Janet Bamford was a secretary at the Weatherfield Recorder from 1985 to 1988, and worked as Ken Barlow's personal assistant. Janet worked mornings only and cared for her disabled husband John the rest of the time. Unlike her predecessor Sally Waterman, Janet had no journalistic ambitions and was content with her minimal responsibilities, including making the coffee. In her three years at the Recorder, she presented no problems to Ken and they got along well.

In February 1988, the Clarion Group bought Bob Statham's share of the Recorder. Statham had been a sleeping partner but the Clarion's boss, Nick Cavanagh, had big ideas for the paper and asked Janet to work overtime however due to John being confined to bed, Janet had to decline. Ken considered the matter closed but Nick pursued it and convinced Ken that they needed someone more dynamic in the office full-time. Ken reluctantly gave Janet her notice. When given the news, Janet was understanding and told Ken she'd been expecting it.

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