Joy Elizabeth Fishwick was the elderly mother of John Stape’s old teaching colleague, Colin Fishwick. When Colin had gone to Canada, John stole his identity for the purposes of getting back into the teaching profession as he was barred due to his criminal record. Unfortunately, Colin returned to Weatherfield and found out what John had been up to. In a furious row with John, he collapsed and died, leaving John to bury his body under building works at the Underworld factory.
Several months passed and Joy turned up at 5 Coronation Street. Desperate to hear from her son, she had traced him to his last known teaching post in Rochdale (in reality, the job John had fulfilled) and the address he gave of Coronation Street. Fiz Stape, who knew of the role impersonation but not Colin’s death, listened as Joy told them of her own ill-health and her wish that she see Colin again before she died. Fiz truthfully told Joy that as far as they knew Colin was last known to be working in a bookshop in Manchester. She traced him there and found out that before he had disappeared he had been beaten up by Ben Fielding, the husband of a woman he had had an affair with. Distraught, she came back to the Street, worrying John and Fiz again. To try and get rid of her, John told her several days later he had heard from Colin who had gone back to Canada but that he didn’t want to see his mother again. Joy was upset at this news but pleased at least that he was alive and well.
When Fiz and John were visiting premature daughter Hope at Weatherfield General, they crossed paths with Joy once again, who announced that she hadn't got long to live, only a few weeks. She then asked John for Colin's number, but John stated that he had deleted it as Colin "changed" the phone number, which upset Joy. She then gave John her number, and said to call her if Colin was to get back in touch.
John was feeling guilt over Colin’s death and went to visit the old lady to keep her company and ended up doing odd jobs for her. As they got to know each other, John felt worse and worse for the old lady’s grief that she would never see her son again and offered her a lifeline of hope by giving her Colin’s supposed mobile phone number for her to leave messages on. In reality, this was his own number.
This proved to be John’s undoing as she tried Colin’s number when John was back at her house carrying out Good Samaritan chores and heard John’s own phone ringing. He tried to cover himself again with stories that Colin was returning that day but eventually he decided to come clean and told Joy the unvarnished truth. This brought on her angina and when nosy next-door neighbour Clifford called round, John held his hand over her mouth to stop her crying out in a panic. This action caused the old lady’s death. John fled the house but returned later on when he realised that ready meals and soup for two he had bought for the old lady had been left behind. He went back at night but was interrupted by the ever-vigilant Clifford as he looked through the darkened windows. John span another of his tales that he was delivering a package but Clifford wasn’t happy to leave the situation alone and breaking down the front door with a recently-learned karate kick, he and John entered the house. While Clifford rang the emergency services, John managed to literally clean the evidence of the second meal and leave the house to continue his “delivery jobs”.
Dying in the previous episode, the character was credited on 13th January 2011 as her body was seen.
List of appearances