Title caption 4098

1996 was Coronation Street's thirty-seventh year.

Main characters

Ranking Character Played by Duration Number of Episodes Running total Previous year's ranking
1Vera DuckworthElizabeth DawnFull year11313632
2Liz McDonaldBeverley CallardFull year1056978
3Andy McDonaldNicholas CochraneFull year10251817
4Jack DuckworthWilliam TarmeyFull year10012209
5Ken BarlowWilliam RoacheFull year96253311
6Deirdre RachidAnne KirkbrideFull year94165430
7Bill WebsterPeter ArmitageFull year9221932
8Rita SullivanBarbara KnoxFull year91188113
9Don BrennanGeoff HinsliffFull year9068715
10Jim McDonaldCharles LawsonFull year876343
11Mavis WiltonThelma BarlowFull year86171015
12Mike BaldwinJohnny BriggsFull year85138420
12Alma BaldwinAmanda BarrieFull year8573412
12Fiona MiddletonAngela GriffinFull year853021
12Audrey RobertsSue NichollsFull year8595820
16Des BarnesPhilip MiddlemissFull year845915
17Kevin WebsterMichael Le VellFull year8396024
18Alec GilroyRoy BarracloughFull year8261053
18Curly WattsKevin KennedyFull year82100018
20Judy MallettGaynor FayeFull year809552
20Maureen HoldsworthSherrie HewsonFull year8032520
22Gail PlattHelen WorthFull year7915944
22Sally WebsterSally WhittakerFull year7979837
24Tricia ArmstrongTracy BrabinFull year7614628
24Betty WilliamsBetty DriverFull year76197210
26Derek WiltonPeter BaldwinFull year7470227
27Maud GrimesElizabeth BradleyFull year7324923
28Gary MallettIan MercerFull year718751
29Percy SugdenBill WaddingtonFull year6893028
30Alf RobertsBryan MosleyFull year67173331
31Raquel WattsSarah LancashireUntil November645307
32Martin PlattSean WilsonFull year6276418
33Joyce SmedleyAnita CareyFrom February6161 -
34Emily BishopEileen DerbyshireFull year60218433
34Maxine HeaveyTracy ShawFull year6011036
36Tony HorrocksLee WarburtonFull year566753
36Daniel OsbourneLewis HarneyJanuary to May, July and October to November569341
38Steve McDonaldSimon GregsonUntil August and from December555206
39Kelly ThomsonSarah MoffettFrom February to December5353 -
40Anne MaloneEve SteeleFull year526058
41Fred ElliottJohn SavidentFull year516458
42Jamie ArmstrongJoseph GilgunFull year508443
43Vicky McDonaldChloe NewsomeUntil June4925313
44Josie ClarkeEllie HaddingtonUntil August4710135
45Claire PalmerMaggie NorrisFrom May4646 -
46Samantha FailsworthTina HobleyFrom July4343 -
47Ashley PeacockSteven ArnoldFebruary to May, July and from October404261
48Roy CropperDavid NeilsonFull year394856
49Norris ColeMalcolm HebdenMarch, May to June, August to October and December367250
49Becky PalmerEmily AstonFrom May3636 -
51Sean SkinnerTerence HillyerJanuary to April and from August338045
52Sarah Louise PlattLynsay KingFull year3034439
53Sophie WebsterAshleigh MiddletonFull year276443
54Billy WilliamsFrank MillsFull year265546
55Ida CloughHelene PalmerFebruary to September and December2522962
55David PlattThomas OrmsonJanuary to February, May, July to October and December2529242
57Rosie WebsterEmma CollingeJanuary to April and July to December2326049
58Nick TilsleyWarren JacksonJanuary to March and July to September2154738
59Denise OsbourneDenise BlackUntil February and from November1526525
60Alan McKennaGlenn HugillFrom November1010 -
61Terry DuckworthNigel PivaroJune only8301 -
61Tommy DuckworthDarryl EdwardsJune only812055
63Phyllis PearceJill SummersJanuary to February and May650439
64Tracy BarlowDawn ActonNovember only458547
65Angie FreemanDeborah McAndrewDecember only3235 -
66Blanche HuntMaggie JonesNovember only2100 -
66Robert PrestonJulian KayNovember only22 -
68Mark RedmanChris CookAugust only163 -



Jim McDonald hits Liz when she confesses to an old affair with his friend Johnny Johnson. The episode drew the biggest audience of the year with 19.8 million viewers

Sue Pritchard spent her third year as Coronation Street's producer, with Carolyn Reynolds continuing as (often uncredited) executive producer.

In response to the channel's declining share of the audience, ITV ordered an increase in Coronation Street's weekly output to four episodes. To achieve this, rehearsal and studio days were dropped and a system adopted whereby individual scenes would be rehearsed and immediately recorded. Generally, scenes set in one location would be shot in bulk, in the same manner as location scenes such as those set in Firman's Freezers had been since 1989. This resulted in reduced rehearsal time for the actors but allowed recording to take place on multiple episodes at the same time, with different camera crews.

The new installment was scheduled on Sundays at 7.30pm and the first episode was screened on 24th November. The main storyline saw Ken Barlow - recently reconciled with Deirdre Rachid after seven years - rush to No.1 to stop Denise Osbourne snatching their son Daniel. Denise Black returned to the programme after nine months for a custody battle between Ken and Denise over Daniel, before leaving again in January 1997.

In September, confectionery giant Cadbury become Coronation Street's first official sponsor. Starting with Episode 4062, the top and tail end of each episode carried adverts for Cadbury products, usually with a Coronation Street theme.

Roy Barraclough returned full-time as Alec Gilroy, four years after he quit the series. As Jack and Vera Duckworth were now running the Rovers, writers created another outlet for Alec's talents; Sunliners Travel Agency in Rosamund Street, a new fixture of the programme which also employed Deirdre Rachid as well as cleaner Joyce Smedley, Judy Mallett's mother played by Anita Carey. Meanwhile, Alec's previous appearance in Coronation Street - The Feature Length Special was given an airing on television on 24th March, thus breaking a promise to consumers that the VHS release would not be transmitted within a specified time period. Although it was an abridged version, ITV was criticised for the move and later gained a fine for not keeping to this promise.

Other cast additions included Tina Hobley as barmaid Samantha Failsworth, Sarah Moffett as Daniel Osbourne's child minder Kelly Thomson, Glenn Hugill as detective Alan McKenna, boyfriend of Fiona Middleton, and Maggie Norris and Emily Aston as mother and daughter Claire and Becky Palmer, who formed a family with Des Barnes. Meanwhile, Steven Arnold and John Savident's roles of Ashley Peacock and his uncle (later revealed to be father) Fred Elliott were expanded, Deborah McAndrew returned as Angie Freeman for three episodes before coming back full-time in 1997, and Helene Palmer's role of Ida Clough became recurring for the first time since 1988. Ida once again worked for Mike Baldwin at his new factory Baldwin's Sportswear.

Sarah Lancashire was the main departee, quitting the programme after five years as Raquel Watts. The episode in which Raquel told Curly she was leaving Weatherfield to take a modelling job in Kuala Lumpur was hour-long and also featured the wedding of Tracy Barlow and Robert Preston, with Dawn Acton making a short return as Tracy and Maggie Jones appearing as Blanche Hunt for the first time in 15 years.

Jill Summers played Phyllis Pearce for the last time in Episode 4007 on 1st May. Despite ill-health, she had refused to leave the programme but her appearances had become sporadic in recent months and she passed away on 11th January 1997. After Summers's death, Phyllis's fate was left ambiguous, and the character was simply no longer mentioned.

Other departures included Chloe Newsome as Vicky McDonald, Ellie Haddington as Josie Clarke and Warren Jackson as Nick Tilsley. Jackson intended to return as Nick the following year, but the part was recast with Adam Rickitt instead. Lastly, Nigel Pivaro made a short return as Terry Duckworth, his first for three years.

Viewers were given a chance to watch old episodes of Coronation Street starting with Episode 1588, originally shown on 5th April 1976, on the new satellite channel Granada Plus. Shown under the title Classic Coronation Street, the repeats continued until the channel went defunct in 2004. Jean Alexander reprised the role of Hilda Ogden in a special trailer advertising the repeats.

Viewing figures

1996 ratings

Ratings chart for the year

Overall aggregated ratings were down for the fourth year in a row, by a slightly smaller factor than the previous two years. The average for 1996 was 15.76 million viewers, a drop of 300k on 1995. February, March, May and August saw increases year-on-year, though none significant. The biggest drops occurred in October and December, each of almost two million viewers. The latter drop was the result of the new Sunday episode struggling to build an audience and a disastrous performance by the Christmas Day episode, whose audience was 10.32 million viewers and which only reached 30th place for the week, despite being an aggregated figure.

The highest-rated episode of the year was Episode 3980 on 28th February, which was seen by 19.8 million viewers - the highest peak in a year since 1993. Meanwhile, the programme continued to rate excellently in the charts, with 45 episodes reaching number one.


# Ep.
Date Writer Director Viewing
(With omnibus)
13955Monday 1st JanuaryTom ElliottPenelope Shales16,400,0007
23956Wednesday 3rd JanuaryPatrea SmallacombePenelope Shales18,380,0001
33957Friday 5th JanuaryPeter WhalleyPenelope Shales17,950,0003
43958Monday 8th JanuarySally WainwrightJon Woods18,560,0001
53959Wednesday 10th JanuaryPhil WoodsJon Woods17,120,0003
63960Friday 12th JanuaryStephen MallatrattJon Woods17,910,0002
73961Monday 15th JanuaryJohn StevensonJohn Michael Phillips18,420,0002
83962Wednesday 17th JanuaryStephen LoweJohn Michael Phillips17,720,0003
93963Friday 19th JanuaryMark WadlowJohn Michael Phillips18,480,0001
103964Monday 22nd JanuaryTom ElliottBrian Mills18,200,0003
113965Wednesday 24th JanuaryJohn StevensonBrian Mills18,640,0002
123966Friday 26th JanuaryAdele RoseBrian Mills19,250,0001
133967Monday 29th JanuaryStephen LoweMervyn Cumming18,980,0001
143968Wednesday 31st JanuaryJulian RoachMervyn Cumming18,200,0002
153969Friday 2nd FebruaryBarry HillMervyn Cumming17,940,0003
163970Monday 5th FebruaryStephen MallatrattJon Woods19,300,0002
173971Wednesday 7th FebruaryPatrea SmallacombeJon Woods19,510,0001
183972Friday 9th FebruaryPeter WhalleyJon Woods19,290,0003
193973Monday 12th FebruaryMartin AllenJohn Michael Phillips18,340,0002
203974Wednesday 14th FebruaryTom ElliottJohn Michael Phillips18,580,0001
213975Friday 16th FebruaryPhil WoodsJohn Michael Phillips18,180,0003
223976Monday 19th FebruaryJulian RoachBrian Mills19,570,0001
233977Wednesday 21st FebruaryPeter WhalleyBrian Mills18,550,0002
243978Friday 23rd FebruaryStephen LoweBrian Mills18,440,0003
253979Monday 26th FebruaryJohn StevensonMervyn Cumming19,050,0003
263980Wednesday 28th FebruaryAdele RoseMervyn Cumming19,800,0001
273981Friday 1st MarchStephen MallatrattMervyn Cumming19,110,0002
283982Monday 4th MarchStephen MallatrattColin Cant18,120,0001
293983Wednesday 6th MarchPatrea SmallacombeColin Cant14,050,0008
303984Friday 8th MarchBarry HillColin Cant17,980,0002
313985Monday 11th MarchAdele RoseJohn Michael Phillips17,580,0002
323986Wednesday 13th MarchTom ElliottJohn Michael Phillips18,740,0001
333987Friday 15th MarchSally WainwrightJohn Michael Phillips17,510,0003
343988Monday 18th MarchJohn StevensonBrian Mills18,100,0001
353989Wednesday 20th MarchPeter WhalleyBrian Mills15,220,0006
363990Friday 22nd MarchPeter WhalleyNoreen Kershaw17,270,0002
373991Monday 25th MarchJohn StevensonMervyn Cumming18,470,0001
383992Wednesday 27th MarchAdele RoseMervyn Cumming17,530,0002
393993Friday 29th MarchPeter WhalleyMervyn Cumming17,260,0003
403994Monday 1st AprilTom ElliottColin Cant16,420,0001
413995Wednesday 3rd AprilStephen MallatrattColin Cant12,740,0007
423996Friday 5th AprilJulian RoachColin Cant14,540,0004
433997Monday 8th AprilMark WadlowRichard Signy15,850,0003
443998Wednesday 10th AprilBarry HillRichard Signy16,450,0002
453999Friday 12th AprilMartin AllenRichard Signy17,360,0001
464000Monday 15th AprilBarry HillNoreen Kershaw16,130,0001
474001Wednesday 17th AprilAdele RoseNoreen Kershaw13,370,0006
484002Friday 19th AprilJulian RoachBrian Mills15,750,0002
494003Monday 22nd AprilJohn StevensonMervyn Cumming17,170,0001
504004Wednesday 24th AprilPeter WhalleyMervyn Cumming16,480,0002
514005Friday 26th AprilTom ElliottMervyn Cumming15,040,0003
524006Monday 29th AprilPatrea SmallacombeColin Cant16,550,0002
534007Wednesday 1st MayStephen MallatrattColin Cant16,870,0001
544008Friday 3rd MayPhil WoodsColin Cant15,920,0003
554009Monday 6th MayMark WadlowRichard Signy13,780,0005
564010Wednesday 8th MayTom ElliottRichard Signy16,010,0001
574011Friday 10th MayStephen LoweRichard Signy15,920,0002
584012Monday 13th MayJohn StevensonBrian Mills15,520,0003
594013Wednesday 15th MayBarry HillBrian Mills16,430,0001
604014Friday 17th MayFrank Cottrell BoyceNoreen Kershaw15,710,0002
614015Monday 20th MaySally WainwrightMervyn Cumming15,820,0001
624016Wednesday 22nd MayAdele RoseMervyn Cumming13,370,0006
634017Friday 24th MayPeter WhalleyMervyn Cumming15,550,0002
644018Monday 27th MayBarry HillColin Cant16,020,0001
654019Wednesday 29th MayStephen MallatrattColin Cant15,410,0002
664020Friday 31st MayMartin AllenColin Cant14,350,0004
674021Monday 3rd JunePeter WhalleyRichard Signy14,930,0001
684022Wednesday 5th JuneSally WainwrightRichard Signy13,800,0003
694023Friday 7th JuneStephen LoweRichard Signy13,770,0004
704024Monday 10th JunePhil WoodsBrian Mills13,440,0002
714025Wednesday 12th JuneJohn StevensonBrian Mills13,710,0001
724026Friday 14th JuneAdele RoseBrian Mills9,990,0009
734027Monday 17th JuneJohn StevensonMervyn Cumming14,070,0004
744028Wednesday 19th JuneSally WainwrightMervyn Cumming12,160,00010
754029Friday 21st JunePatrea SmallacombeMervyn Cumming13,640,0006
764030Monday 24th JuneAdele RoseNoreen Kershaw13,310,0004
774031Wednesday 26th JunePeter WhalleyNoreen Kershaw12,320,0009
784032Friday 28th JuneStephen MallatrattNoreen Kershaw15,250,0003
794033Monday 1st JulyJulian RoachColin Cant13,870,0003
804034Wednesday 3rd JulyTom ElliottColin Cant14,590,0001
814035Friday 5th JulyMark WadlowColin Cant14,350,0002
824036Monday 8th JulyBarry HillBrian Mills14,230,0001
834037Wednesday 10th JulyAdele RoseBrian Mills13,430,0003
844038Friday 12th JulyPhil WoodsBrian Mills13,100,0005
854039Monday 15th JulyFrank Cottrell BoyceKay Patrick14,160,0001
864040Wednesday 17th JulyMartin AllenKay Patrick13,030,0003
874041Friday 19th JulyJulian RoachKay Patrick13,000,0004
884042Monday 22nd JulyStephen MallatrattSimon Massey14,220,0002
894043Wednesday 24th JulyPeter WhalleySimon Massey14,300,0001
904044Friday 26th JulyJohn StevensonSimon Massey13,170,0003
914045Monday 29th JulySally WainwrightNoreen Kershaw14,640,0001
924046Wednesday 31st JulyBarry HillNoreen Kershaw14,390,0002
934047Friday 2nd AugustStephen LoweNoreen Kershaw13,550,0005
944048Monday 5th AugustJim HitchmoughColin Cant14,010,0003
954049Wednesday 7th AugustPeter WhalleyColin Cant14,670,0001
964050Friday 9th AugustJohn StevensonColin Cant14,670,0001
974051Monday 12th AugustPhil WoodsMervyn Cumming14,420,0001
984052Wednesday 14th AugustAdele RoseMervyn Cumming14,180,0002
994053Friday 16th AugustStephen MallatrattMervyn Cumming13,570,0003
1004054Monday 19th AugustStephen MallatrattSimon Massey14,100,0003
1014055Wednesday 21st AugustStephen LoweSimon Massey14,180,0002
1024056Friday 23rd AugustPeter WhalleySimon Massey14,880,0001
1034057Monday 26th AugustTom ElliottNoreen Kershaw12,990,0006
1044058Wednesday 28th AugustPatrea SmallacombeNoreen Kershaw15,480,0001
1054059Friday 30th AugustBarry HillNoreen Kershaw14,170,0002
1064060Monday 2nd SeptemberFrank Cottrell BoyceBrian Mills15,640,0001
1074061Wednesday 4th SeptemberJulian RoachBrian Mills14,850,0002
1084062Friday 6th SeptemberAdele RoseBrian Mills12,900,0008
1094063Monday 9th SeptemberMartin AllenMervyn Cumming15,880,0001
1104064Wednesday 11th SeptemberAdele RoseMervyn Cumming13,790,0006
1114065Friday 13th SeptemberJim HitchmoughMervyn Cumming13,710,0007
1124066Monday 16th SeptemberPatrea SmallacombeSimon Massey15,600,0001
1134067Wednesday 18th SeptemberPeter WhalleySimon Massey15,190,0004
1144068Friday 20th SeptemberPhil WoodsSimon Massey14,040,0006
1154069Monday 23rd SeptemberSally WainwrightKay Patrick16,680,0001
1164070Wednesday 25th SeptemberMark WadlowKay Patrick13,550,0009
1174071Friday 27th SeptemberJulian RoachKay Patrick14,930,0006
1184072Monday 30th SeptemberStephen LoweBrian Mills15,930,0002
1194073Wednesday 2nd OctoberBarry HillBrian Mills15,720,0003
1204074Friday 4th OctoberJulian RoachBrian Mills15,350,0005
1214075Monday 7th OctoberPhil WoodsMervyn Cumming16,710,0004
1224076Wednesday 9th OctoberAdele RoseMervyn Cumming15,940,0007
1234077Friday 11th OctoberPeter WhalleyMervyn Cumming15,300,0009
1244078Monday 14th OctoberSally WainwrightColin Cant17,190,0002
1254079Wednesday 16th OctoberStephen MallatrattColin Cant13,720,00010
1264080Friday 18th OctoberJohn StevensonColin Cant15,410,0007
1274081Monday 21st OctoberBarry HillNoreen Kershaw16,650,0004
1284082Wednesday 23rd OctoberJohn StevensonNoreen Kershaw16,190,0007
1294083Friday 25th OctoberTom ElliottNoreen Kershaw15,200,0008
1304084Monday 28th OctoberAdele RoseBrian Mills17,510,0001
1314085Wednesday 30th OctoberJim HitchmoughBrian Mills13,940,0007
1324086Friday 1st NovemberPeter WhalleyBrian Mills14,530,0006
1334087Monday 4th NovemberPeter WhalleyMervyn Cumming17,390,0001
1344088Wednesday 6th NovemberMartin AllenMervyn Cumming16,360,0003
1354089Friday 8th NovemberStephen LoweMervyn Cumming15,580,0004
1364090Monday 11th NovemberPhil WoodsColin Cant17,590,0002
1374091Wednesday 13th NovemberJulian RoachColin Cant18,260,0001
1384092Friday 15th NovemberAdele RoseColin Cant16,480,0005
1394093Monday 18th NovemberTom ElliottNoreen Kershaw17,600,0001
1404094Wednesday 20th NovemberPatrea SmallacombeNoreen Kershaw14,280,0007
1414095Friday 22nd NovemberJohn StevensonNoreen Kershaw15,690,0005
1424096Sunday 24th NovemberTom ElliottNoreen Kershaw15,670,0006
1434097Monday 25th NovemberSally WainwrightBrian Mills17,570,0001
1444098Wednesday 27th NovemberMartin AllenBrian Mills16,910,0003
1454099Friday 29th NovemberAdele RoseBrian Mills15,480,0008
1464100Sunday 1st DecemberTom ElliottMervyn Cumming14,690,00010
1474101Monday 2nd DecemberTom ElliottMervyn Cumming17,360,0002
1484102Wednesday 4th DecemberPatrea SmallacombeMervyn Cumming13,440,00010
1494103Friday 6th DecemberJulian RoachMervyn Cumming15,420,0006
1504104Sunday 8th DecemberSally WainwrightColin Cant13,670,0009
1514105Monday 9th DecemberAdele RoseColin Cant16,890,0001
1524106Wednesday 11th DecemberBarry HillColin Cant16,290,0003
1534107Friday 13th DecemberPhil WoodsColin Cant15,540,0005
1544108Sunday 15th DecemberPatrea SmallacombeNoreen Kershaw14,110,00010
1554109Monday 16th DecemberTom ElliottNoreen Kershaw16,820,0001
1564110Wednesday 18th DecemberPeter WhalleyNoreen Kershaw15,960,0002
1574111Friday 20th DecemberJulian RoachNoreen Kershaw15,240,0005
1584112Sunday 22nd DecemberTom ElliottBrian Mills13,110,0009
1594113Monday 23rd DecemberPhil WoodsBrian Mills16,250,0007
1604114Wednesday 25th DecemberJohn StevensonBrian Mills10,320,00030
1614115Friday 27th DecemberMark WadlowBrian Mills16,260,0006
1624116Sunday 29th DecemberPatrea SmallacombeMervyn Cumming14,300,00011
1634117Monday 30th DecemberMartin AllenMervyn Cumming17,140,0003


Who lives where

Coronation Street

Rosamund Street

Victoria Street


Awards and nominations

National Television Awards

Royal Television Society (North West) Awards

  • Best Network Programme: Coronation Street (Nominee)
  • Best Actress in a Network Programme made in the region: Sarah Lancashire (Nominee)
  • Best Actor in a Network Programme made in the region: William Tarmey (Nominee)

CITV Awards

  • Best Other ITV Show: Coronation Street (Nominee)
Coronation Street in the 1990s
*Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Fandom will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+