Eric Bailey was a scaffolding erector who was with Les Fox when Les chatted up Bet Lynch in the Rovers in July 1977. Bet joked that Eric only spoke in one word sentences and finding Les amusingly cocky, she agreed to go on a double date with him and Eric, and to find someone for Eric. When Les found out that Bet lived in the flat above an off-licence and that Eric's date, Renee Bradshaw, owned the shop, he arranged another date in Ashton with the pair but instead of meeting the women, he and Eric took advantage of their absence to break into the premises and steal the stock, watching the Corner Shop from the viaduct to make sure they'd left before making their move. Bet and Renee returned from being stood up to find the booze had been taken from the shelves. The police caught up with the pair in Stoke-on-Trent when they were arrested for drink driving just a few days later.

Eric was played by Geoff Hinsliff, his second role in Coronation Street, ten years before being cast as Don Brennan.

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