When Vikram Desai fled to Mumbai in December 2002 to avoid a gambling debt he owed to gangsters, Steve McDonald, his ex-partner in Street Cars discovered that he’d emptied the tax account to the sum of ten thousand pounds and the business was in big trouble. Karen McDonald sacked Eileen Grimshaw from her switch job and took over the task herself and the McDonalds also put their property at 11 Coronation Street on the market, which also meant the eviction of Eileen.

She heard that Eddie Hall, the first prospective buyer was coming to view the house and left strict instructions with sons Jason and Todd not to tidy up and not to empty the overflowing bin. When Eddie arrived, they also went on at some length about the damp, the unsafe electrics, the rotten stairs and how the landlord had neglected repairs. This had no effect upon Eddie who had several dingy properties that he rented out to students but his main interest this time was in doing up the house for his mother and, bearing in mind her nervous disposition, wanted to know if the neighbours were okay. Taking their cue from this request, while Eddie inspected the back yard, the boys turned up the stereo and rotated the speakers towards No. 9 proving a wrathful visit from Vera Duckworth in full battle cry. Eddie didn’t put in an offer on the house…

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