From a young age Izzy developed abandonment issues as she was led to believe that her mother Linda had walked out on her and sister Katy as she had been unable to cope with her Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. It wasn't until 2015 that it was revealed Owen had blocked Linda from seeing her daughters after she had an affair. Owen's overly protective nature of his daughters, especially of Izzy on account of her disability, often caused conflict between them.
Izzy arrived on Coronation Street in 2010 having arranged an online date with Kirk Sutherland. This relationship didn't go anywhere but she secured herself a job at Underworld factory and began dating Gary Windass. The pair were able to move past the struggles presented by each other's disorders - Gary had PTSD from fighting in Afghanistan - but took a wobble after Izzy miscarried their child. Finding a surrogate in Tina McIntyre, the pair were able to raise a son, Jake. However, their peaceful family life didn't last long as Gary eventually fell out of love with her and she became reliant on marijuana to help relieve the pain brought on by her EDS.
Having overcome a two month stint in prison for possession of illegal substances - and assaulting a police officer - Izzy was faced with the reality of Gary moving on to a relationship with Alya Nazir.
1986-2010: Early life and abandonment issues
Born in January 1986 to Owen Armstrong and Linda Hancock, Izzy was diagnosed with Ethers-Danlos Syndrome - a disorder that affects connective tissue - and her parents were told that she would have to use a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Not long after Izzy's sister Katy was born in September 1994 did their mother Linda begin having an affair. When Owen found out about his wife's betrayal he prevented her from having any contact with her children and told them that she had walked out on them - leading to Izzy suffering from abandonment issues as she believed that the stress from coping with her disability had led to her mother's departure.
2010-2012: Relationship with Gary Windass
In April 2010, Izzy met with Kirk Sutherland who she had been talking to on a dating site. Izzy was initially disheartened to discover that she had been deceived by Kirk, as he had been using Jason Grimshaw's picture as his profile picture to attract more interest, but eventually agreed to meet him again in May. Having a disability had made Izzy extremely self aware and easy to anger but Kirk found her to be quite bossy and confrontational, especially when she encouraged him to apply for a job at Underworld and challenged Carla Connor when his interview was unsuccessful. However, Carla was impressed by her gall and employed her as a machinist after seeing that she was skilled using a sewing machine.
In June 2010, Izzy's father Owen tracked her down to the Rovers Return Inn in order to make amends for ruining her last relationship. Izzy had begun to despise her father's interference in her life and refused to speak to him, when Gary Windass witnessed the pair's confrontation he stepped in to defend Izzy but backed down when he realised that Owen was her father. Izzy eventually made peace with her father after he promised to let her life her own life, and later thanked Gary for coming to her defence - but was left heartbroken when he revealed that he was heading off to the army the next day. Izzy continued her relationship with Kirk, however she was unable to prevent her feelings for Gary and was thrilled to discover that he had returned in September 2010.
Unbeknown to Izzy, Gary had also been harbouring feelings for her which had only increased during his time away. When Gary heard that Izzy had been insulted by two thugs in the Rovers, he challenged the pair to a fight alongside his friend Quinny and was later arrested for the attack. Izzy asked Kirk, who had witnessed the fight, to keep silent about Gary's part in the incident as she told him that he would lose his career in the army for defending her. Kirk decided to take responsibility for the attack in order to allow Gary to continue his career. However, Kirk wasn't charged for the assault due to lack of evidence and was released - only to catch Izzy and Gary holding hands. Gary later returned to the army and in November, Izzy was horrified to discover that he had been injured in Afghanistan and that Quinny had been killed. Gary returned home a few days later and Izzy helped his parents Eddie and Anna Windass to care for him. However, Izzy became concerned about Gary's aggressive behaviour and realised that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The explosive events of the tram crash in December led to Gary spiralling out of control as he believed himself to be back in the war zone, but he was able to deal with his disorder after having talked to Quinny's parents Ian and Kate Quinn.
In the New Year, Izzy asked Owen to give Gary a job at the Builder's Yard as she felt that he was able to return to work following his breakdown. Not long after Gary started working for Owen, Jason Grimshaw locked him in the back of a van and he freaked out - attacking Owen when he was released. Owen gave Izzy the ultimatum that she was to either terminate her relationship with Gary or he would report him to the police for the attack. Izzy refused to break up with her boyfriend, and made it clear that Gary was still suffering from his PTSD.
In July 2011, Izzy was robbed by a gang of teenagers and Gary's mental health relapsed as he began to become too over-protective of Izzy and even took her wheelchair away so that she was unable to leave the house. When Katy and her boyfriend Chesney Brown began to fear that something had happened the pair got Owen to break the door down and the trio found Gary and Izzy crying in the corner. After Gary let Izzy go he went back to living with his mother for a few weeks.
2012-2013: Pregnancy issues and surrogacy
In July 2012, Izzy and Gary reconciled and she later confided in Fiz Stape that she was pregnant with their child. Izzy informed Gary about the pregnancy and he was excited, although she made sure that he was aware of the health issues her condition placed on the baby. The pair later revealed the news to their families but were left devastated when Izzy miscarried. Izzy decided that if they wanted children they would have to adopt, taking inspiration from Anna's adoption of Faye Windass, but was informed that Gary's criminal history would prevent adoption from happening.
Katy willingly offered herself up to be her sister's surrogate, after having already given birth to her own son Joseph Brown the previous year. However, Izzy and Gary agreed not to go ahead with the plan after remembering how ill Katy had been while she was pregnant. After discovering that one of her father's tenants, Tina McIntyre, had been unable to pay her rent due to being in debt - Izzy casually mentioned the search for a surrogate while being served by Tina in the Rovers. Tina offered her services, providing that the price was right, although this upset her partner Tommy Duckworth. Tina ignored Tommy and went ahead with the implantation process, with her pregnancy being confirmed two weeks later. Tommy struggled to cope with the situation, as everyone believed that the child was his, and revealed the truth to his neighbours - Tina was disgusted by his behaviour and ended their relationship.
It wasn't long before Izzy began to feel left out of the pregnancy, as Gary and Tina attended birthing classes together. When Tina realised her feelings she promised to involve Izzy more in their activities. However, unbeknownst to them both Gary had become smitten with Tina and ended up trying to make a pass at her. Tina rejected Gary's advances and agreed to keep it a secret from Izzy. However, Izzy was shocked to overhear the pair talking about it.
As Izzy argued with Gary, Tina went into early labour and gave birth to their baby - who was later named Jake Windass. As the baby's life hung in the balance, Izzy refused to let Gary see Jake but Tina soon banned the pair of them from seeing him until they sorted out their problems. Izzy and Gary agreed to stop arguing for the sake of their son, but were left horrified when Tina revealed that she had changed her mind about giving him up after having bonded with him while in hospital. The pair visited lawyers to ask about taking legal action against Tina but were told that it would take years to get Jake back through the courts. Izzy eventually gave up hope and told Tina that she could have him. Although, Tina realised that she was in the wrong and gave Jake back to Izzy and Gary.
Izzy later forgave Gary and he moved back in with her and Jake, and later in June 2014 Tina was murdered by Rob Donovan after being thrown from the Builder's Yard and then hit by a metal pipe - Izzy and Gary attended the funeral in place of Jake.
2014-2015: Life with Jake and mother's return
Also in June, Gary met Alya Nazir in a club during a night out and spent the night with her. Alya assured him that nothing happened and later, after Gary split with Izzy, she told Izzy the same story - believing that they had split due to their one-night stand.
In February 2015, Izzy's mother Linda returned and Owen attempted to keep her away from her daughters. Owen's efforts failed and Linda introduced herself to Izzy, although Izzy didn't accept her at first as she believed that she walked out on her as a child due to not being able to cope with her disability. Linda was able to expose Owen's lies and revealed that he had kept her from seeing them after she had an affair. Izzy was furious with her father but later forgave him before he left the street in April 2015.
2016: Marijuana issues and imprisonment
In 2016, Izzy began meeting drug dealers to purchase marijuana to relieve her chronic pain. However, she was later found in possession of illegal substances and assaulted the arresting police officer with her wheelchair. Izzy lost her temper in court, claiming that the laws of the country surrounding drugs were wrong. The court expressed sympathy but still sentenced her to two months in prison for her crimes.
In August 2016, Izzy was released from prison and hoped for a reconciliation with Gary - who had supported her throughout her conviction. Gary was unable to tell Izzy that he didn't love her any more, but she eventually realised the truth and told him that she understood.
2017-present: Katy's death and domestic life
Throughout 2017, Izzy continued to have a close friendship with Gary and accepted his relationship with Sarah Platt. However, after Izzy lost her job at Underworld (when Eva Price exacted her revenge on Aidan Connor by enlisting Adam Barlow's help in destroying the factory) Gary began to have money problems and decided to take up some dangerous security work in Ukraine. The work left Gary exhausted and brought back memories of his time in the army and, unable to confide in Izzy or Sarah, he had a one-night stand with Nicola Rubinstein. When Izzy learnt of the betrayal she condemned his actions and sympathised with Sarah.
In October, Izzy was horrified to learn about her sister's death in Portugal and later discovered Gary had been killed in December. Although, Gary's death had been a mistake - as his patrol car had exploded and his St. Christopher had been discovered among the wreckage.
In April 2018, Underworld was reopened by Aidan and Izzy resumed working once more - this allowed Gary to move further in his relationship with Sarah, as he wasn't forced to help provide for Izzy, and the pair moved into 8 Victoria Court with Sarah's two children Bethany and Harry Platt. In May, Nicola gave birth to Gary's son and Jake's half-brother Zack Rubinstein.
In mid-2020, Izzy went into shielding at her home at Grayling Street along with Jake due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She kept in contact with Gary via FaceTime, although she was finding the pressures of lockdown and having to deal with her pain on her own. In April 2021 she again communicated with Gary, although masked her spasms of pain from him.
Hobbies and interests
Introduction of the "first" disabled regular
Izzy's surname was initially intended to be Butterfield, although by the transmission of her first episode it had been changed to Armstrong .
Break from the show
Cherylee Houston went into shielding in early 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and didn't return to work when production began again following the suspension of filming in the spring of that year. This meant that Izzy was absent for most of 2020, having only appeared in six episodes and last appeared on 15th June of that year. Newspapers reported at the time that fans were confused by the character's absence, until the actress's situation was addressed in 2021. It was reported that she would make a cameo appearance during a video call, which broadcast on 21st April 2021, ten months after the character last appeared. Within the storyline, Izzy was also shielding due to the pandemic, in order to explain her absence from the street itself. She made several appearances over the coming months, with Izzy's last appearance in 2021 being on 4th August.
First and last lines
List of addresses
|28 Grayling Street||Unknown to present|
|Machinist||Underworld||May 2010 to September 2017|
|Machinist||Underworld||11th April 2018 to present|