Logo 1982

1986 was Coronation Street's twenty-seventh year.

Main characters

Ranking Character Played by Duration Number of Episodes Running total Previous year's ranking
1Terry DuckworthNigel PivaroFull year722175
2Jack DuckworthWilliam TarmeyFull year712827
2Bet LynchJulie GoodyearFull year7112041
4Gloria ToddSue JenkinsFull year6710223
4Hilda OgdenJean AlexanderFull year6715476
4Rita FaircloughBarbara KnoxFull year6799219
7Susan Barlow/BaldwinWendy Jane WalkerFull year6611534
8Mike BaldwinJohnny BriggsFull year6561212
8Ivy TilsleyLynne PerrieFull year656032
8Kevin WebsterMichael Le VellFull year6519512
8Mavis RileyThelma BarlowFull year658179
12Vera DuckworthElizabeth DawnFull year644602
12Betty TurpinBetty DriverFull year64121011
14Alf RobertsBryan MosleyFull year6210089
15Ken BarlowWilliam RoacheFull year6117297
15Gail TilsleyHelen WorthFull year6170015
15Percy SugdenBill WaddingtonFull year6120218
18Audrey RobertsSue NichollsFull year5914129
19Curly WattsKevin KennedyFull year5817817
19Sally Seddon/WebsterSally WhittakerFrom January5858 -
21Emily BishopEileen DerbyshireFull year55146815
21Brian TilsleyChristopher QuintenFull year5542212
23Alan BradleyMark EdenFrom January5252 -
24Jenny BradleySally Ann MatthewsFrom January5151 -
25Deirdre BarlowAnne KirkbrideFull year508574
26Phyllis PearceJill SummersFebruary, May to August and from October3712222
26Martin PlattSean WilsonFebruary and from May376726
28Shirley ArmitageLisa LewisJanuary to February, May, July and September to December277330
29Ida CloughHelene PalmerJanuary to February, May, July and September to December2519032
30Tracy Langton/BarlowHolly ChamaretteJanuary to June and October2428033
30Alec GilroyRoy BarracloughJune to August and November to December2430 -
32Nicky TilsleyWarren JacksonMay to June and August to December2118231
33Derek WiltonPeter BaldwinAugust to November146937
34Peter BarlowDavid LonsdaleMarch to May854 -
35George WardleRon DaviesUntil February75920
36Mark RedmanChristopher OakesDecember only35 -


Rovers fire kevin bet

Kevin comes to Bet's rescue during the Rovers fire

The regeneration of Coronation Street under producer John G. Temple continued in his second year in the chair. Meanwhile, Bill Podmore, currently executive producer, marked ten years in charge.

Characters left in limbo after the losses of 1983 and 1984 were revitalised with new family units. Jenny Bradley, played by Sally Ann Matthews, was a papergirl at The Kabin fostered by Rita Fairclough upon the sudden death of her mother Pat. Jenny's absentee father Alan, a Len Fairclough-type with a temper, then became the new man in Rita's life. Although Bradley is remembered as a villain, he was not conceived as one and was envisioned as a long-term character when Mark Eden was cast in the role.

Hilda Ogden gained a second lodger in Sally Seddon, Kevin Webster's new girlfriend and, by the year's end, wife. Sally Whittaker joined the cast in January, having previously auditioned for Andrea Clayton and Michelle Robinson.

Drama was supplied by the ongoing Tilsley marriage troubles, as Gail had an affair with Brian's Australian cousin Ian Latimer, and the courtship of Mike Baldwin and Susan Barlow, leading to Ken thumping Mike in the factory. Mike went on to wed Susan, though it was planned from the outset that the marriage would not last. At the last minute, Ken turned up to walk Susan down the aisle after being shamed into doing so by a returning Peter Barlow. Peter, last seen in 1978, was recast with David Lonsdale who was the sixth person to play the role.

The centrepiece of the year, however, was the fire at the Rovers Return. It had previously been decided to modernise the pub's interior, as had been done with the Corner Shop in 1985, and at first the plan was simply to have the brewery carry out a routine redecoration. Storyliners Tom Elliott and Paul Abbott, when beginning to plot the Rovers-less episodes, pitched the idea of having a fire instead as a way of explaining why the pub was out of bounds for so long.

The blaze, airing in Episode 2631 on 18th June, was started accidentally by Jack Duckworth, who bodged the fusebox in the Rovers' cellar in the previous episode when the regulars had a sing-song in the pub. In the programme's most elaborate stunt sequence of the decade, Bet Lynch was trapped upstairs while outside the residents mounted a rescue. Julie Goodyear's fire-proofed night-dress caught fire during the recording of the scene, but the actress was unharmed. The sense of occasion was underlined when the episode was given a unique title sequence and was repeated the following evening. In addition, the outdoor scenes were shot on outside broadcast video instead of the usual 16mm film, giving the proceedings a greater sense of immediacy. This practice would be adopted full-time in 1988.

When the Rovers re-opened on 13th August, it had lost the select function room, with the public and snug knocked into one and three upholstered seating areas added, along with several more minor changes.

Other comings and goings included a three-month stint by Derek Wilton as he returned to Mavis Riley's life following his marriage to the dreaded Angela Hawthorne, while factory van driver George Wardle, briefly engaged to Ivy Tilsley, moved on after being fired by Mike. After years of turning down offers, Roy Barraclough was finally tied down with a long-term contract, reprising the role of theatrical agent Alec Gilroy who he last played in 1975.

Viewing figures

1986 ratings

Ratings chart for the year

From this point on, the history of Coronation Street's ratings becomes more complicated. In this period, BARB ratings combined the viewing figures for multiple showings of each episode, reporting only one figure. This didn't usually affect Coronation Street as it didn't have an omnibus until 1989, but Episode 2631 (18th June 1986) - the Rovers fire episode - was given a one-off repeat the following day, and gained a BARB rating of 22.75 million viewers - on the surface, the highest figure of the year and for any episode up to that point. Including this, the average for the year was 15.63 million viewers. Counting only the first showing of the episode, the average drops to 15.55 million viewers, and Episode 2598 (24th February 1986) becomes the highest-rated episode of the year with 19.25 million viewers.

All months fell from the previous year, with the biggest drops occurring in January, June and July, which fell by over two million viewers apiece. Overall, ratings were almost a million down on 1985.

The chart domination of EastEnders - helped in no small part by its omnibus - kept Coronation Street off the top spot in all but one week of the year. The exception is the aforementioned Episode 2631, for the reasons stated above. However, the programme continued to perform well, with only one episode dropping out of the top twenty.


# Ep.
Date Writer Director Viewing
12583Wednesday 1st JanuaryH.V. KershawBill Gilmour13,687,00012
22584Monday 6th JanuaryAdele RoseMalcolm Taylor18,008,0003
32585Wednesday 8th JanuaryPeter WhalleyMalcolm Taylor17,971,0004
42586Monday 13th JanuaryLeslie DuxburyGareth Morgan17,379,0004
52587Wednesday 15th JanuaryJohn StevensonGareth Morgan17,574,0003
62588Monday 20th JanuaryJohn StevensonBill Gilmour18,111,0003
72589Wednesday 22nd JanuaryH.V. KershawEva Kolouchová17,962,0004
82590Monday 27th JanuaryBarry HillDavid Carson18,803,0003
92591Wednesday 29th JanuaryAdele RoseDavid Carson18,104,0004
102592Monday 3rd FebruaryJulian RoachMalcolm Taylor18,283,0003
112593Wednesday 5th FebruaryBob MasonMalcolm Taylor17,916,0004
122594Monday 10th FebruaryTony PerrinMary McMurray17,275,0005
132595Wednesday 12th FebruaryLeslie DuxburyMary McMurray17,083,0006
142596Monday 17th FebruaryAdele RoseBill Gilmour18,635,0003
152597Wednesday 19th FebruaryPeter WhalleyEva Kolouchová17,560,0005
162598Monday 24th FebruaryJohn StevensonRon Francis19,235,0003
172599Wednesday 26th FebruaryH.V. KershawRon Francis18,024,0004
182600Monday 3rd MarchH.V. KershawGareth Morgan17,464,0003
192601Wednesday 5th MarchStephen MallatrattGareth Morgan15,900,0004
202602Monday 10th MarchBarry HillBill Gilmour18,007,0003
212603Wednesday 12th MarchPeter TonkinsonBill Gilmour17,606,0004
222604Monday 17th MarchLeslie DuxburyRon Francis17,654,0003
232605Wednesday 19th MarchPeter WhalleyEva Kolouchová16,891,0004
242606Monday 24th MarchAdele RoseGareth Morgan17,906,0003
252607Wednesday 26th MarchBarry HillGareth Morgan17,435,0004
262608Monday 31st MarchTony PerrinBill Gilmour16,301,0005
272609Wednesday 2nd AprilJohn StevensonBill Gilmour16,537,0003
282610Monday 7th AprilPeter WhalleyRon Francis17,700,0003
292611Wednesday 9th AprilLeslie DuxburyRon Francis17,231,0004
302612Monday 14th AprilH.V. KershawGareth Morgan16,270,0004
312613Wednesday 16th AprilLeslie DuxburyGareth Morgan16,753,0003
322614Monday 21st AprilAdele RoseEva Kolouchová14,814,0005
332615Wednesday 23rd AprilBob MasonEva Kolouchová15,675,0003
342616Monday 28th AprilPeter TonkinsonRon Francis15,473,0004
352617Wednesday 30th AprilTony PerrinRon Francis14,582,0005
362618Monday 5th MayTony PerrinGareth Morgan12,396,0007
372619Wednesday 7th MayAdele RoseGareth Morgan13,899,0002
382620Monday 12th MayLeslie DuxburyBill Gilmour15,760,0004
392621Wednesday 14th MayH.V. KershawBill Gilmour18,352,0002
402622Monday 19th MayJohn StevensonEva Kolouchová14,159,0004
412623Wednesday 21st MayBarry HillEva Kolouchová14,092,0003
422624Monday 26th MayBarry HillGareth Morgan13,368,0005
432625Wednesday 28th MayLeslie DuxburyGareth Morgan14,198,0004
442626Monday 2nd JunePeter WhalleyBill Gilmour13,292,0005
452627Wednesday 4th JuneBob MasonBill Gilmour13,601,0004
462628Monday 9th JuneStephen MallatrattEva Kolouchová13,653,0003
472629Wednesday 11th JuneH.V. KershawEva Kolouchová12,597,0004
482630Monday 16th JuneTony PerrinGareth Morgan11,363,0008
492631Wednesday 18th JuneH.V. KershawGareth Morgan22,750,000
(with repeat)
502632Monday 23rd JuneAdele RoseBill Gilmour15,048,0003
512633Wednesday 25th JuneJohn StevensonBill Gilmour11,515,0007
522634Monday 30th JunePeter WhalleyEva Kolouchová13,038,0003
532635Wednesday 2nd JulyLeslie DuxburyEva Kolouchová11,783,0004
542636Monday 7th JulyLeslie DuxburyHoward Baker13,579,0003
552637Wednesday 9th JulyTony PerrinHoward Baker12,848,0004
562638Monday 14th JulyAdele RoseBill Gilmour12,487,0004
572639Wednesday 16th JulyH.V. KershawBill Gilmour12,875,0003
582640Monday 21st JulyJohn StevensonEva Kolouchová12,861,0005
592641Wednesday 23rd JulyBarry HillEva Kolouchová12,747,0006
602642Monday 28th JulyBarry HillGareth Morgan13,136,0004
612643Wednesday 30th JulyAdele RoseGareth Morgan14,300,0003
622644Monday 4th AugustTony PerrinHoward Baker14,140,0002
632645Wednesday 6th AugustLeslie DuxburyHoward Baker14,253,0003
642646Monday 11th AugustPeter WhalleyOliver Horsbrugh14,747,0003
652647Wednesday 13th AugustJohn StevensonOliver Horsbrugh14,183,0004
662648Monday 18th AugustPeter WhalleyRon Francis14,887,0003
672649Wednesday 20th AugustBob MasonRon Francis13,608,0003
682650Monday 25th AugustTony PerrinEva Kolouchová15,602,0003
692651Wednesday 27th AugustLeslie DuxburyEva Kolouchová13,365,0005
702652Monday 1st SeptemberH.V. KershawPedr James15,440,0003
712653Wednesday 3rd SeptemberJohn StevensonPedr James14,344,0004
722654Monday 8th SeptemberAdele RoseSarah Harding15,914,0004
732655Wednesday 10th SeptemberPeter WhalleySarah Harding15,094,0005
742656Monday 15th SeptemberStephen MallatrattEva Kolouchová16,204,0004
752657Wednesday 17th SeptemberH.V. KershawEva Kolouchová15,251,0005
762658Monday 22nd SeptemberBarry HillBill Gilmour14,653,0006
772659Wednesday 24th SeptemberLeslie DuxburyBill Gilmour15,039,0005
782660Monday 29th SeptemberPeter TonkinsonHoward Baker15,766,0004
792661Wednesday 1st OctoberH.V. KershawHoward Baker15,641,0005
802662Monday 6th OctoberJohn StevensonEva Kolouchová16,477,0004
812663Wednesday 8th OctoberLeslie DuxburyEva Kolouchová16,560,0003
822664Monday 13th OctoberPeter WhalleyBill Gilmour16,829,0003
832665Wednesday 15th OctoberTony PerrinBill Gilmour16,223,0004
842666Monday 20th OctoberJohn StevensonHoward Baker16,529,0003
852667Wednesday 22nd OctoberTony PerrinHoward Baker11,631,00014
862668Monday 27th OctoberBarry HillEva Kolouchová17,910,0003
872669Wednesday 29th OctoberAdele RoseEva Kolouchová15,833,0004
882670Monday 3rd NovemberBob MasonBill Gilmour16,908,0003
892671Wednesday 5th NovemberLeslie DuxburyBill Gilmour14,633,0006
902672Monday 10th NovemberStephen MallatrattHoward Baker17,063,0003
912673Wednesday 12th NovemberAdele RoseHoward Baker17,007,0004
922674Monday 17th NovemberTony PerrinEva Kolouchová16,695,0005
932675Wednesday 19th NovemberPeter WhalleyEva Kolouchová16,919,0004
942676Monday 24th NovemberLeslie DuxburyBill Gilmour16,460,0007
952677Wednesday 26th NovemberH.V. KershawBill Gilmour16,619,0006
962678Monday 1st DecemberBarry HillHoward Baker16,206,0004
972679Wednesday 3rd DecemberLeslie DuxburyHoward Baker16,687,0003
982680Monday 8th DecemberBob MasonBrian Mills16,027,0003
992681Wednesday 10th DecemberPeter WhalleyBrian Mills15,526,0004
1002682Monday 15th DecemberH.V. KershawBill Gilmour15,753,0004
1012683Wednesday 17th DecemberJohn StevensonBill Gilmour14,906,0005
1022684Monday 22nd DecemberAdele RoseHoward Baker15,170,0007
1032685Wednesday 24th DecemberJohn StevensonHoward Baker13,870,00020
1042686Monday 29th DecemberLeslie DuxburyEva Kolouchová16,960,0003
1052687Wednesday 31st DecemberH.V. KershawEva Kolouchová12,591,00014


Who lives where

Coronation Street

Rosamund Street


Coronation Street in the 1980s
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