Andrea Clayton was the daughter of Harry and Connie Clayton and older sister of Sue. The Claytons lived at 11 Coronation Street from January to August 1985 but the family did a moonlight flit and disappeared from the area after Andrea got pregnant by Terry Duckworth.
Andrea Clayton moved into 11 Coronation Street with the rest of her family in January 1985. Andrea was an A-Level student and spent a lot of time studying for her exams; Harry and Connie were putting their hopes on her to go to University and do them proud. When she failed her mock exams and decided to leave school, Harry was having none of it and asked Ken Barlow to talk her round, but it was the fear of turning out like Vera Duckworth that made Andrea decide to stay at school and get an education!
Andrea caught the eye of Casanova Terry Duckworth, who did his best to lure her away from her revision. Andrea thought he was a good laugh and went out with him to a dance, but didn't tell her parents as they looked down on the Duckworths and wouldn't approve. A short time later, a row broke out between the Duckworths and the Claytons when Vera refused to pay Connie for altering a dress as she wasn't satisfied with the gaudy garment. Terry and Andrea became more discrete - Andrea told her parents she was meeting Michelle Robinson, when she and Michelle were meeting up with Terry and Kevin Webster so that Michelle and Kevin would go off together. Their secret came out when Harry and Connie caught them snogging on the sofa. Hoping to win both sets of parents round, Terry paid Vera's bill. Connie accepted it but there was no love lost between the families.
A short time later, Andrea found out she was pregnant and told Michelle, swearing her to secrecy, but the news reached Terry as Michelle told Kevin, who let his friend know. Andrea was worried that her life was over but Connie was gentle with her, telling her she and Harry would raise the baby if she still wanted to go to university. Andrea hadn't yet decided if she wanted to have the baby at all, but Harry and Connie told Jack and Vera in the Rovers and a fight ensued when Jack insinuated that Andrea was a slut and that Terry might not be the father. Her pregnancy now the talk of the street, Andrea felt that abortion was no longer an option.
Andrea passed her A-Levels with two Bs and a C, enough to get her into Sheffield University. Meanwhile, Terry was keeping at her, as he wanted to play a part in his child's life and wouldn't let her shut him out. Andrea did her best to ignore him, but it wasn't easy as the Duckworths lived next door. Connie and Harry decided to uproot the family and move to Connie's mother's house until they found somewhere more permanent. The family left Coronation Street overnight and eventually settled in Heaton Norris.
Andrea's son Paul was born in February 1986. Andrea raised him herself with no involvement from Terry until November 2000 when Paul experienced kidney failure and Andrea had to track the Duckworths down to find a compatible kidney donor as the Clayton side of the family was incompatible. Jack and Vera weren't in contact with Terry but Vera was a match, and readied herself for an operation, despite Jack's worries about her age and health. Jack managed to track Terry down and got him to agree to have the operation in exchange for £25,000, but Terry did a runner with the money. Vera went through with the operation and both patients pulled through.
Andrea was very grateful to the Duckworths for saving Paul's life and after this she kept in contact with them and let them see Paul. She visited Weatherfield with Paul on Christmas Day 2000 and again on Jack's 65th birthday in November 2001.
The Clayton family was created by Producer Mervyn Watson in January 1985. Watson felt the programme was missing an everyday nuclear family and created Claytons as a stable, happy couple with two teenage children. It was intended that they would be given smaller, relatable storylines and would work as a contrast to the more dysfunctional families in the Street.
The Claytons were written out after less than a year, as they failed to make an impact on writers and viewers. Watson felt they didn't fit in the Street. Watson: "The Claytons seemed to get stuck. It's always quite a complicated, organic thing, planting a whole family. It's down to us to make the right choices. Once we've made the right choice there is an intangible thing which you can't predict which only becomes evident on the screen." Actress Caroline O'Neill agreed with Watson: "They wanted just a normal, ordinary family, but you can't just give that on speck, you have to have specifics. In the end I spent six months moaning about my A Levels, which was terribly boring and uninteresting. I had a couple of scenes just before I left when I was pregnant which were quite nice but they never followed that through either." (The Coronation Street Story, 1995)
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