Ashley grew up believing his parents to be Sam and Beryl Peacock, who raised him to adulthood. It wasn't until 1999 when he was twenty-two that Ashley discovered he'd been rejected as a baby by his biological mother Kathleen Gutteridge and given to the childless Peacocks by his "uncle" Fred. Fred had always kept a watchful eye over Ashley, employing him at his butcher shop in Nelson Street, and the revelation deepened their relationship.
Ashley moved to Coronation Street in 1996 when he became Don Brennan's lodger at No.5. A year later, Fred gave Ashley his house, No.4, and in 1999 Ashley married Maxine Heavey. A son, Joshua, followed in 2002, though Ashley's joy was tempered by the fact that due to a one-night-stand between Maxine and Matt Ramsden, Joshua might not be his. In 2003, Maxine was murdered by Richard Hillman, and a grieving Ashley took a paternity test determining once and for all that he was not Joshua's father. Despite this, Ashley continued to regard him as his own.
Ashley went on to marry Joshua's nanny Claire Casey in 2004. 2006 was both a time of sadness and joy as Fred died suddenly from a massive stroke and the Peacocks welcomed a baby boy, Freddie. Ashley inherited the butchers, now situated in Victoria Street, and retained the name Elliott & Son. Downsizing in 2008 due to financial difficulties, Peacocks had just decided to start afresh in France when Ashley was killed in the 2010 tram crash, crushed when The Joinery roof caved in on him.
Ashley Peacock was the biological son of Fred Elliott, and shared a similar accent to him. However for most of Ashley's life he believed Fred was his uncle, having been raised by Fred's sister Beryl Peacock and her husband Sam.
Ashley began working for Fred at his butchers shop and moved in with Don Brennan at 5 Coronation Street. Ashley was one of the few friends that Don had left, although Don eventually betrayed Ashley by attempting to frame him for the arson of Mike Baldwin's factory that Don himself had committed. Mike and Fred teamed up to prove Ashley's innocence and Ashley was eventually cleared.
In 1997, Ashley began a relationship with Maxine Heavey, although shortly after moving in together Ashley agreed to take in homeless teenager Zoe Tattersall. Ashley soon developed feelings for Zoe and broke up with Maxine to be with her. Ashley helped Zoe regain custody of her infant daughter Shannon. Shannon later developed meningitis and died, which adversely affected Ashley and Zoe's relationship. Some months later Zoe ran off with a cult.
In 1999, Ashley was shocked to learn that Fred had a son. After confronting Fred, Ashley was stunned to learn that he was in fact that son. Ashley eventually accepted Fred as a father and the two forged a much closer bond. Supporting Ashley through his turmoil was his ex-girlfriend Maxine and they were soon married.
Maxine was murdered by Richard Hillman in January 2003, and it took him a long time to get over the tragedy. Ashley realised that he would need help looking after his young son Joshua, and decided to hire a nanny. Claire Casey was the chosen candidate, and the two fell in love. They were married on Christmas Day in 2004. On their first anniversary, Claire announced to Ashley that she was pregnant. Their son Freddie was born on 17th July 2006.
Fred challenged a rival butcher, Eddie Maddocks, to a boxing match, which was between Ashley and the butcher's son Marvin, who happened to be the local champion. On the day of the fight, Fred dropped a mass on Ashley's foot, mildly injuring him. Ashley carried on with the fight, but during the match other fights started between the spectators, resulting in a riot. A bemused Ashley and Marvin agreed on a tie.
Fred went to see Audrey Roberts a few minutes before he was supposed to marry Bev Unwin and died at Audrey's house. Although Ashley swore that Fred and Audrey weren't having an affair other residents of the Street didn't believe him, so he had to cope with the loss of his father and people tarnishing his memory. Ashley blamed Audrey for Fred's death because she told him that she loved him the week before he was due to marry Bev. Ashley also had to deal with the effects of the post-natal depression which affected Claire after the birth of their son Freddie.
In May 2007, Claire was alone with Freddie in the house when she woke to the sound of a fire alarm and fire spreading through the house. Claire was rescued by Jamie Baldwin and Kirk Sutherland but they could not get back in for Freddie. The baby was found half a mile away in a local park the next day. A fire investigation showed that an accelerant had been used to start the fire, leading the police to believe that it had been started deliberately. Claire started to suspect former friend Casey Carswell despite Ashley's doubts.
A short time later, Ashley kissed Casey and they both agreed to forget about the situation. Casey didn't intend to forget about it and she and Ashley had sex in the conservatory. They were nearly caught by Claire who returned from her trauma support group. Casey manipulated a guillable Ashley into sleeping with her. Ashley then decided that he was to be with Claire, and told Casey that their relationship was over. Casey was adamant that Ashley still loved her, so she kept pestering him. This caused Claire to get suspicious, as Casey had previously lived at the Peacocks' while she was away, and asked Ashley if he had slept with Casey. He denied it.
As Casey was obsessed with Ashley, she did anything to get his attention, including taking Freddie from Kirk Sutherland while the baby was in his care. She took Freddie to her flat and locked him out on the balcony until Ashley turned up. When Ashley arrived, he was horrified to see photos of him on all of Casey's walls. He tried to reason with her to get Freddie back. When Claire and Audrey showed up, Casey shouted at Ashley to get rid of her but Claire barged in while Ashley told Audrey to phone the police. After talking to Casey about hers and Ashley's affair, Claire managed to get Freddie back safely. Casey confessed to starting the fire at the Peacocks' house.
After Ashley's affair with Casey was revealed, Claire told Ashley their marriage was over. He left the Peacock home and ended up on Kevin Webster's sofa. He saw Josh and Freddie regularly, but the tension between Claire and Ashley remained. Claire was struggling looking after Josh and Freddie while continuing to work but didn't forgive Ashley as he hurt her too much. Ashley stayed with Audrey Roberts, along with David Platt and Bill Webster, as he thought he had overstayed his welcome at the Websters. He and Claire got back together after Claire's experience at a singles night where she kissed Kevin.
After the death of Fred in 2006, Ashley took over the butchers. On 10 November 2008, Ashley employed Graeme Proctor at Elliot & Son following the teenager's release from the Young Offenders Institution and they went on to become friends.
During 2008, Claire was shocked to discover that she and Ashley were struggling financially. Ashley confessed to using their savings to keep his butchers shop going until times improved. Claire was discussing options with Sally Webster when Sally mentioned that her daughters were getting too old to share a room. Joshua and Freddie were young enough for that not to be a problem so Claire and Sally decided to swap houses. Kevin and Ashley both reluctantly agreed.
In 2010, Claire wanted to make a new start in France, despite Ashley's objections. He pretended to have a heart attack to make her change her mind, and when Claire discovered his deceit she decided to move there with the boys, leaving Ashley in Weatherfield. Jack Duckworth implored the two to reconcile shortly before his death in November, and at his funeral they agreed to give life in France together a chance.
On 6th December 2010, Ashley attended Peter Barlow's stag night at The Joinery bar in the viaduct at the end of Coronation Street. As he said his goodbyes a massive gas explosion ripped the bar apart and caused a tram overhead to derail and crash into the Street. Ashley and Nick Tilsley were trapped with a gravely injured Peter. Despite his own serious injuries becoming more apparent, Ashley helped Nick get Peter to safety as the building crumbled. He left a voicemail for Claire telling her that he loved her and the boys. When Nick turned back to get him out, Ashley told him to leave and save himself, realising how unstable the wreckage was. Before Nick could make a decision, the viaduct collapsed on top of Ashley, killing him instantly.
Hobbies and interests
- In April 2010 it was announced that the Peacock family were to be written out of the show, which came about when Phil Collinson took over as producer of Coronation Street. Ashley was one of the victims of the 50th Anniversary Tram Crash, being one of the three named characters to die.
- Making his final onscreen appearance in Episode 7486 (8th December 2010), Steven Arnold was credited in the following episode as his voice was heard through recording.
First and last lines
“It's in the fridge. Hey, I thought you said she was a vegetarian?” (First line, to Fred Elliott about a departing customer)
"I really miss you Claire, same to you kids. (coughs) I love you." (Final line heard in the programme, played as a voicemail recording following the character's death)