Originally from Sheffield, the Harrises were forced to relocate in 2002 after Angela helped put gangster Tom Morgan behind bars by testifying against him. When the family were threatened by Tom's brothers Andy and Nick, they were rehoused in Coronation Street as part of the witness protection programme, living under the name "Nelson". A year later, the Morgan brothers tracked them down and held Katy at gunpoint at No.6 before being apprehended by the police.
More drama followed in 2003 when 16-year-old Katy began a romance with 35-year-old Martin Platt, a relationship Tommy doggedly refused to accept. To avoid losing her daughter, Angela gave them her blessing but when Katy aborted their child on the basis of Angela's mistaken belief that Martin was having an affair, Martin finished with her and Katy blamed her parents. This led Katy to bludgeon Tommy to death in a moment of rage, and Angela in turn to take the blame for her daughter's crime. After a guilty Katy confessed and committed suicide, Angela was charged with perverting the course of justice and sentenced to eight years in prison.
Angela and her husband Tommy, along with their children Katy and Craig arrived in Coronation Street, renting No. 6 and using the surname "Nelson". They originally came from Sheffield, where Angela worked in a pub. She had witnessed a murder and gave evidence against the accused. The family of the accused took their revenge with threats and eventually tried to burn down their house. The Harrises were taken under the Witness Protection program, given a new identity as the Nelson family and moved to Weatherfield.
Angela got a job in Underworld but it didn't go well. Her husband Tommy was under suspicion of stealing a wallet at Coronation Street Garage where he found work, and the women in the factory turned against Angela too. Only Hayley Cropper made friends with Angela and eventually found out, but kept the family's secret.
In April 2003, Katy slipped away to see her mates in Sheffield and was followed by the brothers of the man who was jailed on Angela's evidence. There was a showdown and Tommy was shot in the process. The culprits were found and the family's secret was out. Angela was determined that she wouldn't put her family through any more hiding and secrecy. The Harrises took their own name back and the residents came round to being more neighbourly again.
Near the end of 2003, Katy took up with Martin Platt and though disapproving, Angela could not bear to be estranged from her daughter. She and Tommy fell out over the situation and split up for a while. They made up but it was an uneasy peace.
In 2005, Angela discovered that Katy was pregnant. Not thrilled, she nonetheless supported her daughter. Tommy thought Martin was having an affair with Sally Webster (who was actually having an affair with Ian Davenport) and because circumstantial evidence seemed to support it, Angela believed it and took Katy in when she came running home. She also supported and encouraged Katy's decision to have an abortion, but was mortified to find out Martin really was faithful and Katy had had the abortion for nothing. Shortly after, Katy and Tommy rowed furiously in the garage and Katy struck and killed her father. Angela was horrified, but she decided to try to cover it up and make it look like a robbery. Later she herself confessed to the killing and was remanded at Redford Prison. Even though Katy herself confessed before committing suicide, Angela was still guilty of perverting the course of justice and has remained in prison. Her father, Keith Appleyard, came to Weatherfield to stay with Craig in the house.
First and last lines
"Well, 6 Coronation Street. Must be." (First line)
"I love you!" (Final line to son Craig)