4th March 2005. Katy – who was a diabetic – later died after deliberately eating too much sugary food and her mother is still serving time for perjury after she lied and said she’d killed Tommy.
So who’s been your favourite villain on the Street? Let us know!