Coronation Street Wiki

William "Bill" Gregory was a Navy CPO who had an on-off relationship with Elsie Tanner. Elsie eventually left Weatherfield to run a bar with him in Portugal in 1984.

An experienced Navy chief petty officer, Bill Gregory knew Len Fairclough from their time in the war. Len left and became a builder, but Bill stayed and eventually married Phyllis Gregory.

When Bill met up with Len after twelve years in 1961, he had an affair with Elsie Tanner, but didn't tell her he was married - in fact he insisted he wasn't. Elsie asked him to cool it off when she received a poison pen letter warning her that the affair could complicate her divorce from her husband Arnold Tanner.

In 1962, Bill came back to Weatherfield, with Elsie's divorce now final. He was still reluctant to admit he was married, but Elsie's neighbour Ena Sharples let Elsie know anyway. Bill said he was separated, but when Phyllis showed up he left with her.

Bill's next visit was in 1970. Phyllis was now dead and he was buying a wine bar in Portugal. Bill wanted to marry Elsie, but she turned him down in favour of Alan Howard. Elsie married Alan shortly afterwards.

In December 1983, Bill heard about Len's death in a car crash and visited his widow, Rita, to pay his respects. He was surprised to find Elsie, divorced again, still living in the Street, and gave her the offer of coming to Portugal with him again. Elsie decided to take a chance and went with him in early January 1984.

They later got married and had a happy time together running a wine bar and driving their red sports car. Both Bill and Elsie died in a car accident in the mid-2000s, around twenty years after she moved to Portugal with him. Elsie's son Dennis recalled the events of Elsie's post-Weatherfield life to Rita upon his return to Weatherfield in 2011, and mentioned about her marrying Bill and later dying alongside him.

Actor Jack Watson had to leave the programme suddenly in November 1961 because of the Equity actors' strike. In the first episode after the onset of the strike, Elsie Tanner phoned Bill and asked him to stay away, thus explaining the character's absence.

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