Cyril Turpin began serving with the police in 1945 after serving as a military policeman in the Second World War. He married Betty Preston in the July of that year at St John's in the Wilderness on Clegg Street and they had a happy marriage.
In 1969, Betty and Cyril moved into 15a Coronation Street, a flat above the Coronation Street Corner Shop which was owned by Betty's sister Maggie Clegg. Betty had moved there so that she could be there to support Maggie when her son Gordon moved to London. The Street residents enjoyed having a police officer living in their midst and often looked to him for legal advice, and in return Cyril exercised his hands-on approach to the law by giving neighbours a friendly warning before intervening when they were flouting the law. As the go-to man for many a crisis, Cyril soon got to know the locals and involved himself in community events, including a pub football match and the Rovers Christmas concert, in which he acted as Master of Ceremonies.
Cyril was fiercely protective of Betty. When Rovers landlady Annie Walker asked Cyril to persuade Betty to quit her barmaid job at the Rovers, Cyril advised Betty to stay put, as Annie's actions could be taken as pressuring a police officer. In 1970, ex-convict Keith Lucas, who had just completed a three-year jail sentence, threatened Betty while looking for Cyril, who he blamed for putting him away as Cyril was his arresting officer. When Cyril learned about this he set upon Lucas with a lead pipe, and had to be pulled off him by Len Fairclough. Cyril was appalled at his own behaviour and, after facing a disciplinary hearing, resigned from the police, having already entertained the notion earlier that year. He took a job in a solicitor's office, and he and Betty moved to 37 Hillside Crescent.
After the move, Cyril was not seen in Coronation Street often. He briefly considered buying into the Corner Shop in 1972 and tried to make Maggie feel guilty by pointing out how Betty had looked after her in the past. Alf Roberts fought Cyril on Maggie's behalf, convincing Cyril to back down.
- As of 1980, Cyril has a sister, Minnie, and a brother-in-law, Victor. The two have a daughter named Margaret, and live on a modern housing estate.
- Cyril often informally called Betty "Lizzie".
- For all of their time together, Betty kept secret from Cyril the fact that Gordon Clegg was actually Betty's son, who had only been raised by Maggie. Cyril believed him to be Maggie's son.
Before playing Cyril Turpin, William Moore had played Mr. Wigglesworth in Episode 548 (14th March 1966), a Police Constable in The Cup That Cheers, an episode of Pardon the Expression, and a landlord in Hail to Thee, Aunt Shelmadine, an episode of Turn out the Lights. Additionally, Moore's wife Mollie Sugden played the pub landlady Nellie Harvey, a friend and rival of Annie Walker, on the series from 1965 to 1976.
Cyril and Betty Turpin were first seen in June 1969. Cyril was seen regularly until mid-1970, and had a further two stints in 1972. When it became clear that Moore had no intentions of reprising the role, Cyril was killed off in February 1974.
In the episode following Cyril's death, Betty tells Alf Roberts and Maggie Clegg that it would be their Pearl Anniversary "next July", suggesting that they were married in July 1945. This precedes Betty's affair with soldier Ted Farrell and falling pregnant with Gordon in 1947.
First and last lines
"You'll be the licensee then, Mr Walker?" (First line)