Jeff Bateman, nicknamed “Fangio”, was a chirpy, cheeky lorry driver from London who was one of the first customers of the renamed and altered Jim's Cafe, taking advantage of its proximity to the newly-opened lorry park on Canal Street.
Fond of his women, Jeff took every opportunity to chat up waitress Gail Tilsley when she asked for his order, telling her that it was to be waiting outside The Flying Horse that night for him. However his manner and lewdness upset Emily Bishop who asked him to leave, only to be over-ruled by Jim Sedgewick causing her to walk out. Not the least cowed, Jeff continued on his visits to hug and paw Gail and even turned on the flattery with Elsie Tanner who was far more capable of dealing with his antics. One person who wasn’t impressed though was Brian Tilsley who witnessed him coming on to his wife and threatened him. Jeff backed off with suitable apologies.
Several weeks later, he was one of the first customers of Emily and Deirdre Langton’s newly-established Coronation Street Secretarial Bureau when he called asking for flyers to be typed up as he had gone self-employed with his own haulage business. Emily greeted his arrival at No. 3 with pursed-lipped disapproval but this went over Jeff’s head. Showing a more gentlemanly side to his nature, he took Deirdre for a drink in the Rovers but their relationship went no further than that.
- The character was credited under his unexplained nickname of “Fangio” for all but his last two appearances. He was played by Peter Dean who five years later was one of the original cast of "EastEnders".