The History of Christmas Specials: Coronation Street

by Lynn Connolly

This year’s Christmas on Corrie looks set to be a good ‘un with explosions and feuds, it’s just your average Chrimbo in Weatherfield, but what of Christmasses past? Let’s take a look at what was going on in the last decade of Christmasses on the Street but before we do, here’s a classic clip from 1991 that shows the very tenderly young Steve McDonald and a much fresher Liz and Jim McDonald!

So, onto our look at previous year’s festive storylines, and Christmas day 1998 saw Judy Mallett giving birth to her twins, William and Rebecca. Also on Christmas day, Les Battersby splashed out on buying presents and for his daughter Toyah, he bought a new laptop and for wife Janice, a designer jacket. The Duckworths had barricaded themselves in the bedroom of the pub – to stop Alec Gilroy chucking them out – so the street’s residents provided food and drink, delivering it by climbing a ladder.

Then by Christmas 1999, poor Judy had died of an embolism so Gary spent the day with the Duckworths while temporary street resident Sergei cooked Christmas dinner at No.4 for Doreen and Audrey who both fancied him. Martin and Rebecca had a frantic time in Casualty when a young boy died after being knocked down by a car. Ashley gave Maxine a kitten for Christmas but was stunned when Fred gave them the house as a present! Meanwhile, Martin comforted his colleague Rebecca over the death of the boy and they ended up making love in a hospital bed.

Christmas day 2000 saw Kevin Webster still reeling over the death of his wife Alison. He admitted to Natalie that he felt guilty about her death because he’d slept with Sally on the night before their wedding. Swine! Elsewhere, Vera came home and was amazed at the new kitchen Jack had had put in but was even more stunned when he presented her with tickets for a three week Caribbean cruise. Martin and Gail agreed to give David an ‘official’ birthday on New Year’s Eve and Jason turned up at the Battersby’s to be introduced to Dennis. Martin went to see Rebecca, but from outside he saw her kiss someone else, so he left.

Christmas 2001 dawned with Les upset that Janice didn’t want to get back together while Audrey, Sally, Martin and the kids were supposed to be having Christmas dinner together but the gas went off. Roy, Hayley, Norris, Matt and Charlie got the food ready at the cafe to feed the homeless but only one man turned up. Peter got drunk and told Deirdre exactly what he thinks of her so Deirdre stormed off and left the male Barlow’s to sort their own dinner out. Karen apologised for being rude to Eileen and she and Steve made up their earlier row. Ashley, Maxine, Sally, Martin, Audrey, Fred and Eve all ended up eating at Roy’s Rolls as there was no gas at home and plenty of spare food at the café. Jack went to give Terry some money but whilst on the allotment, he had worrying chest pains. Terry hot wired a car and drove Jack to the hospital where Terry was spotted and arrested. Deirdre turned up at Dev’s and they ended up in bed together. Ewwwwww. Here’s a clip from that stomach churning moment…

When the big day arrived in 2002, Emily had terrible flu but insisted on cooking Christmas Dinner. Blanche handed out £10 notes as Christmas presents while Tommy bought Angela a mobile phone. Audrey insisted on calling at Gail’s to give the children their presents but Gail refused to let her in after they’d rowed about Richard. Les found out that Toyah’s boyfriend was her lecturer from college and is disgusted by it. Meanwhile, Emily bumped into Audrey and Archie who had nowhere to go for dinner so she invited them to her house. Blanche took offence to that and went back to the Barlow’s.

Richard Hillman

Vera was upset when Terry didn’t show up for Christmas as he promised while Emily, Norris, Rita, Audrey and Archie all had Christmas dinner together. Audrey told them about her suspicions regarding Richard and how he’d tried to kill her but Emily told her she shouldn’t make wild accusations. Later, Norris tried to set light to the Christmas pudding in the dark which resulted in him falling and banging his head badly. He was taken to hospital in an ambulance and Richard, on finding out that Emily was on her own, called round feigning concern as she had had the flu. He sat with her until she fell asleep and was about to smother her with a cushion when Rita called round. Richard had decided that Emily was the key to sorting out his financial worries and so he started planning how to kill her.

In 2003, our Tracy-love revealed to Steve that he was the daddy of her baby and Blanche bought number 7 as a gift to her so that she could raise her baby herself. Kirk and Fiz were a couple at the time and they fell out over where to spend the day while the Platts had a good old yuletide row. Roy revealed that he’d bought a ‘virtual baby’ on the internet which he and Hayley spent the day looking after. Norris cooked Christmas Dinner for Emily and Rita but he timed the turkey with a new gizmo that failed to switch the oven on.

Steve rowed with Karen over her lying to his mum saying they would be away for Christmas and stormed out. Fiz rowed with Cilla and then with Kirk for taking her mum’s side. In her temper, she announced that she and Tyrone had shared a drunken kiss. Gail’s Christmas dinner was a disaster when she unintentionally upset Sarah regarding her pregnancy and Steve threatened to kill Tracy if she ever told Karen the truth about the baby. Here’s a clip from the episode…

2004’s Christmas episode found Steve trying to get near the burning car to rescue Amy but the flames were too fierce. Tracy, convinced that Karen had killed Amy, jumped in Steve’s car and drove off like a woman possessed and ran Karen over. Karen managed to scramble up the factory steps and banged on the door. Hayley – who was mending Claire’s dress – let her in but Tracy, wielding a crook-lock, forced her way in threatening to kill Karen. Outside, Steve was relieved to find that Amy was safe and sound with Roy and went to the factory to tell Tracy that Amy was safe. However, Tracy didn’t believe him and thought he was just trying to save Karen. Tracy and Karen continued to fight on the factory roof and Steve arrived with Amy just in time to stop things getting more serious.

Meanwhile, Kirk mixed his presents up and gave Cilla a bone and Schmeichel a pair of tights. Vera threw Jack out for giving her last year’s Christmas card again and Eileen, Jason, Sean and Violet had Christmas dinner together. It was also Ashley and Claire’s wedding day and after a few mishaps, the pair said ‘I do’ and left the Church under an arch of meat cleavers just as snow began to fall.

The 2005 Christmas day episode saw Penny disappointed with her present from Mike –which was a Road Atlas – and the Battersbys oven had broken so they had nowhere to cook their turkey. Deirdre was pleased when Tracy came round and they tried to call a truce about her nasty boyfriend Charlie. Meanwhile, Mike, Penny, Danny, Leanne and Adam arrived at the restaurant to wait for Viv, Jamie’s mum. Mike’s Alzheimer’s had taken hold by now and he was frustrated that he couldn’t remember how many people he’d booked the table for. Back with the Battersbys, Kirk, Fiz and Chesney tried to cook the turkey on the sunbed but when that didn’t work, Cilla and her dopey mate Yana put it in the deep fat fryer at the chippy and went off to the pub while it cooked resulting in their burning the place down.

With the other street residents, Vera bought Jack the deeds to a burial plot so they “can rest in peace together” while Jack admitted he’d “sold his body” to an artist to buy Vera her present. Charlie called at the Barlow’s which left Deirdre seething but Tracy won her over and he stayed for lunch. Claire told Ashley and Fred that she was pregnant.

On Christmas day 2006, David totally ruined Christmas for the Platts and the Websters when he not only revealed to Gail that he knew she’d planned to have him aborted, he also exposed Bill and Audrey’s relationship to Bill’s newly arrived girlfriend Maureen, causing chaos. Jason got a Christmas surprise of his own when a girl named Emma dropped off a baby at the Grimshaw’s that she claimed was Jason’s leading Sarah to realise that Jason had cheated on her when they were together. Steve was depressed following his disastrous date with Michelle and his Christmas got worse when he was forced to entertain Blanche, Ken and Deirdre.

Last year’s Christmas day episode found Fiz discovering John’s affair with Rosie Webster which led to the teacher getting a kicking from Kevin Webster. Michelle found out about the baby-switcheroo confusion and was horrified to learn that Ryan may not be her real son while over at the Platt’s, Gail’s long-lost brother Steven from Canada made a welcome Christmas visit.

You can watch clips from all your favourite bits of Corrie at Christmas on here.

Can’t wait to see what the Street has in store this year!

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.