Alec Hobson was cocky young self-employed electrician whose van pulled up in Coronation Street in January 1982. Alec was looking for local work and proved trustworthy when he returned Annie Walker's toaster when she thought he'd disappeared with it.

When Alec's van broke down, a sympathetic Betty Turpin let him lodge with her at 37 Hillside Crescent. He lifted Betty's spirits at a time when she was upset over missing her son Gordon's wedding, and Betty ended up paying for his van repairs. Alec then landed a big job doing the repair work at Baldwin's Casuals but when his shoddy work resulted in Vera Duckworth getting an electric shock from her sewing machine, Mike sacked Alec. Alec decided to move on and he left the area.

A few weeks later, Alec's van pulled into the Street again. Alec returned Betty's £40 and camped out in his van, but one morning he woke up to find the wheels from his vehicle had been stolen while he slept. Eddie Yeats decided to help the lad out and offered to sell him a set of wheels he'd got from a scrapyard for £50, only for Alec to recognise them as the ones that were stolen from his van in the first place. Alec took the wheels and set off for the Lake District.

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