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1996 was Coronation Street's thirty-seventh year.

Main characters

Ranking Character Played by Duration Number of Episodes Running total Previous year's ranking
1 Vera Duckworth Elizabeth Dawn Full year 113 1363 2
2 Liz McDonald Beverley Callard Full year 105 697 8
3 Andy McDonald Nicholas Cochrane Full year 102 518 17
4 Jack Duckworth William Tarmey Full year 100 1220 9
5 Ken Barlow William Roache Full year 95 2529 11
5 Deirdre Rachid Anne Kirkbride Full year 95 1655 30
7 Bill Webster Peter Armitage Full year 92 219 32
8 Rita Sullivan Barbara Knox Full year 91 1881 13
9 Don Brennan Geoff Hinsliff Full year 89 686 15
9 Jim McDonald Charles Lawson Full year 89 636 3
11 Mike Baldwin Johnny Briggs Full year 86 1385 20
11 Mavis Wilton Thelma Barlow Full year 86 1710 15
13 Alma Baldwin Amanda Barrie Full year 85 734 12
13 Fiona Middleton Angela Griffin Full year 85 302 1
13 Audrey Roberts Sue Nicholls Full year 85 958 20
16 Des Barnes Philip Middlemiss Full year 84 591 5
17 Alec Gilroy Roy Barraclough Full year 82 610 53
17 Curly Watts Kevin Kennedy Full year 82 1000 18
17 Kevin Webster Michael Le Vell Full year 82 959 24
20 Maureen Holdsworth Sherrie Hewson Full year 80 325 20
20 Judy Mallett Gaynor Faye Full year 80 95 52
22 Gail Platt Helen Worth Full year 79 1594 4
22 Sally Webster Sally Whittaker Full year 79 798 37
24 Tricia Armstrong Tracy Brabin Full year 76 146 28
25 Betty Williams Betty Driver Full year 75 1971 10
26 Derek Wilton Peter Baldwin Full year 74 702 27
26 Maud Grimes Elizabeth Bradley Full year 74 250 23
28 Gary Mallett Ian Mercer Full year 72 88 51
29 Percy Sugden Bill Waddington Full year 67 929 28
29 Alf Roberts Bryan Mosley Full year 67 1733 31
31 Raquel Watts Sarah Lancashire Until November 64 530 7
32 Martin Platt Sean Wilson Full year 63 765 18
33 Joyce Smedley Anita Carey From February 61 61 -
34 Emily Bishop Eileen Derbyshire Full year 60 2183 33
34 Maxine Heavey Tracy Shaw Full year 60 110 36
36 Daniel Osbourne Lewis Harney January to May, July and October to November 58 95 41
37 Tony Horrocks Lee Warburton Full year 56 67 53
37 Steve McDonald Simon Gregson Until August and from December 56 521 6
39 Anne Malone Eve Steele Full year 53 61 58
39 Kelly Thomson Sarah Moffett From February to December 53 53 -
41 Fred Elliott John Savident Full year 51 64 58
42 Jamie Armstrong Joseph Gilgun Full year 49 83 43
42 Vicky McDonald Chloe Newsome Until June 49 253 13
44 Josie Clarke Ellie Haddington Until August 47 101 35
44 Claire Palmer Maggie Norris From May 47 47 -
46 Samantha Failsworth Tina Hobley From July 43 43 -
47 Ashley Peacock Steven Arnold February to May, July and from October 40 42 61
48 Roy Cropper David Neilson Full year 39 48 56
49 Norris Cole Malcolm Hebden March, May to June, August to October and December 36 72 50
50 Becky Palmer Emily Aston From May 35 35 -
51 Sean Skinner Terence Hillyer January to April and from August 33 80 45
52 Sarah Louise Platt Lynsay King Full year 31 345 39
53 David Platt Thomas Ormson January to February, May, July to October and December 28 295 42
54 Sophie Webster Ashleigh Middleton Full year 26 63 43
54 Ida Clough Helene Palmer February to September and December 26 230 62
56 Billy Williams Frank Mills Full year 26 55 46
57 Rosie Webster Emma Collinge January to April and July to December 23 260 49
58 Nick Tilsley Warren Jackson January to March and July to September 21 547 38
59 Denise Osbourne Denise Black Until February and from November 15 265 25
60 Alan McKenna Glenn Hugill From November 10 10 -
61 Terry Duckworth Nigel Pivaro June only 8 301 -
61 Tommy Duckworth Darryl Edwards June only 8 120 55
63 Phyllis Pearce Jill Summers January to February and May 6 504 39
64 Tracy Barlow Dawn Acton November only 4 584 47
65 Angie Freeman Deborah McAndrew December only 3 235 -
66 Blanche Hunt Maggie Jones November only 2 100 -
66 Robert Preston Julian Kay November only 2 2 -
68 Mark Redman Chris Cook August only 1 63 -

Production

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

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.

Episodes

# Ep.
No.
Date Writer Director Viewing
Figures
(With omnibus)
Chart
Position
1 3955 Monday 1st January Tom Elliott Penelope Shales 16,400,000 7
2 3956 Wednesday 3rd January Patrea Smallacombe Penelope Shales 18,380,000 1
3 3957 Friday 5th January Peter Whalley Penelope Shales 17,950,000 3
4 3958 Monday 8th January Sally Wainwright Jon Woods 18,560,000 1
5 3959 Wednesday 10th January Phil Woods Jon Woods 17,120,000 3
6 3960 Friday 12th January Stephen Mallatratt Jon Woods 17,910,000 2
7 3961 Monday 15th January John Stevenson John Michael Phillips 18,420,000 2
8 3962 Wednesday 17th January Stephen Lowe John Michael Phillips 17,720,000 3
9 3963 Friday 19th January Mark Wadlow John Michael Phillips 18,480,000 1
10 3964 Monday 22nd January Tom Elliott Brian Mills 18,200,000 3
11 3965 Wednesday 24th January John Stevenson Brian Mills 18,640,000 2
12 3966 Friday 26th January Adele Rose Brian Mills 19,250,000 1
13 3967 Monday 29th January Stephen Lowe Mervyn Cumming 18,980,000 1
14 3968 Wednesday 31st January Julian Roach Mervyn Cumming 18,200,000 2
15 3969 Friday 2nd February Barry Hill Mervyn Cumming 17,940,000 3
16 3970 Monday 5th February Stephen Mallatratt Jon Woods 19,300,000 2
17 3971 Wednesday 7th February Patrea Smallacombe Jon Woods 19,510,000 1
18 3972 Friday 9th February Peter Whalley Jon Woods 19,290,000 3
19 3973 Monday 12th February Martin Allen John Michael Phillips 18,340,000 2
20 3974 Wednesday 14th February Tom Elliott John Michael Phillips 18,580,000 1
21 3975 Friday 16th February Phil Woods John Michael Phillips 18,180,000 3
22 3976 Monday 19th February Julian Roach Brian Mills 19,570,000 1
23 3977 Wednesday 21st February Peter Whalley Brian Mills 18,550,000 2
24 3978 Friday 23rd February Stephen Lowe Brian Mills 18,440,000 3
25 3979 Monday 26th February John Stevenson Mervyn Cumming 19,050,000 3
26 3980 Wednesday 28th February Adele Rose Mervyn Cumming 19,800,000 1
27 3981 Friday 1st March Stephen Mallatratt Mervyn Cumming 19,110,000 2
28 3982 Monday 4th March Stephen Mallatratt Colin Cant 18,120,000 1
29 3983 Wednesday 6th March Patrea Smallacombe Colin Cant 14,050,000 8
30 3984 Friday 8th March Barry Hill Colin Cant 17,980,000 2
31 3985 Monday 11th March Adele Rose John Michael Phillips 17,580,000 2
32 3986 Wednesday 13th March Tom Elliott John Michael Phillips 18,740,000 1
33 3987 Friday 15th March Sally Wainwright John Michael Phillips 17,510,000 3
34 3988 Monday 18th March John Stevenson Brian Mills 18,100,000 1
35 3989 Wednesday 20th March Peter Whalley Brian Mills 15,220,000 6
36 3990 Friday 22nd March Peter Whalley Noreen Kershaw 17,270,000 2
37 3991 Monday 25th March John Stevenson Mervyn Cumming 18,470,000 1
38 3992 Wednesday 27th March Adele Rose Mervyn Cumming 17,530,000 2
39 3993 Friday 29th March Peter Whalley Mervyn Cumming 17,260,000 3
40 3994 Monday 1st April Tom Elliott Colin Cant 16,420,000 1
41 3995 Wednesday 3rd April Stephen Mallatratt Colin Cant 12,740,000 7
42 3996 Friday 5th April Julian Roach Colin Cant 14,540,000 4
43 3997 Monday 8th April Mark Wadlow Richard Signy 15,850,000 3
44 3998 Wednesday 10th April Barry Hill Richard Signy 16,450,000 2
45 3999 Friday 12th April Martin Allen Richard Signy 17,360,000 1
46 4000 Monday 15th April Barry Hill Noreen Kershaw 16,130,000 1
47 4001 Wednesday 17th April Adele Rose Noreen Kershaw 13,370,000 6
48 4002 Friday 19th April Julian Roach Brian Mills 15,750,000 2
49 4003 Monday 22nd April John Stevenson Mervyn Cumming 17,170,000 1
50 4004 Wednesday 24th April Peter Whalley Mervyn Cumming 16,480,000 2
51 4005 Friday 26th April Tom Elliott Mervyn Cumming 15,040,000 3
52 4006 Monday 29th April Patrea Smallacombe Colin Cant 16,550,000 2
53 4007 Wednesday 1st May Stephen Mallatratt Colin Cant 16,870,000 1
54 4008 Friday 3rd May Phil Woods Colin Cant 15,920,000 3
55 4009 Monday 6th May Mark Wadlow Richard Signy 13,780,000 5
56 4010 Wednesday 8th May Tom Elliott Richard Signy 16,010,000 1
57 4011 Friday 10th May Stephen Lowe Richard Signy 15,920,000 2
58 4012 Monday 13th May John Stevenson Brian Mills 15,520,000 3
59 4013 Wednesday 15th May Barry Hill Brian Mills 16,430,000 1
60 4014 Friday 17th May Frank Cottrell Boyce Noreen Kershaw 15,710,000 2
61 4015 Monday 20th May Sally Wainwright Mervyn Cumming 15,820,000 1
62 4016 Wednesday 22nd May Adele Rose Mervyn Cumming 13,370,000 6
63 4017 Friday 24th May Peter Whalley Mervyn Cumming 15,550,000 2
64 4018 Monday 27th May Barry Hill Colin Cant 16,020,000 1
65 4019 Wednesday 29th May Stephen Mallatratt Colin Cant 15,410,000 2
66 4020 Friday 31st May Martin Allen Colin Cant 14,350,000 4
67 4021 Monday 3rd June Peter Whalley Richard Signy 14,930,000 1
68 4022 Wednesday 5th June Sally Wainwright Richard Signy 13,800,000 3
69 4023 Friday 7th June Stephen Lowe Richard Signy 13,770,000 4
70 4024 Monday 10th June Phil Woods Brian Mills 13,440,000 2
71 4025 Wednesday 12th June John Stevenson Brian Mills 13,710,000 1
72 4026 Friday 14th June Adele Rose Brian Mills 9,990,000 9
73 4027 Monday 17th June John Stevenson Mervyn Cumming 14,070,000 4
74 4028 Wednesday 19th June Sally Wainwright Mervyn Cumming 12,160,000 10
75 4029 Friday 21st June Patrea Smallacombe Mervyn Cumming 13,640,000 6
76 4030 Monday 24th June Adele Rose Noreen Kershaw 13,310,000 4
77 4031 Wednesday 26th June Peter Whalley Noreen Kershaw 12,320,000 9
78 4032 Friday 28th June Stephen Mallatratt Noreen Kershaw 15,250,000 3
79 4033 Monday 1st July Julian Roach Colin Cant 13,870,000 3
80 4034 Wednesday 3rd July Tom Elliott Colin Cant 14,590,000 1
81 4035 Friday 5th July Mark Wadlow Colin Cant 14,350,000 2
82 4036 Monday 8th July Barry Hill Brian Mills 14,230,000 1
83 4037 Wednesday 10th July Adele Rose Brian Mills 13,430,000 3
84 4038 Friday 12th July Phil Woods Brian Mills 13,100,000 5
85 4039 Monday 15th July Frank Cottrell Boyce Kay Patrick 14,160,000 1
86 4040 Wednesday 17th July Martin Allen Kay Patrick 13,030,000 3
87 4041 Friday 19th July Julian Roach Kay Patrick 13,000,000 4
88 4042 Monday 22nd July Stephen Mallatratt Simon Massey 14,220,000 2
89 4043 Wednesday 24th July Peter Whalley Simon Massey 14,300,000 1
90 4044 Friday 26th July John Stevenson Simon Massey 13,170,000 3
91 4045 Monday 29th July Sally Wainwright Noreen Kershaw 14,640,000 1
92 4046 Wednesday 31st July Barry Hill Noreen Kershaw 14,390,000 2
93 4047 Friday 2nd August Stephen Lowe Noreen Kershaw 13,550,000 5
94 4048 Monday 5th August Jim Hitchmough Colin Cant 14,010,000 3
95 4049 Wednesday 7th August Peter Whalley Colin Cant 14,670,000 1
96 4050 Friday 9th August John Stevenson Colin Cant 14,670,000 1
97 4051 Monday 12th August Phil Woods Mervyn Cumming 14,420,000 1
98 4052 Wednesday 14th August Adele Rose Mervyn Cumming 14,180,000 2
99 4053 Friday 16th August Stephen Mallatratt Mervyn Cumming 13,570,000 3
100 4054 Monday 19th August Stephen Mallatratt Simon Massey 14,100,000 3
101 4055 Wednesday 21st August Stephen Lowe Simon Massey 14,180,000 2
102 4056 Friday 23rd August Peter Whalley Simon Massey 14,880,000 1
103 4057 Monday 26th August Tom Elliott Noreen Kershaw 12,990,000 6
104 4058 Wednesday 28th August Patrea Smallacombe Noreen Kershaw 15,480,000 1
105 4059 Friday 30th August Barry Hill Noreen Kershaw 14,170,000 2
106 4060 Monday 2nd September Frank Cottrell Boyce Brian Mills 15,640,000 1
107 4061 Wednesday 4th September Julian Roach Brian Mills 14,850,000 2
108 4062 Friday 6th September Adele Rose Brian Mills 12,900,000 8
109 4063 Monday 9th September Martin Allen Mervyn Cumming 15,880,000 1
110 4064 Wednesday 11th September Adele Rose Mervyn Cumming 13,790,000 6
111 4065 Friday 13th September Jim Hitchmough Mervyn Cumming 13,710,000 7
112 4066 Monday 16th September Patrea Smallacombe Simon Massey 15,600,000 1
113 4067 Wednesday 18th September Peter Whalley Simon Massey 15,190,000 4
114 4068 Friday 20th September Phil Woods Simon Massey 14,040,000 6
115 4069 Monday 23rd September Sally Wainwright Kay Patrick 16,680,000 1
116 4070 Wednesday 25th September Mark Wadlow Kay Patrick 13,550,000 9
117 4071 Friday 27th September Julian Roach Kay Patrick 14,930,000 6
118 4072 Monday 30th September Stephen Lowe Brian Mills 15,930,000 2
119 4073 Wednesday 2nd October Barry Hill Brian Mills 15,720,000 3
120 4074 Friday 4th October Julian Roach Brian Mills 15,350,000 5
121 4075 Monday 7th October Phil Woods Mervyn Cumming 16,710,000 4
122 4076 Wednesday 9th October Adele Rose Mervyn Cumming 15,940,000 7
123 4077 Friday 11th October Peter Whalley Mervyn Cumming 15,300,000 9
124 4078 Monday 14th October Sally Wainwright Colin Cant 17,190,000 2
125 4079 Wednesday 16th October Stephen Mallatratt Colin Cant 13,720,000 10
126 4080 Friday 18th October John Stevenson Colin Cant 15,410,000 7
127 4081 Monday 21st October Barry Hill Noreen Kershaw 16,650,000 4
128 4082 Wednesday 23rd October John Stevenson Noreen Kershaw 16,190,000 7
129 4083 Friday 25th October Tom Elliott Noreen Kershaw 15,200,000 8
130 4084 Monday 28th October Adele Rose Brian Mills 17,510,000 1
131 4085 Wednesday 30th October Jim Hitchmough Brian Mills 13,940,000 7
132 4086 Friday 1st November Peter Whalley Brian Mills 14,530,000 6
133 4087 Monday 4th November Peter Whalley Mervyn Cumming 17,390,000 1
134 4088 Wednesday 6th November Martin Allen Mervyn Cumming 16,360,000 3
135 4089 Friday 8th November Stephen Lowe Mervyn Cumming 15,580,000 4
136 4090 Monday 11th November Phil Woods Colin Cant 17,590,000 2
137 4091 Wednesday 13th November Julian Roach Colin Cant 18,260,000 1
138 4092 Friday 15th November Adele Rose Colin Cant 16,480,000 5
139 4093 Monday 18th November Tom Elliott Noreen Kershaw 17,600,000 1
140 4094 Wednesday 20th November Patrea Smallacombe Noreen Kershaw 14,280,000 7
141 4095 Friday 22nd November John Stevenson Noreen Kershaw 15,690,000 5
142 4096 Sunday 24th November Sally Wainwright Brian Mills 15,670,000 6
143 4097 Monday 25th November Sally Wainwright Brian Mills 17,570,000 1
144 4098 Wednesday 27th November Martin Allen Brian Mills 16,910,000 3
145 4099 Friday 29th November Adele Rose Brian Mills 15,480,000 8
146 4100 Sunday 1st December Tom Elliott Mervyn Cumming 14,690,000 10
147 4101 Monday 2nd December Tom Elliott Mervyn Cumming 17,360,000 2
148 4102 Wednesday 4th December Patrea Smallacombe Mervyn Cumming 13,440,000 10
149 4103 Friday 6th December Julian Roach Mervyn Cumming 15,420,000 6
150 4104 Sunday 8th December Sally Wainwright Colin Cant 13,670,000 9
151 4105 Monday 9th December Adele Rose Colin Cant 16,890,000 1
152 4106 Wednesday 11th December Barry Hill Colin Cant 16,290,000 3
153 4107 Friday 13th December Phil Woods Colin Cant 15,540,000 5
154 4108 Sunday 15th December Patrea Smallacombe Noreen Kershaw 14,110,000 10
155 4109 Monday 16th December Tom Elliott Noreen Kershaw 16,820,000 1
156 4110 Wednesday 18th December Peter Whalley Noreen Kershaw 15,960,000 2
157 4111 Friday 20th December Julian Roach Noreen Kershaw 15,240,000 5
158 4112 Sunday 22nd December Tom Elliott Brian Mills 13,110,000 9
159 4113 Monday 23rd December Phil Woods Brian Mills 16,250,000 7
160 4114 Wednesday 25th December John Stevenson Brian Mills 10,320,000 30
161 4115 Friday 27th December Mark Wadlow Brian Mills 16,260,000 6
162 4116 Sunday 29th December Patrea Smallacombe Mervyn Cumming 14,300,000 11
163 4117 Monday 30th December Martin Allen Mervyn Cumming 17,140,000 3

Storylines

Who lives where

Coronation Street

Rosamund Street

Victoria Street

Others

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
1990199119921993199419951996199719981999
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