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Logo 1982.JPG

1983 was Coronation Street's twenty-fourth year.

Main characters

Ranking Character Played by Duration Number of Episodes Running total Previous year's ranking
1 Bet Lynch Julie Goodyear Full year 82 967 6
2 Fred Gee Fred Feast Full year 80 510 7
3 Deirdre Barlow Anne Kirkbride Full year 75 660 16
4 Vera Duckworth Elizabeth Dawn Full year 70 248 23
4 Elsie Tanner Patricia Phoenix Full year 70 1605 2
4 Betty Turpin Betty Driver Full year 70 996 16
7 Alf Roberts Bryan Mosley Full year 69 808 18
8 Eddie Yeats Geoffrey Hughes Until December 68 509 4
9 Ivy Tilsley Lynne Perrie Full year 66 397 7
9 Hilda Ogden Jean Alexander Full year 66 1331 5
11 Mike Baldwin Johnny Briggs Full year 65 419 11
11 Ken Barlow William Roache Full year 65 1529 7
13 Rita Fairclough Barbara Knox Full year 64 791 7
13 Mavis Riley Thelma Barlow Full year 64 613 11
15 Brian Tilsley Christopher Quinten Full year 60 244 24
15 Gail Tilsley Helen Worth Full year 60 513 14
17 Stan Ogden Bernard Youens Full year 58 1212 13
17 Annie Walker Doris Speed Until October 58 1724 3
19 Emily Bishop Eileen Derbyshire Full year 53 1288 15
20 Marion Willis/Yeats Veronica Doran Until December 52 103 18
21 Albert Tatlock Jack Howarth Full year 45 1302 20
22 Tracy Langton Christabel Finch Until November 36 239 28
22 Nick Tilsley Warren Jackson Until October 36 122 22
24 Suzie Birchall Cheryl Murray January to June 32 195 -
24 Jack Duckworth William Tarmey January, March, May and from August 32 56 -
24 Len Fairclough Peter Adamson Until May 32 1765 1
27 Chalkie Whitely Teddy Turner Until August 28 60 24
28 Bert Tilsley Peter Dudley Until July 22 221 27
29 Ida Clough Helene Palmer January to February, July, September and December 20 130 26
30 Phyllis Pearce Jill Summers January to April and July to August 18 32 29
31 Curly Watts Kevin Kennedy From July 17 17 -
32 Percy Sugden Bill Waddington From August 14 14 -
33 Terry Duckworth Nigel Pivaro From August 10 10 -
34 Shirley Armitage Lisa Lewis September and December 8 8 -
35 Sharon Gaskell Tracie Bennett December only 6 51 21
36 Kevin Webster Michael Le Vell October only 3 3 -
37 Mark Redman Thomas Hawkeswood October to November 2 2 -

Production

Highs

The Ken-Deirdre-Mike love triangle proves to be a high point in a difficult year

1983 was one of Coronation Street's most tumultuous years to date.

After taking over as producer at the end of 1982, Mervyn Watson's first episodes were broadcast at the beginning of the year, with his predecessor Bill Podmore assuming the role of executive producer. In February, the programme screened one of its biggest storylines in the famous Ken-Deirdre-Mike love triangle. The story arose following months of debate in the writers' room over the direction of William Roache's character. Ken Barlow had recently come under fire from The Times for being "very boring", and Granada bosses had indicated that they would support him being killed off. When Roache asked for more exciting storylines, writers decided that the best way to do so was to give Ken a rival - Mike Baldwin - and show him fighting to save his marriage.

As Deirdre and Mike began their affair in late 1982, producers expected that viewers would side with Ken as the injured party. However, viewers relished the will-she-won't-she aspect of the story, and frenzied tabloid speculation over whether Deirdre would stay with Ken or go with Mike marked the beginning of a more sensationalised style of reporting on the soap by the media. Famously, when Deirdre made her decision to stand by Ken in Episode 2285 on 23rd February, the scoreboard at Old Trafford flashed a message "Ken and Deirdre reunited. Ken 1 - Mike 0" during a Manchester United vs. Arsenal football match.

The marriage of drama and comedy favoured by Podmore was very much carried on by Mervyn Watson, with other humorous setpieces including Bet Lynch and Betty Turpin being stranded in a lake in Fred Gee's Rover 2000, and Jack Duckworth being set up with his own wife through the Bill & Coo Video Dating Agency under the name "Vince St. Clair". Two months after the latter story aired, Jack and Vera moved into Coronation Street, with William Tarmey completing his journey from extra to full-time regular. The house, No.9, was left empty when Chalkie Whitely won on a five-horse accumulator and left Weatherfield to join his son and grandson in Australia.

The Duckworths' Machiavellian teenage son Terry, played by Nigel Pivaro, was introduced as his family became residents. In one of the more successful initiatives by the programme to boost its younger cast, Terry debuted in the same year as nerdy binman Curly Watts and cheerful mechanic Kevin Webster, with Kevin Kennedy and Michael Le Vell joining the cast respectively. Another teen, Shirley Armitage, became a machinist at Baldwin's Casuals. Actress Lisa Lewis was the programme's first black regular cast member.

Meanwhile, Cheryl Murray reprised the role of Suzie Birchall for five months from January to June, and in August insufferable pensioner Percy Sugden took over Ena Sharples's old position of Community Centre caretaker, moving into the Community Centre flat. At the same time, community development officer Ken Barlow was made redundant and left the centre, buying into the Weatherfield Recorder free sheet. The running of the paper would drive many of the Barlows' storylines for the next six years.

Another new location was the Graffiti Club disco bar, which utilized the large warehouse entrance in Rosamund Street built into the new outdoor set. Owned by Mike Baldwin and Alec Yardley, the opening of the club was one of the year's principal storylines but the establishment was barely featured beyond 1983.

Lows

Peter Adamson was fired for breach of contract after a high-profile court case

Aside from the Deirdre/Mike affair, tabloid headlines concerning Coronation Street were dominated by scandal. Early in the year, Peter Adamson wrote a series of articles for a newspaper crticising the programme and its cast, in serious breach of his contract. The producers were about to suspend the actor without pay for six weeks when news broke that Adamson had been charged with indecently assaulting two eight-year-old girls in a public swimming bath. The suspension set aside, Len Fairclough was written out while Adamson concentrated on his defence, with his character working away in Ashton-under-Lyne. After being acquitted of the charges, Adamson was offered £10,000 by Granada to settle his legal bills, but the actor instead chose to sell his story to a tabloid, contravening Granada's house rules on press interviews. Refusing to back down, Adamson was fired from the programme effective immediately.

To maximise drama, Len's off-screen death in a car crash in December was followed by widow Rita's discovery that he'd been visiting his secret mistress, Marjorie Proctor. Sharon Gaskell and Bill Gregory returned for Len's funeral, with the latter rekindling his romance with Elsie Tanner. This was intended to tie in with Elsie's own departure in January 1984; in another blow to the programme, Patricia Phoenix had resigned after 23 years.

The year also saw the final on-screen appearance of Doris Speed as Annie Walker, the original landlady of the Rovers Return. Speed was recovering from a stomach complaint when the Daily Mirror printed a story that she was, at 84, fifteen years older than she had publicly claimed (although the article was not accompanied by a copy of her birth certificate, as is sometimes claimed). After suffering a relapse, Speed was written out of the programme for the time being. This was shortly followed by a break-in at Speed's home by two young thugs, who ransacked the place while the actress hid upstairs waiting for the police. The event was the final straw for Speed who retired immediately afterwards.

Peter Dudley, who played Bert Tilsley, suffered a stroke while awaiting a re-trial on a charge of importuning, at which he intended to plead not guilty. The stroke caused Dudley to lose the use of his left arm, which was incorporated into storylines with Bert being injured in a gas explosion. He was subsequently written out to stand trial, but suffered two heart attacks and a stroke and died before it could take place. Both Annie and Bert's fates were addressed the following year.

The programme also lost Eddie Yeats when Geoffrey Hughes resigned after nine years. Hughes was disappointed with the decision to have Eddie marry as he viewed the character as a bachelor. Marion Yeats was written out with him as the newlyweds moved to Bury to start a family. Eddie's departure caused problems for the writers as his presence at No.13 meant that ailing actor Bernard Youens, playing Stan, did not have as many lines to learn. In November, a storylines was contrived in which Stan discovered he was three years older than he thought - this was done in order to allow Stan to retire.

The year also marked the beginning of a lengthy absence for Tracy Langton when Christabel Finch's family moved out of Manchester without informing the producers. It was decided not to recast Tracy until some time had passed, as producers felt that viewers would find it jarring.

Viewing figures

Ratings chart for the year

Despite a high public profile throughout the year, Coronation Street's ratings were only slightly higher than in 1982, the decade's low point. Seven months saw increases over the previous year, with most months seeing only slight climbs or falls. The average figure for the year was 14.64 million viewers, an increase of 137k over 1982. The highest-rated episode of the year was Episode 2285, transmitted on 23rd February, which gained an audience of 18.45 million viewers. The episode concluded the Ken-Deirdre-Mike love triangle with the Barlows deciding to stay together.

The programme's performance in the viewing charts was very strong, with all episodes charting inside the top 20, and 48 episodes reaching number one, a total only surpassed in 1962, 1963 and 1965 and an increase of 12 over 1982.

Episodes

# Ep.
No.
Date Writer Director Viewing
Figures
Chart
Position
1 2270 Monday 3rd January Adele Rose Charles Kitchen 15,850,000 4
2 2271 Wednesday 5th January H.V. Kershaw Charles Kitchen 17,250,000 1
3 2272 Monday 10th January Barry Hill Ken Grieve 16,350,000 2
4 2273 Wednesday 12th January Leslie Duxbury Ken Grieve 16,550,000 1
5 2274 Monday 17th January Leslie Duxbury John Michael Phillips 16,050,000 2
6 2275 Wednesday 19th January John Stevenson John Michael Phillips 16,850,000 1
7 2276 Monday 24th January H.V. Kershaw Jeremy Summers 15,850,000 4
8 2277 Wednesday 26th January Adele Rose Jeremy Summers 17,250,000 1
9 2278 Monday 31st January Barry Hill Chris Lovett 16,450,000 2
10 2279 Wednesday 2nd February Peter Whalley Chris Lovett 16,500,000 1
11 2280 Monday 7th February Tony Perrin Brian Mills 16,650,000 2
12 2281 Wednesday 9th February Leslie Duxbury Brian Mills 17,250,000 1
13 2282 Wednesday 16th February Barry Hill Jeremy Summers 17,600,000 1
14 2283 Thursday 17th February Leslie Duxbury Jeremy Summers 13,600,000 8
15 2284 Monday 21st February John Stevenson Brian Mills 17,850,000 2
16 2285 Wednesday 23rd February Peter Whalley Brian Mills 18,450,000 1
17 2286 Monday 28th February H.V. Kershaw Gareth Morgan 16,850,000 2
18 2287 Wednesday 2nd March H.V. Kershaw Gareth Morgan 17,150,000 1
19 2288 Monday 7th March Barry Hill Jeremy Summers 15,850,000 2
20 2289 Wednesday 9th March Leslie Duxbury Jeremy Summers 16,450,000 1
21 2290 Monday 14th March Bob Mason Chris Lovett 16,550,000 2
22 2291 Wednesday 16th March Adele Rose Chris Lovett 16,650,000 1
23 2292 Monday 21st March Julian Roach Gareth Morgan 16,400,000 2
24 2293 Wednesday 23rd March H.V. Kershaw Gareth Morgan 16,900,000 1
25 2294 Monday 28th March Barry Hill Eugene Ferguson 15,000,000 2
26 2295 Wednesday 30th March Tony Perrin Eugene Ferguson 16,250,000 1
27 2296 Monday 4th April Peter Whalley Brian Mills 13,800,000 4
28 2297 Wednesday 6th April H.V. Kershaw Brian Mills 16,000,000 1
29 2298 Monday 11th April Leslie Duxbury John Michael Phillips 15,250,000 2
30 2299 Wednesday 13th April John Stevenson John Michael Phillips 16,600,000 1
31 2300 Monday 18th April Leslie Duxbury Eugene Ferguson 14,650,000 2
32 2301 Wednesday 20th April H.V. Kershaw Eugene Ferguson 16,700,000 1
33 2302 Monday 25th April Peter Whalley Chris Lovett 14,550,000 2
34 2303 Wednesday 27th April Adele Rose Chris Lovett 14,600,000 1
35 2304 Monday 2nd May Barry Hill Gareth Morgan 13,700,000 2
36 2305 Wednesday 4th May Tony Perrin Gareth Morgan 16,550,000 1
37 2306 Monday 9th May Adele Rose Eugene Ferguson 14,400,000 2
38 2307 Wednesday 11th May Tony Perrin Eugene Ferguson 14,700,000 1
39 2308 Monday 16th May Leslie Duxbury Charles Kitchen 14,000,000 2
40 2309 Wednesday 18th May Barry Hill Charles Kitchen 15,200,000 1
41 2310 Monday 23rd May Peter Whalley Gareth Morgan 14,100,000 1
42 2311 Wednesday 25th May H.V. Kershaw Gareth Morgan 13,250,000 2
43 2312 Monday 30th May H.V. Kershaw Brian Mills 11,750,000 3
44 2313 Wednesday 1st June Peter Whalley Brian Mills 12,300,000 2
45 2314 Monday 6th June Adele Rose Bill Gilmour 12,050,000 2
46 2315 Wednesday 8th June Leslie Duxbury Bill Gilmour 12,150,000 1
47 2316 Monday 13th June Tony Perrin Charles Kitchen 14,200,000 1
48 2317 Wednesday 15th June John Stevenson Charles Kitchen 13,700,000 2
49 2318 Monday 20th June Julian Roach Brian Mills 12,850,000 1
50 2319 Wednesday 22nd June H.V. Kershaw Charlie Nairn 12,350,000 2
51 2320 Monday 27th June Adele Rose Bill Gilmour 13,000,000 2
52 2321 Wednesday 29th June Leslie Duxbury Bill Gilmour 13,650,000 1
53 2322 Monday 4th July Tony Perrin Gareth Morgan 12,000,000 2
54 2323 Wednesday 6th July John Stevenson Gareth Morgan 12,400,000 1
55 2324 Monday 11th July Tony Perrin Charlie Nairn 12,050,000 2
56 2325 Wednesday 13th July H.V. Kershaw Brian Mills 12,250,000 1
57 2326 Monday 18th July Peter Whalley Bill Gilmour 12,850,000 1
58 2327 Wednesday 20th July Leslie Duxbury Bill Gilmour 12,300,000 2
59 2328 Monday 25th July Adele Rose Gareth Morgan 12,200,000 1
60 2329 Wednesday 27th July Barry Hill Gareth Morgan 12,050,000 2
61 2330 Monday 1st August H.V. Kershaw Charlie Nairn 13,300,000 1
62 2331 Wednesday 3rd August Bob Mason Charlie Nairn 12,200,000 2
63 2332 Monday 8th August Julian Roach Bill Gilmour 12,550,000 1
64 2333 Wednesday 10th August John Stevenson Bill Gilmour 12,200,000 2
65 2334 Monday 15th August Barry Hill John Michael Phillips 12,950,000 1
66 2335 Wednesday 17th August Leslie Duxbury John Michael Phillips 12,750,000 2
67 2336 Monday 22nd August H.V. Kershaw Charlie Nairn 13,202,000 1
68 2337 Wednesday 24th August Adele Rose Charlie Nairn 12,835,000 2
69 2338 Monday 29th August Leslie Duxbury Nicholas Ferguson 10,752,000 4
70 2339 Wednesday 31st August Peter Whalley Nicholas Ferguson 12,531,000 1
71 2340 Monday 5th September Tony Perrin Gareth Morgan 14,309,000 2
72 2341 Wednesday 7th September John Stevenson Gareth Morgan 14,804,000 1
73 2342 Monday 12th September Barry Hill Charlie Nairn 13,920,000 3
74 2343 Wednesday 14th September Leslie Duxbury Charlie Nairn 14,870,000 1
75 2344 Monday 19th September John Stevenson Nicholas Ferguson 14,580,000 1
76 2345 Wednesday 21st September H.V. Kershaw Nicholas Ferguson 14,195,000 2
77 2346 Monday 26th September Tony Perrin Charles Kitchen 14,253,000 2
78 2347 Wednesday 28th September Peter Whalley Charles Kitchen 14,402,000 1
79 2348 Monday 3rd October Peter Tonkinson Bill Gilmour 14,985,000 1
80 2349 Wednesday 5th October H.V. Kershaw Bill Gilmour 14,224,000 2
81 2350 Monday 10th October Adele Rose Nicholas Ferguson 15,201,000 1
82 2351 Wednesday 12th October Leslie Duxbury Nicholas Ferguson 13,500,000 3
83 2352 Monday 17th October Julian Roach Charles Kitchen 15,237,000 2
84 2353 Wednesday 19th October John Stevenson Charles Kitchen 16,051,000 1
85 2354 Monday 24th October H.V. Kershaw Gareth Morgan 14,793,000 2
86 2355 Wednesday 26th October Bob Mason Gareth Morgan 16,122,000 1
87 2356 Monday 31st October Leslie Duxbury Bill Gilmour 15,784,000 1
88 2357 Wednesday 2nd November John Stevenson Bill Gilmour 15,626,000 2
89 2358 Monday 7th November Barry Hill David Carson 15,013,000 2
90 2359 Wednesday 9th November Adele Rose David Carson 15,675,000 1
91 2360 Monday 14th November Barry Hill Charlie Nairn 14,548,000 3
92 2361 Wednesday 16th November Peter Whalley Charlie Nairn 14,591,000 2
93 2362 Monday 21st November Leslie Duxbury Bill Gilmour 14,548,000 3
94 2363 Wednesday 23rd November Julian Roach Patrick Lau 14,566,000 2
95 2364 Monday 28th November Leslie Duxbury Mary McMurray 14,908,000 3
96 2365 Wednesday 30th November Tony Perrin Mary McMurray 15,274,000 1
97 2366 Monday 5th December Adele Rose Stephen Butcher 14,825,000 3
98 2367 Wednesday 7th December Julian Roach Stephen Butcher 16,954,000 1
99 2368 Monday 12th December Barry Hill Patrick Lau 16,073,000 1
100 2369 Wednesday 14th December Peter Whalley Patrick Lau 15,970,000 2
101 2370 Monday 19th December Leslie Duxbury Mary McMurray 13,762,000 3
102 2371 Wednesday 21st December Leslie Duxbury Mary McMurray 15,191,000 1
103 2372 Monday 26th December Peter Whalley Stephen Butcher 10,315,000 20
104 2373 Wednesday 28th December Adele Rose Stephen Butcher 13,798,000 2

Storylines

Who lives where

Coronation Street

Rosamund Street

Others

Coronation Street in the 1980s
1980198119821983198419851986198719881989
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