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1990 was Coronation Street's thirty-first year.

Main characters

Ranking Character Played by Duration Number of Episodes Running total Previous year's ranking
1 Alec Gilroy Roy Barraclough Full year 122 352 22
2 Bet Gilroy Julie Goodyear Full year 119 1539 7
3 Deirdre Barlow Anne Kirkbride Full year 118 1167 19
4 Sally Webster Sally Whittaker Full year 115 393 2
5 Jack Duckworth William Tarmey Full year 105 612 1
5 Alma Sedgewick Amanda Barrie Full year 105 175 25
7 Mike Baldwin Johnny Briggs Full year 102 918 20
7 Rita Fairclough Barbara Knox Full year 102 1305 6
9 Kevin Webster Michael Le Vell Full year 101 495 10
10 Ken Barlow William Roache Full year 99 2022 21
10 Ivy Brennan Lynne Perrie Full year 99 922 9
12 Audrey Roberts Sue Nicholls Full year 98 430 2
12 Mavis Wilton Thelma Barlow Full year 98 1123 15
14 Liz McDonald Beverley Callard Full year 96 104 36
15 Don Brennan Geoff Hinsliff Full year 93 208 24
16 Alf Roberts Bryan Mosley Full year 92 1324 5
16 Percy Sugden Bill Waddington Full year 92 481 18
18 Emily Bishop Eileen Derbyshire Full year 88 1771 17
18 Betty Turpin Betty Driver Full year 88 1491 8
20 Martin Platt Sean Wilson Full year 86 319 9
21 Tracy Barlow Dawn Acton Full year 83 430 31
22 Jim McDonald Charles Lawson Full year 79 88 35
23 Tina Fowler Michelle Holmes Until September 78 152 12
23 Gail Tilsley Helen Worth Full year 78 973 14
25 Phyllis Pearce Jill Summers Full year 69 292 27
25 Curly Watts Kevin Kennedy Full year 69 431 15
25 Derek Wilton Peter Baldwin Full year 69 235 23
28 Vera Duckworth Elizabeth Dawn Full year 68 765 5
29 Des Barnes Philip Middlemiss From February 64 64 -
30 Steph Barnes Amelia Bullmore From Ferbuary 59 59 -
30 Andy McDonald Nicholas Cochrane Full year 59 63 38
32 Mark Casey Stuart Wolfenden Full year 57 93 29
33 Jenny Bradley Sally Ann Matthews Full year 54 266 12
34 Kimberley Taylor Suzanne Hall Until August and from December 49 63 33
35 Steve McDonald Simon Gregson Until October 48 51 40
36 Jackie Ingram Shirin Taylor From August 41 41 -
37 Flick Khan Rita Wolf February to August 35 35 -
38 Reg Holdsworth Ken Morley February and April to July 30 37 37
39 Phil Jennings Tommy Boyle From September 25 25 -
40 Nicky Tilsley Warren Jackson Full year 22 287 28
41 Sarah Louise Tilsley Lynsay King Full year 20 93 30
42 Angie Freeman Deborah McAndrew From October 15 15 -
43 Vicky Arden Helen Warburton January and June 4 4 -
43 Rosie Webster Emma Collinge From December 4 4 -
45 David Tilsley Thomas Ormson From December 2 2 -

Production

Enter Des and Steph Barnes - a new breed of character

Granada continued to boost Coronation Street's production values, with the programme's production base being moved out of the main Granada studios complex and into Stage One, a refurbished warehouse next to the outdoor set which served as its own dedicated studio. Stage One included a green room, make-up complex, wardrobe and props departments, permanent dressing rooms for the actors, and enough studio space that the main sets could stand permanently. This meant that there were now no restrictions on the number of sets which could appear in each episode, and the actors could rehearse in the real sets. The keys were handed over in a special ceremony by Granada chairman David Plowright.

The new houses and shops were completed in February, and gradually became occupied. Newlyweds Des and Steph Barnes, played by Philip Middlemiss and Amelia Bullmore, took over No.6, and ruffled a few feathers when, to win a bet with Des, Steph lured Kevin Webster upstairs and shaved off his moustache. The Barnes were a flashy, well-off young couple - branded as yuppies in the media - who exemplified producer Mervyn Watson's notion of the new Coronation Street attracting a different kind of character.

No.4 was bought by Mavis and Derek Wilton, as a consequence of Rita Fairclough upping sticks and transferring The Kabin from Rosamund Street to Unit 10 in Coronation Street. Rita also moved out of No.7 and into the flat above the new Kabin, paving the way for No.7 to become a student house, with Jenny Bradley and her friend Felicity Khan renting from Rita. After six months playing Flick, Rita Wolf left the programme and Flick's room at No.7 was taken by another new character, career-minded design student Angie Freeman, played by Deborah McAndrew. The other new properties remained empty for the time being.

Other new characters included Jackie Ingram, a woman pursued by Mike Baldwin for nefarious reasons, and Phil Jennings, a shady businessman introduced as a love interest for Deirdre Barlow. They were played by Shirin Taylor and Tommy Boyle. Also, two new child actors joined the cast as Gail Tilsley and Sally Webster gave birth to David and Rosie at Christmas. Thomas Ormson and Emma Collinge played those characters until 2000.

In June, the year's ITV telethon included a Coronation Street mini-episode in which Hilda Ogden returned to the street to check up on her old friends and reveal that her employer Doctor Lowther had proposed to her. The minisode features Jean Alexander's return to the role after three years.

A new title sequence debuted with Episode 3134 on 15th October. The new sequence was similar to its predecessor, except for being shot on videotape in accordance with the programme's house style since 1988. Due to the popularity of the cat from the 1976 titles, a competition was held on ITV's This Morning programme to cast a cat to star in the new montage. The winner was Frisky, owned by Jon-Paul Rimington of Leeds who was paid a one-off fee of £200 for his services.

For Coronation Street's thirtieth anniversary in December, Cilla Black hosted a special 90-minute programme marking three decades of the show, entitled Happy Birthday Coronation Street. A month earlier, Windsong Video Productions released ten video compilations of archive episodes of the Street, each focusing on a single year and presented by a member of the present cast who was working on the programme in the year in question. Again, the programme itself did nothing to mark the occasion.

Viewing figures

Ratings chart for the year. All figures are aggregated

45 episodes reached the top of the charts (the same number as 1989), and for the second year in a row no episodes charted outside the top 20. Note that due to the BARB rankings considering only aggregated figures, Coronation Street's competition for the top places was mostly limited to other soap operas.

Going by first showings only, the average figure for the year was 15.02 million viewers, a 500k drop on 1989. Four months rose year-on-year, with the biggest rise occurring in January, while the biggest drop - of over two million viewers - took place in August.

Including the repeats, the average was down significantly on 1989, dropping by more than two million viewers to 17.38 million viewers. From September, ITV stations began dropping the omnibus repeat, resulting in only Granada and UTV showing Coronation Street at the weekend by 1992. All months fell year-on-year, with March's average decreasing by almost five million viewers. By either method of counting, the highest-rated episode of the year was the New Year's Day episode, Episode 3012 (1st January 1990), which drew an audience of 19.22 million viewers on its initial showing and 3.61 million at the weekend, giving a total of 22.83 million viewers, the decade's peak audience figure.

Episodes

# Ep.
No.
Date Writer Director Viewing
Figures
(With omnibus)
Chart
Position
1 3012 Monday 1st January Sue Ashby Richard Holthouse 22,830,000 1
2 3013 Wednesday 3rd January Adele Rose Richard Holthouse 22,680,000 2
3 3014 Friday 5th January Tony Perrin Richard Holthouse 21,460,000 3
4 3015 Monday 8th January Paul Abbott Brian Mills 21,220,000 2
5 3016 Wednesday 10th January John Stevenson Brian Mills 22,580,000 1
6 3017 Friday 12th January Julian Roach Brian Mills 20,890,000 3
7 3018 Monday 15th January Julian Roach Ian White 21,360,000 2
8 3019 Wednesday 17th January John Stevenson Ian White 21,900,000 1
9 3020 Friday 19th January Leslie Duxbury Ian White 20,870,000 3
10 3021 Monday 22nd January Leslie Duxbury Spencer Campbell 20,560,000 2
11 3022 Wednesday 24th January Adele Rose Spencer Campbell 21,750,000 1
12 3023 Friday 26th January Ken Blakeson Spencer Campbell 19,840,000 3
13 3024 Monday 29th January Stephen Mallatratt Jeremy Summers 19,220,000 7
14 3025 Wednesday 31st January Tony Perrin Jeremy Summers 20,670,000 1
15 3026 Friday 2nd February Peter Whalley Jeremy Summers 19,170,000 8
16 3027 Monday 5th February Peter Whalley Brian Mills 20,010,000 3
17 3028 Wednesday 7th February Julian Roach Brian Mills 21,730,000 1
18 3029 Friday 9th February Barry Hill Brian Mills 19,080,000 5
19 3030 Monday 12th February Stephen Mallatratt Ian White 20,430,000 1
20 3031 Wednesday 14th February Paul Abbott Ian White 19,610,000 2
21 3032 Friday 16th February Adele Rose Ian White 19,470,000 3
22 3033 Monday 19th February John Stevenson Mary McMurray 18,850,000 9
23 3034 Wednesday 21st February Barry Hill Mary McMurray 21,400,000 1
24 3035 Friday 23rd February Leslie Duxbury Mary McMurray 20,630,000 4
25 3036 Monday 26th February Leslie Duxbury David Richards 21,040,000 3
26 3037 Wednesday 28th February John Stevenson David Richards 21,550,000 1
27 3038 Friday 2nd March Julian Roach David Richards 19,410,000 5
28 3039 Monday 5th March Paul Abbott Brian Mills 19,640,000 3
29 3040 Wednesday 7th March Stephen Mallatratt Brian Mills 20,430,000 1
30 3041 Friday 9th March Stephen Mallatratt Brian Mills 20,060,000 2
31 3042 Monday 12th March Barry Hill Ian White 19,520,000 1
32 3043 Wednesday 14th March Adele Rose Ian White 19,380,000 2
33 3044 Friday 16th March Peter Whalley Ian White 17,690,000 4
34 3045 Monday 19th March Paul Abbott Sarah Harding 20,470,000 1
35 3046 Wednesday 21st March Adele Rose Sarah Harding 20,200,000 2
36 3047 Friday 23rd March Julian Roach Sarah Harding 20,070,000 3
37 3048 Monday 26th March Stephen Mallatratt David Richards 18,690,000 2
38 3049 Wednesday 28th March Peter Whalley David Richards 18,760,000 1
39 3050 Friday 30th March Ken Blakeson David Richards 17,000,000 8
40 3051 Monday 2nd April John Stevenson Brian Mills 19,450,000 2
41 3052 Wednesday 4th April Barry Hill Brian Mills 19,000,000 3
42 3053 Friday 6th April Leslie Duxbury Brian Mills 18,110,000 6
43 3054 Monday 9th April Adele Rose Ian White 19,330,000 1
44 3055 Wednesday 11th April Ken Blakeson Ian White 17,730,000 6
45 3056 Friday 13th April John Stevenson Ian White 17,670,000 7
46 3057 Monday 16th April Stephen Mallatratt Howard Baker 18,330,000 4
47 3058 Wednesday 18th April Leslie Duxbury Howard Baker 19,240,000 1
48 3059 Friday 20th April Paul Abbott Howard Baker 18,670,000 2
49 3060 Monday 23rd April Julian Roach David Richards 17,240,000 3
50 3061 Wednesday 25th April Barry Hill David Richards 17,850,000 2
51 3062 Friday 27th April Peter Whalley David Richards 18,230,000 1
52 3063 Monday 30th April Phil Woods Brian Mills 15,050,000 3
53 3064 Wednesday 2nd May Peter Whalley Brian Mills 16,090,000 1
54 3065 Friday 4th May Peter Whalley Brian Mills 15,490,000 2
55 3066 Monday 7th May Leslie Duxbury Ian White 16,570,000 4
56 3067 Wednesday 9th May Barry Hill Ian White 18,710,000 1
57 3068 Friday 11th May Adele Rose Ian White 18,230,000 2
58 3069 Monday 14th May Ken Blakeson Howard Baker 16,760,000 3
59 3070 Wednesday 16th May Paul Abbott Howard Baker 17,460,000 1
60 3071 Friday 18th May Stephen Mallatratt Howard Baker 17,000,000 2
61 3072 Monday 21st May Stephen Mallatratt David Richards 16,390,000 1
62 3073 Wednesday 23rd May Julian Roach David Richards 16,240,000 2
63 3074 Friday 25th May Leslie Duxbury David Richards 15,900,000 3
64 3075 Wednesday 30th May Leslie Duxbury Brian Mills 16,680,000 4
65 3076 Friday 1st June Barry Hill Brian Mills 18,180,000 1
66 3077 Monday 4th June Phil Woods Brian Mills 15,970,000 5
67 3078 Wednesday 6th June Peter Whalley Oliver Horsbrugh 18,360,000 2
68 3079 Friday 8th June Adele Rose Oliver Horsbrugh 18,500,000 1
69 3080 Monday 11th June John Stevenson Oliver Horsbrugh 16,430,000 1
70 3081 Wednesday 13th June Julian Roach Howard Baker 15,350,000 3
71 3082 Friday 15th June John Stevenson Howard Baker 14,140,000 7
72 3083 Monday 18th June Leslie Duxbury Howard Baker 17,770,000 1
73 3084 Wednesday 20th June Ken Blakeson David Richards 16,220,000 4
74 3085 Friday 22nd June Barry Hill David Richards 16,710,000 2
75 3086 Monday 25th June Adele Rose David Richards 14,900,000 5
76 3087 Wednesday 27th June Stephen Mallatratt Brian Mills 16,170,000 3
77 3088 Friday 29th June Phil Woods Brian Mills 16,290,000 1
78 3089 Monday 2nd July Peter Whalley Brian Mills 16,170,000 3
79 3090 Wednesday 4th July Peter Whalley Richard Signy 17,370,000 1
80 3091 Friday 6th July Ken Blakeson Richard Signy 15,640,000 6
81 3092 Monday 9th July Julian Roach John Michael Phillips 16,870,000 1
82 3093 Wednesday 11th July John Stevenson John Michael Phillips 15,340,000 3
83 3094 Friday 13th July Barry Hill John Michael Phillips 13,980,000 7
84 3095 Monday 16th July Paul Abbott David Richards 15,520,000 1
85 3096 Wednesday 18th July Phil Woods David Richards 14,850,000 2
86 3097 Friday 20th July Adele Rose David Richards 13,360,000 5
87 3098 Monday 23rd July Barry Hill Brian Mills 15,110,000 3
88 3099 Wednesday 25th July Peter Whalley Brian Mills 16,280,000 1
89 3100 Friday 27th July Paul Abbott Brian Mills 16,120,000 2
90 3101 Monday 30th July Stephen Mallatratt Richard Signy 15,470,000 1
91 3102 Wednesday 1st August Adele Rose Richard Signy 15,440,000 2
92 3103 Friday 3rd August Ken Blakeson Richard Signy 13,710,000 7
93 3104 Monday 6th August Phil Woods Alan Marsden 15,640,000 4
94 3105 Wednesday 8th August Julian Roach Alan Marsden 15,990,000 2
95 3106 Friday 10th August John Stevenson Alan Marsden 16,150,000 1
96 3107 Monday 13th August Stephen Mallatratt Oliver Horsbrugh 16,940,000 2
97 3108 Wednesday 15th August Leslie Duxbury Oliver Horsbrugh 17,260,000 1
98 3109 Friday 17th August John Stevenson Oliver Horsbrugh 16,240,000 4
99 3110 Monday 20th August Ken Blakeson Mervyn Cumming 16,410,000 1
100 3111 Wednesday 22nd August Barry Hill Mervyn Cumming 15,830,000 2
101 3112 Friday 24th August Adele Rose Mervyn Cumming 15,530,000 3
102 3113 Monday 27th August Phil Woods Brian Mills 15,730,000 3
103 3114 Wednesday 29th August Peter Whalley Brian Mills 16,220,000 1
104 3115 Friday 31st August Jimmy McGovern Brian Mills 15,960,000 2
105 3116 Monday 3rd September Barry Hill Richard Signy 16,120,000 1
106 3117 Wednesday 5th September Ken Blakeson Richard Signy 16,000,000 2
107 3118 Friday 7th September Phil Woods Richard Signy 14,310,000 9
108 3119 Monday 10th September Stephen Mallatratt Oliver Horsbrugh 16,080,000 1
109 3120 Wednesday 12th September Leslie Duxbury Oliver Horsbrugh 14,870,000 4
110 3121 Friday 14th September John Stevenson Oliver Horsbrugh 13,250,000 10
111 3122 Monday 17th September Julian Roach John Darnell 16,350,000 4
112 3123 Wednesday 19th September Peter Whalley John Darnell 17,070,000 2
113 3124 Friday 21st September Paul Abbott John Darnell 16,480,000 3
114 3125 Monday 24th September Paul Abbott Jeremy Summers 16,440,000 2
115 3126 Wednesday 26th September Ken Blakeson Jeremy Summers 17,130,000 1
116 3127 Friday 28th September Stephen Mallatratt Jeremy Summers 16,370,000 3
117 3128 Monday 1st October Phil Woods Richard Signy 16,620,000 4
118 3129 Wednesday 3rd October John Stevenson Richard Signy 17,760,000 1
119 3130 Friday 5th October Leslie Duxbury Richard Signy 16,740,000 3
120 3131 Monday 8th October Julian Roach Brian Mills 17,370,000 1
121 3132 Wednesday 10th October Barry Hill Brian Mills 17,010,000 2
122 3133 Friday 12th October Peter Whalley Brian Mills 16,080,000 3
123 3134 Monday 15th October Leslie Duxbury Oliver Horsbrugh 17,150,000 3
124 3135 Wednesday 17th October Barry Hill Oliver Horsbrugh 17,450,000 1
125 3136 Friday 19th October Adele Rose Oliver Horsbrugh 16,810,000 4
126 3137 Monday 22nd October Julian Roach Jeremy Summers 17,510,000 2
127 3138 Wednesday 24th October Ken Blakeson Jeremy Summers 17,330,000 3
128 3139 Friday 26th October Peter Whalley Jeremy Summers 16,540,000 7
129 3140 Monday 29th October Stephen Mallatratt Richard Signy 17,460,000 6
130 3141 Wednesday 31st October Phil Woods Richard Signy 17,930,000 3
131 3142 Friday 2nd November John Stevenson Richard Signy 16,700,000 9
132 3143 Monday 5th November Leslie Duxbury Brian Mills 16,020,000 9
133 3144 Wednesday 7th November Peter Whalley Brian Mills 16,990,000 7
134 3145 Friday 9th November Julian Roach Brian Mills 17,340,000 4
135 3146 Monday 12th November Barry Hill Ian White 17,510,000 3
136 3147 Wednesday 14th November Tom Elliott Ian White 18,230,000 2
137 3148 Friday 16th November Ken Blakeson Ian White 17,320,000 4
138 3149 Monday 19th November John Stevenson Jeremy Summers 17,980,000 3
139 3150 Wednesday 21st November Stephen Mallatratt Jeremy Summers 18,760,000 1
140 3151 Friday 23rd November Adele Rose Jeremy Summers 16,670,000 8
141 3152 Monday 26th November Barry Hill Richard Signy 18,320,000 3
142 3153 Wednesday 28th November Phil Woods Richard Signy 20,570,000 1
143 3154 Friday 30th November John Stevenson Richard Signy 17,730,000 8
144 3155 Monday 3rd December Adele Rose Brian Mills 18,430,000 3
145 3156 Wednesday 5th December Julian Roach Brian Mills 19,680,000 1
146 3157 Friday 7th December Julian Roach Brian Mills 18,090,000 6
147 3158 Monday 10th December Paul Abbott Sarah Harding 18,450,000 2
148 3159 Wednesday 12th December Stephen Mallatratt Sarah Harding 18,640,000 1
149 3160 Friday 14th December Peter Whalley Sarah Harding 17,590,000 6
150 3161 Monday 17th December Barry Hill Jeremy Summers 18,010,000 4
151 3162 Wednesday 19th December Paul Abbott Jeremy Summers 18,160,000 3
152 3163 Friday 21st December Julian Roach Jeremy Summers 18,410,000 2
153 3164 Monday 24th December John Stevenson Oliver Horsbrugh 17,340,000 9
154 3165 Tuesday 25th December John Stevenson Oliver Horsbrugh 17,850,000 6
155 3166 Wednesday 26th December Stephen Mallatratt Richard Signy 16,630,000 12
156 3167 Friday 28th December Leslie Duxbury Richard Signy 20,160,000 2
157 3168 Monday 31st December Ken Blakeson Brian Mills 16,430,000 10

Storylines

Who lives where

Coronation Street

Rosamund Street

Others

Awards and Nominations

Coronation Street in the 1990s
1990199119921993199419951996199719981999