Logo 1990

1990 was Coronation Street's thirty-first year.

Main characters

Ranking Character Played by Duration Number of Episodes Running total Previous year's ranking
1Alec GilroyRoy BarracloughFull year12235222
2Bet GilroyJulie GoodyearFull year11915397
3Deirdre BarlowAnne KirkbrideFull year118116719
4Sally WebsterSally WhittakerFull year1153932
5Jack DuckworthWilliam TarmeyFull year1056121
5Alma SedgewickAmanda BarrieFull year10517525
7Mike BaldwinJohnny BriggsFull year10291820
7Rita FaircloughBarbara KnoxFull year10213056
9Kevin WebsterMichael Le VellFull year10149510
10Ken BarlowWilliam RoacheFull year99202221
10Ivy BrennanLynne PerrieFull year999229
12Audrey RobertsSue NichollsFull year984302
12Mavis WiltonThelma BarlowFull year98112315
14Liz McDonaldBeverley CallardFull year9610436
15Don BrennanGeoff HinsliffFull year9320824
16Alf RobertsBryan MosleyFull year9213245
16Percy SugdenBill WaddingtonFull year9248118
18Emily BishopEileen DerbyshireFull year88177117
18Betty TurpinBetty DriverFull year8814918
20Martin PlattSean WilsonFull year863199
21Tracy BarlowDawn ActonFull year8343131
22Jim McDonaldCharles LawsonFull year798835
23Tina FowlerMichelle HolmesUntil September7815212
23Gail TilsleyHelen WorthFull year7897314
25Phyllis PearceJill SummersFull year6929227
25Curly WattsKevin KennedyFull year6943115
25Derek WiltonPeter BaldwinFull year6923523
28Vera DuckworthElizabeth DawnFull year687655
29Des BarnesPhilip MiddlemissFrom February6464 -
30Steph BarnesAmelia BullmoreFrom Ferbuary5959 -
30Andy McDonaldNicholas CochraneFull year596338
32Mark CaseyStuart WolfendenFull year579329
33Jenny BradleySally Ann MatthewsFull year5426612
34Kimberley TaylorSuzanne HallUntil August and from December496333
35Steve McDonaldSimon GregsonUntil October485140
36Jackie IngramShirin TaylorFrom August4141 -
37Flick KhanRita WolfFebruary to August3535 -
38Reg HoldsworthKen MorleyFebruary and April to July303737
39Phil JenningsTommy BoyleFrom September2525 -
40Nicky TilsleyWarren JacksonFull year2228728
41Sarah Louise TilsleyLynsay KingFull year209330
42Angie FreemanDeborah McAndrewFrom October1515 -
43Vicky ArdenHelen WarburtonJanuary and June44 -
43Rosie WebsterEmma CollingeFrom December44 -
45David TilsleyThomas OrmsonFrom December22 -


Des steph publicity

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. Featuring Jean Alexander's return to the role after three years, the episode no longer exists in the ITV archives.

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

1990 ratings

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.


# Ep.
Date Writer Director Viewing
(With omnibus)
13012Monday 1st JanuarySue AshbyRichard Holthouse22,830,0001
23013Wednesday 3rd JanuaryAdele RoseRichard Holthouse22,680,0002
33014Friday 5th JanuaryTony PerrinRichard Holthouse21,460,0003
43015Monday 8th JanuaryPaul AbbottBrian Mills21,220,0002
53016Wednesday 10th JanuaryJohn StevensonBrian Mills22,580,0001
63017Friday 12th JanuaryJulian RoachBrian Mills20,890,0003
73018Monday 15th JanuaryJulian RoachIan White21,360,0002
83019Wednesday 17th JanuaryJohn StevensonIan White21,900,0001
93020Friday 19th JanuaryLeslie DuxburyIan White20,870,0003
103021Monday 22nd JanuaryLeslie DuxburySpencer Campbell20,560,0002
113022Wednesday 24th JanuaryAdele RoseSpencer Campbell21,750,0001
123023Friday 26th JanuaryKen BlakesonSpencer Campbell19,840,0003
133024Monday 29th JanuaryStephen MallatrattJeremy Summers19,220,0007
143025Wednesday 31st JanuaryTony PerrinJeremy Summers20,670,0001
153026Friday 2nd FebruaryPeter WhalleyJeremy Summers19,170,0008
163027Monday 5th FebruaryPeter WhalleyBrian Mills20,010,0003
173028Wednesday 7th FebruaryJulian RoachBrian Mills21,730,0001
183029Friday 9th FebruaryBarry HillBrian Mills19,080,0005
193030Monday 12th FebruaryStephen MallatrattIan White20,430,0001
203031Wednesday 14th FebruaryPaul AbbottIan White19,610,0002
213032Friday 16th FebruaryAdele RoseIan White19,470,0003
223033Monday 19th FebruaryJohn StevensonMary McMurray18,850,0009
233034Wednesday 21st FebruaryBarry HillMary McMurray21,400,0001
243035Friday 23rd FebruaryLeslie DuxburyMary McMurray20,630,0004
253036Monday 26th FebruaryLeslie DuxburyDavid Richards21,040,0003
263037Wednesday 28th FebruaryJohn StevensonDavid Richards21,550,0001
273038Friday 2nd MarchJulian RoachDavid Richards19,410,0005
283039Monday 5th MarchPaul AbbottBrian Mills19,640,0003
293040Wednesday 7th MarchStephen MallatrattBrian Mills20,430,0001
303041Friday 9th MarchStephen MallatrattBrian Mills20,060,0002
313042Monday 12th MarchBarry HillIan White19,520,0001
323043Wednesday 14th MarchAdele RoseIan White19,380,0002
333044Friday 16th MarchPeter WhalleyIan White17,690,0004
343045Monday 19th MarchPaul AbbottSarah Harding20,470,0001
353046Wednesday 21st MarchAdele RoseSarah Harding20,200,0002
363047Friday 23rd MarchJulian RoachSarah Harding20,070,0003
373048Monday 26th MarchStephen MallatrattDavid Richards18,690,0002
383049Wednesday 28th MarchPeter WhalleyDavid Richards18,760,0001
393050Friday 30th MarchKen BlakesonDavid Richards17,000,0008
403051Monday 2nd AprilJohn StevensonBrian Mills19,450,0002
413052Wednesday 4th AprilBarry HillBrian Mills19,000,0003
423053Friday 6th AprilLeslie DuxburyBrian Mills18,110,0006
433054Monday 9th AprilAdele RoseIan White19,330,0001
443055Wednesday 11th AprilKen BlakesonIan White17,730,0006
453056Friday 13th AprilJohn StevensonIan White17,670,0007
463057Monday 16th AprilStephen MallatrattHoward Baker18,330,0004
473058Wednesday 18th AprilLeslie DuxburyHoward Baker19,240,0001
483059Friday 20th AprilPaul AbbottHoward Baker18,670,0002
493060Monday 23rd AprilJulian RoachDavid Richards17,240,0003
503061Wednesday 25th AprilBarry HillDavid Richards17,850,0002
513062Friday 27th AprilPeter WhalleyDavid Richards18,230,0001
523063Monday 30th AprilPhil WoodsBrian Mills15,050,0003
533064Wednesday 2nd MayPeter WhalleyBrian Mills16,090,0001
543065Friday 4th MayPeter WhalleyBrian Mills15,490,0002
553066Monday 7th MayLeslie DuxburyIan White16,570,0004
563067Wednesday 9th MayBarry HillIan White18,710,0001
573068Friday 11th MayAdele RoseIan White18,230,0002
583069Monday 14th MayKen BlakesonHoward Baker16,760,0003
593070Wednesday 16th MayPaul AbbottHoward Baker17,460,0001
603071Friday 18th MayStephen MallatrattHoward Baker17,000,0002
613072Monday 21st MayStephen MallatrattDavid Richards16,390,0001
623073Wednesday 23rd MayJulian RoachDavid Richards16,240,0002
633074Friday 25th MayLeslie DuxburyDavid Richards15,900,0003
643075Wednesday 30th MayLeslie DuxburyBrian Mills16,680,0004
653076Friday 1st JuneBarry HillBrian Mills18,180,0001
663077Monday 4th JunePhil WoodsBrian Mills15,970,0005
673078Wednesday 6th JunePeter WhalleyOliver Horsbrugh18,360,0002
683079Friday 8th JuneAdele RoseOliver Horsbrugh18,500,0001
693080Monday 11th JuneJohn StevensonOliver Horsbrugh16,430,0001
703081Wednesday 13th JuneJulian RoachHoward Baker15,350,0003
713082Friday 15th JuneJohn StevensonHoward Baker14,140,0007
723083Monday 18th JuneLeslie DuxburyHoward Baker17,770,0001
733084Wednesday 20th JuneKen BlakesonDavid Richards16,220,0004
743085Friday 22nd JuneBarry HillDavid Richards16,710,0002
753086Monday 25th JuneAdele RoseDavid Richards14,900,0005
763087Wednesday 27th JuneStephen MallatrattBrian Mills16,170,0003
773088Friday 29th JunePhil WoodsBrian Mills16,290,0001
783089Monday 2nd JulyPeter WhalleyBrian Mills16,170,0003
793090Wednesday 4th JulyPeter WhalleyRichard Signy17,370,0001
803091Friday 6th JulyKen BlakesonRichard Signy15,640,0006
813092Monday 9th JulyJulian RoachJohn Michael Phillips16,870,0001
823093Wednesday 11th JulyJohn StevensonJohn Michael Phillips15,340,0003
833094Friday 13th JulyBarry HillJohn Michael Phillips13,980,0007
843095Monday 16th JulyPaul AbbottDavid Richards15,520,0001
853096Wednesday 18th JulyPhil WoodsDavid Richards14,850,0002
863097Friday 20th JulyAdele RoseDavid Richards13,360,0005
873098Monday 23rd JulyBarry HillBrian Mills15,110,0003
883099Wednesday 25th JulyPeter WhalleyBrian Mills16,280,0001
893100Friday 27th JulyPaul AbbottBrian Mills16,120,0002
903101Monday 30th JulyStephen MallatrattRichard Signy15,470,0001
913102Wednesday 1st AugustAdele RoseRichard Signy15,440,0002
923103Friday 3rd AugustKen BlakesonRichard Signy13,710,0007
933104Monday 6th AugustPhil WoodsAlan Marsden15,640,0004
943105Wednesday 8th AugustJulian RoachAlan Marsden15,990,0002
953106Friday 10th AugustJohn StevensonAlan Marsden16,150,0001
963107Monday 13th AugustStephen MallatrattOliver Horsbrugh16,940,0002
973108Wednesday 15th AugustLeslie DuxburyOliver Horsbrugh17,260,0001
983109Friday 17th AugustJohn StevensonOliver Horsbrugh16,240,0004
993110Monday 20th AugustKen BlakesonMervyn Cumming16,410,0001
1003111Wednesday 22nd AugustBarry HillMervyn Cumming15,830,0002
1013112Friday 24th AugustAdele RoseMervyn Cumming15,530,0003
1023113Monday 27th AugustPhil WoodsBrian Mills15,730,0003
1033114Wednesday 29th AugustPeter WhalleyBrian Mills16,220,0001
1043115Friday 31st AugustJimmy McGovernBrian Mills15,960,0002
1053116Monday 3rd SeptemberBarry HillRichard Signy16,120,0001
1063117Wednesday 5th SeptemberKen BlakesonRichard Signy16,000,0002
1073118Friday 7th SeptemberPhil WoodsRichard Signy14,310,0009
1083119Monday 10th SeptemberStephen MallatrattOliver Horsbrugh16,080,0001
1093120Wednesday 12th SeptemberLeslie DuxburyOliver Horsbrugh14,870,0004
1103121Friday 14th SeptemberJohn StevensonOliver Horsbrugh13,250,00010
1113122Monday 17th SeptemberJulian RoachJohn Darnell16,350,0004
1123123Wednesday 19th SeptemberPeter WhalleyJohn Darnell17,070,0002
1133124Friday 21st SeptemberPaul AbbottJohn Darnell16,480,0003
1143125Monday 24th SeptemberPaul AbbottJeremy Summers16,440,0002
1153126Wednesday 26th SeptemberKen BlakesonJeremy Summers17,130,0001
1163127Friday 28th SeptemberStephen MallatrattJeremy Summers16,370,0003
1173128Monday 1st OctoberPhil WoodsRichard Signy16,620,0004
1183129Wednesday 3rd OctoberJohn StevensonRichard Signy17,760,0001
1193130Friday 5th OctoberLeslie DuxburyRichard Signy16,740,0003
1203131Monday 8th OctoberJulian RoachBrian Mills17,370,0001
1213132Wednesday 10th OctoberBarry HillBrian Mills17,010,0002
1223133Friday 12th OctoberPeter WhalleyBrian Mills16,080,0003
1233134Monday 15th OctoberLeslie DuxburyOliver Horsbrugh17,150,0003
1243135Wednesday 17th OctoberBarry HillOliver Horsbrugh17,450,0001
1253136Friday 19th OctoberAdele RoseOliver Horsbrugh16,810,0004
1263137Monday 22nd OctoberJulian RoachJeremy Summers17,510,0002
1273138Wednesday 24th OctoberKen BlakesonJeremy Summers17,330,0003
1283139Friday 26th OctoberPeter WhalleyJeremy Summers16,540,0007
1293140Monday 29th OctoberStephen MallatrattRichard Signy17,460,0006
1303141Wednesday 31st OctoberPhil WoodsRichard Signy17,930,0003
1313142Friday 2nd NovemberJohn StevensonRichard Signy16,700,0009
1323143Monday 5th NovemberLeslie DuxburyBrian Mills16,020,0009
1333144Wednesday 7th NovemberPeter WhalleyBrian Mills16,990,0007
1343145Friday 9th NovemberJulian RoachBrian Mills17,340,0004
1353146Monday 12th NovemberBarry HillIan White17,510,0003
1363147Wednesday 14th NovemberTom ElliottIan White18,230,0002
1373148Friday 16th NovemberKen BlakesonIan White17,320,0004
1383149Monday 19th NovemberJohn StevensonJeremy Summers17,980,0003
1393150Wednesday 21st NovemberStephen MallatrattJeremy Summers18,760,0001
1403151Friday 23rd NovemberAdele RoseJeremy Summers16,670,0008
1413152Monday 26th NovemberBarry HillRichard Signy18,320,0003
1423153Wednesday 28th NovemberPhil WoodsRichard Signy20,570,0001
1433154Friday 30th NovemberJohn StevensonRichard Signy17,730,0008
1443155Monday 3rd DecemberAdele RoseBrian Mills18,430,0003
1453156Wednesday 5th DecemberJulian RoachBrian Mills19,680,0001
1463157Friday 7th DecemberJulian RoachBrian Mills18,090,0006
1473158Monday 10th DecemberPaul AbbottSarah Harding18,450,0002
1483159Wednesday 12th DecemberStephen MallatrattSarah Harding18,640,0001
1493160Friday 14th DecemberPeter WhalleySarah Harding17,590,0006
1503161Monday 17th DecemberBarry HillJeremy Summers18,010,0004
1513162Wednesday 19th DecemberPaul AbbottJeremy Summers18,160,0003
1523163Friday 21st DecemberJulian RoachJeremy Summers18,410,0002
1533164Monday 24th DecemberJohn StevensonOliver Horsbrugh17,340,0009
1543165Tuesday 25th DecemberJohn StevensonOliver Horsbrugh17,850,0006
1553166Wednesday 26th DecemberStephen MallatrattRichard Signy16,630,00012
1563167Friday 28th DecemberLeslie DuxburyRichard Signy20,160,0002
1573168Monday 31st DecemberKen BlakesonBrian Mills16,430,00010


Who lives where

Coronation Street

Rosamund Street


Awards and Nominations

Coronation Street in the 1990s
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