Cecil Newton was one of the top directors of Newton & Ridley. His authority within the brewery was such that even after retirement he had the final say in their operations.

In 1987, Alec Gilroy went to see Cecil regarding the tenancy of the Rovers Return. Alec was trying to trace Bet Lynch as she'd disappeared with £12,000 he loaned her to buy the tenancy. Alec felt entitled to the tenancy and was miffed when Cecil asked him to take over the Rovers as a mere manager until Bet came back. Bet had been in contact with the brewery and told them she was in Torremolinos, news which Cecil passed on to Alec. Alec flew out to Spain to find Bet himself and he proposed to her there. On their return, they successfully applied for the tenancy together.

Cecil paid a visit to the Rovers a year later, to check on Alec after he was mugged on his way to the bank, and his briefcase containing the pub's weekend takings stolen. Alec wasn't badly hurt but the £2334 sum Alec had told the police was in his briefcase had caused a stir in the brewery, as Cecil informed Alec. Having already explained to the police and to Bet that nearly half of the sum was payment for his club artistes, a weary Alec told Cecil the same, but Cecil patently ignored him and continued with his story about how he had defended Alec's character among the brewery brass. He also informed the Gilroys that some in the brewery had joked that their rent was obviously too low. Alec knew that Cecil didn't really believe him and had only visited to drop his bombshell about the rent. When Cecil visited again shortly thereafter "to tie up loose ends", he caught Alec arriving back from the police with his recovered briefcase. Alec greatly enjoyed showing Bet and Cecil two paying-in books inside: one for the Rovers and one for his acts.

George Baker as Cecil Newton in 2003.

Cecil retired to the Isle of Man in 1990 but came back into the fold to nix Nigel Ridley's repossession of the Rovers in preparation for a merge with the neighbouring house and conversation into an American theme pub. The local residents had campaigned against the scheme, and Bet and Alec had closed their doors in protest. Cecil put a halt on the plans just in time and told the Gilroys that the pub was still theirs. He then turned on Nigel, dismissing his "foolish young ideas" and announcing that the Rovers would always remain a working man's pub.

Cecil encountered Bet again at a brewery function in Blackpool in November 2003, which coincided with his 70th birthday. Cecil fell in love with Bet and asked her to marry him, but his son Philip didn't approve of Bet and tried to split them up, going as far as to tell Bet that Cecil was going senile. During the ceremony, Cecil collapsed with a heart attack and died later in Victoria Hospital.

Kenneth Alan Taylor, who played the part from 1987 to 1990, was married to Street star Judith Barker who played Janet Barlow.

List of appearances





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