Leanne was brought up by her father Les Battersby and stepmother Janice, alongside Toyah. The Battersbys moved into 5 Coronation Street in 1997, and the troublesome teen soon eloped with Nick Tilsley to Scotland. Their subsequent marriage fell apart when Nick forced Leanne to have an abortion, and afterwards Leanne's life spiralled out of control. Following a drug addiction, Leanne moved away in 2000 to escape from gangster Jez Quigley but returned in 2004.
Another unsettled period followed including an affair with her boyfriend Jamie Baldwin's father Danny, prostitution, and burning down her restaurant Valandro's to collect the insurance payout. It wasn't until she started a relationship with Peter Barlow in 2008, and became mother to his son five-year-old son Simon, that she changed into a more responsible adult. Following the tram crash, Leanne married Peter in hospital, and her family grew even further when she finally met her birth mother Stella Price, and half-sister Eva, in 2011.
Her marriage to Peter took a wobble when he discovered that she had cheated on him with Nick, but when Peter's affair with Carla Connor exposed his hypocrisy, Leanne divorced him and was given custody of Simon. Re-marriage to Nick followed in 2013, however when Nick was involved in a car crash and left with brain damage, he experienced violent outbursts which strained their marriage to the point where they were forced to separate.
Leanne had a one-night stand with Steve McDonald in 2016, and fell pregnant with their son Oliver Battersby, who she raised with Nick following another reconciliation. She was devastated when, in 2020, Oliver was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease and passed away after a long legal battle with the hospital, with Leanne fighting to keep Oliver alive until a treatment was developed. Still grieving for her son, Leanne currently lives at 12 Victoria Court with Nick and Simon.
1981-1997: Being dragged up
Leanne was born on 2nd July 1981 to Les Battersby and Stella Price. Teenage Stella was happy with Les at first, but Les soon started drinking heavily and neglecting his wife and daughter, leading her to walk out on the family when Leanne was three years old. Les took Leanne back to his mother's home and when Stella returned for her daughter, Betty refused to hand her over. Les was then married to another woman, but that also ended fast and it was his relationship with Janice Lee which gave Leanne a stable mother figure in her life. Janice later married Les and Leanne also gained a stepsister in her daughter Toyah. The Battersby family were rehoused by the council several times over the following years due to their disputes with neighbours and anti-social behaviour.
The Battersbys moved into 5 Coronation Street in the summer of 1997 when Leanne was 16. They quickly gained a reputation as "the family from hell" among most of the neighbours and Leanne was a mischievous troublemaker who would shoplift and play loud music with Toyah. In frustration, neighbour Curly Watts broke Leanne's CD player, earning himself a headbutt from Les. Having left school and showing no desire to continue her education, Janice insisted on Leanne getting a job but her efforts to find one were uninspired. Janice found work for Leanne as a cleaner at Underworld but Leanne was idle and got the sack after setting off the fire alarm while smoking in the toilets.
1998-1999: Marriage to Nick Tilsley
Leanne began dating Nick Tilsley in late 1997 after he returned from an extended stay in Canada. Leanne enrolled on a hairdressing course at a local college, in order to spend more time with Nick who was also studying there. Nick's mother Gail Platt instantly disapproved of the union as she did not like the Battersbys. Leanne and Gail frequently clashed, but this did not stop the teenagers from running away to Scotland to get married in January 1998. In an effort to become a more responsible adult, Leanne quit her hairdressing course and started working with Rita Sullivan in The Kabin. When Gail discovered that Nick had married Leanne, he left home and moved in with the Battersbys but the young couple were uncomfortable sharing with Leanne's family and so shortly after began lodging with Ashley Peacock and Zoe Tattersall at No.4.
When Nick met Darren Whateley, the man who had killed his father, Brian, he wrote letters to Darren under Leanne's name as part of a revenge plot. Leanne was terrified when Darren showed up unexpectedly to meet her, asking for sex. Later on, when Darren learned he had been set up, he threatened Leanne, but Nick rescued her just in time. The events put a large strain on Nick and Leanne's relationship, especially as Leanne felt guilty that Darren had been sent back to prison because of them but Nick thought he deserved to stay there.
When Nick modelled for Miranda Peters, it put the relationship under further strain. Leanne refused to speak to him, or attend his 18th birthday party on 31st December 1998. However, when Leanne's half-brother Greg Kelly attacked Nick, she came back to him and told him that she was pregnant. Nick was horrified at the thought of becoming a dad. Furious, he demanded that she abort the unborn child and pretend to everyone else that she had miscarried the baby. Leanne reluctantly agreed, but afterwards felt immense guilt. The relationship couldn't survive such trauma and they consequently divorced. Nick went back to Canada and Leanne took what financial offer she could get from Gail as a divorce settlement.
Newly single, Leanne began dating new resident Vikram Desai who was working at the Corner Shop at the time. Excessive partying and late nights took its toll on Leanne. She subsequently resigned from The Kabin following a misunderstanding over missing money and fell out with Ashley over unpaid rent and frequent houseguests. She then started working behind the bar at the Rovers for Natalie Horrocks and moved in to the living quarters.
1999-2000: Becoming a drug addict
Leanne was pleased to receive her decree absolute but also felt depressed by her failed marriage and went on to become addicted to cocaine, after being supplied some by drug dealer Jez Quigley. Leanne ended up deeply in debt to Jez and upon occasion was forced to sleep with him. She owed him money and became desperate. She was going to allow him to rob the Rovers on New Year's Day 2000, but at the last minute backed out and landed herself in hospital after a fight with one of Jez's thugs. Leanne was hailed a hero for trying to fight off the thugs but felt ashamed knowing the truth and was later humiliated when her drug secret was exposed in the Rovers by Amy Goskirke who she had considered a friend.
Jez continued to pester Leanne over the following months, leaving her scared. After being found not guilty of murdering Tony Horrocks in court, Jez sent flowers and a necklace to Leanne and then had her picked up off the street and brought to his flat where he professed his love for her. Knowing Jez to be capable of extreme violence, she left Weatherfield for Amsterdam with her friend Mark Redman later in the year to escape the gangster's clutches.
2004-2006: Relationship with the Baldwins
In June 2004, Les discovered Leanne dressed as a belly dancer in a back street local bar, serving beer. She returned to the Street and moved back in with Janice. She quickly caused trouble for ex-husband Nick and his latest girlfriend, Maria Sutherland. She had heard about how Maria had betrayed Toyah by having a fling with John Arnley and decided to take revenge on both Maria and her former husband. Leanne and Maria’s sparring culminated in a brawl in the Rovers Return. Eventually, Leanne's scheming paid off as Nick left Weatherfield without Maria.
Not long after her return, Leanne started a relationship with Jamie Baldwin. Jamie's stepmother, Frankie Baldwin, hated Leanne, and several ferocious slanging matches ensued. Despite her feud with Frankie, Leanne and Jamie became engaged. However, Leanne began an affair with Jamie's dad, Danny Baldwin, which Frankie discovered after accepting a call from Danny on Leanne's phone. When Jamie learned the truth, he was heartbroken and proceeded to call off the engagement. Leanne quit her job at Roy's Rolls as she was unable to continue working with Frankie and temporarily departed the Street to sort her life out.
When she returned she found that Jamie was still not open to forgiving her. Leanne and Danny eventually accepted that their respective relationships were over and consequently decided to reunite. When Danny's father, Mike Baldwin, began to suffer from mental illness, Leanne and Danny were the ones who cared for him, which Leanne found difficult. The couples main priority however, was getting their hands on Mike's estate.
Shortly before Mike's death, Danny had managed to manipulate Mike into making a will giving it all to him, and cutting out his other sons, Mark and Adam Barlow. Following Mike's death, Leanne discovered a will that post-dated this one and in it, Mike left Adam his fair share. Despite becoming engaged to Leanne, Danny Baldwin truly loved former wife Frankie and ended his relationship with Leanne in a bid for reconciliation. Leanne was devastated and took revenge on Danny by blackmailing him with Mike's latest will. Leanne then double-crossed her ex by giving Mike's second will to Adam, even after Danny gave her the cash which she demanded. Having totally wrecked Danny's life, Leanne then made her exit to Spain.
2007-2008: Prostitution and arson
Leanne returned in March 2007, harbouring the secret that she was now working as an escort. Janice was horrified to discover the truth and made her disapproval very clear. When Leanne began dating Liam Connor, Janice made her realise that she had to choose between Liam and prostitution. Initially, Leanne chose escorting, but later decided that she should allow her heart to rule her head and gave it up for him. In the latter days of her career as a prostitute, Leanne found herself a new client - Liam's brother Paul Connor.
Leanne went into business with Paul's wife, Carla. They decided to buy and run Italian restaurant Valandro's together. In order to gather up the cash to make the purchase, Leanne made a brief return to her work as a prostitute. This business deal would ultimately lead to Leanne's exposure, as Carla came across one of her clients who told her the truth. Carla was shocked and decided to abandon their business arrangement.
When Carla ended her marriage to Paul after finding out about his visits to escorts, he blamed Leanne and attempted revenge. He lured her to a car park and bundled her into the boot of his car, intending to drive to Liam and inform him of the truth. However, a horrific car crash took place during the journey. Leanne was hospitalised but survived. Paul, on the other hand, did not pull through and died shortly after the accident. Carla revealed Leanne’s profession to Liam, who was stunned and decided that he wanted nothing more to do with Leanne.
Leanne decided to go ahead with opening the restaurant herself. She borrowed £10,000 from Janice‘s boyfriend, Roger Stiles, but initially struggled with her new business. She took on Paul Clayton as chef at the restaurant and began to feel hope when trade improved. Paul eventually invested money in the restaurant, acquiring a share of the business.
She then began dating bookmaker Dan Mason, by which time the restaurant was starting to show signs of failure. It was Dan who suggested torching Valandro's for the insurance money. Leanne manipulated Paul into carrying this out for her, offering the promise of a relationship between the two of them. Paul agreed and carried out the arson attack, but was disappointed to realise Leanne had only been using him. He attempted to take revenge on her by confessing his crime to the police, as well as implicating her. However, Dan and Leanne provided alibis for one another on the night of the fire so they got away with the crime. Realising that he alone was going to be sent down, Paul subsequently fled the country to avoid prosecution.
Leanne subsequently got a job working in the bookies with Dan and his father. She then returned to her old position behind the bar at the Rovers as she was not making enough money at the bookies. She was fired by Michelle Connor after she wrongly accused Leanne of sleeping with her boyfriend Steve McDonald.
In September 2008, Leanne and Janice discovered that the syndicate Lottery ticket for the factory girls was a winner - to the tune of nearly £25,000. Leanne convinced her stepmother that she should not tell the other girls about it and keep the winnings for themselves. To claim the money they had to set up a bogus bank account under the name of Rosie Webster. They were both thrilled when the cash was lodged to the account and made up a cover story that an uncle of Janice's had died and had left them a sum of money in his will. Leanne then offered to give Dan the £10,000 which he needed to buy the bookies. In the meantime however, Rosie had vanished and the police could see that money was being withdrawn from the account. Unfortunately for Leanne, Dan found out about the scam after Janice was arrested following her admission of guilt and their relationship subsequently ended.
2008-2012: Return of Peter Barlow
In October 2008, Peter Barlow returned to the Street with his son Simon and Leanne took a shine to both. Peter was battling an addiction to alcohol however and this threatened his relationship with Leanne. In December, a drunken Peter went to kiss Leanne, and though she rejected him, he grabbed her. In self-defence, Leanne pushed him and he fell into the decorated Christmas tree resulting in Simon waking up and Leanne walking out. However, she later forgave him when he promised to give up the booze and the pair began a relationship.
Early in 2009, Peter was struggling to stay off alcohol and entered a rehabilitation programme with Leanne's support. In his absence, she took over running the bookies. Upon his return in March, Leanne discovered he had cheated on her while he was away. Broken-hearted, she subsequently moved to Leeds to take up a job offer managing a restaurant for a friend. Several months later, Peter headed out to Leeds and asked Leanne to give him another chance; she returned to Coronation Street the day after, whereupon they resumed their relationship. Later Leanne and Peter decide to open a bar together in the joinery premises under the viaduct at the end of Coronation Street. Ken was dead set against the plan, but Peter found investment in Simon's maternal grandfather George Wilson, who was attempting to build a relationship with Simon. As work began on the bar, Peter's drink problem returned. George tried to use the alcoholism against Peter to get custody of Simon for himself.
Despite his personal problems, Peter's relationship with Leanne survived and they became engaged. When Leanne's ex-husband Nick moved back to the Street, he decided to use the empty premises in Viaduct Street to open his own bar, The Joinery. Peter encouraged Leanne to take up his offer of a Manager role. In November 2010, The Joinery opened and Leanne began an affair with Nick. Nick begged Leanne not to go through with the wedding as he still loved her. Leanne chose to go ahead with the wedding and call off the affair.
At Peter's stag party in The Joinery on 6th December 2010, a massive gas explosion ripped through the premises, damaging the viaduct and causing a tram to derail and crash into Coronation Street. Peter was gravely injured and trapped with Nick and Ashley Peacock. Peter was eventually rescued from the wreckage and taken to hospital with Leanne by his side. Believing he was close to death, Peter married Leanne that night from his hospital bed.
Peter survived, but his injuries meant that he would have to learn to walk again. On Christmas Day, Peter announced in the Rovers that he intended to be walking by 14th February when he planned to give Leanne the wedding that she deserved. Encouraged by a manipulative Nick, Peter began secretly drinking again. A week before Leanne and Peter renewed their vows, her affair with Nick came to the knowledge of Tracy Barlow, who eventually told Peter. At the blessing, Peter exposed the affair in front of the whole congregation and said he wanted a divorce. Thinking she'd lost Peter forever, Leanne decided to leave Weatherfield for London, but after Ken convinced Peter that Leanne was the best thing that had happened to him and Simon, he went to try and stop Leanne from leaving. They decided to give their relationship another go.
In mid-2011 Stella Price and her daughter Eva moved to Weatherfield, as Stella had recently become landlady of the Rovers. When Stella met Leanne she realised that Leanne was her estranged biological daughter, born when Stella had been in a teenage relationship with Les Battersby. During Leanne's 30th birthday party, Stella confessed to Leanne that she was her mother, also revealing that Eva was her half-sister. Leanne rejected Stella, believing that she had abandoned her but slowly made amends and came to accept her and Eva as family.
In July 2011 Leanne became pregnant with Peter's child but soon afterwards miscarried after falling down a flight of stairs. Although they tried for another child, she learned she was unlikely to get pregnant again as one of her Fallopian tubes became blocked after the miscarriage.
That year, Peter had started an affair with Carla Connor. Leanne remained oblivious until Frank Foster's rape trial in January 2012, when Peter admitted to the affair. Leanne then ran off to the flat to pack her bags. She and Peter had a massive row causing her to leave Weatherfield. It was only her concern for Simon that caused her to return and fight for custody. Peter refused to allow Leanne to spend any time with Simon, but when Simon became ill after drinking a bottle of wine, it became clear that Simon wanted to move in with Leanne. Peter was forced to relent and let him live with her.
2012-2014: Back to Nick
In June 2012, Leanne got back with Nick while pursuing a divorce from Peter, which came through that November. Within a few days, Eva and Kylie Platt plotted against Leanne and told Nick to propose as Leanne would love it, knowing that she would react badly to the idea. Their plan worked at first and the couple split up after the failed proposal, but Leanne soon realised that she loved Nick and proposed to him in the Rovers.
Leanne and Nick got engaged and Nick booked the wedding for Christmas Day. On the morning of the wedding, Leanne visited Peter and said that she would give their relationship another go, however Peter's girlfriend Carla reappeared unannounced and Leanne decided to marry Nick after all. At the ceremony Eva revealed the truth about why Leanne was late, Nick cancelled the wedding and they split up. In the New year, Nick and Peter came to blows over Leanne and Nick smashed the Bistro up. Following a confrontation with Stella, Leanne decided to leave Weatherfield for good. The next day she told Nick that she was leaving and clear that he still had feelings for her, he went to the Rovers to talk to Leanne and begged her not to go. The pair later announced the wedding was back on and they were successfully re-married on 11th January 2013.
In August of that year, the bistro van - with Nick and David inside - was hit by a lorry, and Nick was comatose for nearly two months. The brothers had been arguing about Nick's one-night-stand with David's wife Kylie, and the uncertainty regarding the parentage of Kylie's daughter Lily, all of which Leanne was completely unaware. Nick eventually recovered and went back home with Leanne, by which point a DNA test had confirmed that David was Lily's father. During Lily's christening in October 2013, the truth about Nick and Kylie's one-night stand emerged. Leanne broke up with Nick after hearing the news but they reconciled after a few weeks.
Nick's brain injury caused him to experience mood swings, leading him to shout at Simon and hit Leanne. Leanne stood by Nick, but he himself ended their relationship in January 2014 so that he wouldn't be able to hurt them. Shortly afterwards, Leanne started an affair with Kal Nazir. When Nick found out he became enraged and revealed Leanne's history as a prostitute to Kal's family. Nick and Leanne eventually divorced and Leanne continued her relationship with Kal. At the same time she left the Bistro and took a job at Prima Doner.
2015-2016: Abuse from Simon
In June 2015, Kal died after he and Leanne rescued Amy Barlow from a fire which broke out inside 12 Victoria Court on the same day Kal proposed to her. She became distressed and blamed Carla for allegedly leaving a candlestick lit (when in reality it was Tracy Barlow). Simon got angry and threw a remote control at Leanne's face, injuring and stunning her.
Shortly afterwards, Leanne was held hostage by Dan Jones with Liz McDonald and Simon. Leanne had informed Liz that Dan was a former client of hers who was violent towards prostitutes, scuppering his chances of a relationship with Liz. Dan vengefully revealed Leanne's history as a prostitute to Simon and although they escaped from Dan, Simon was disgusted at Leanne. She continued to receive both physical and verbal abuse from Simon over the months. After an incident where she was knocked out when Simon threw her at a table, she admitted what was happening to Kal's son Zeedan.
Unable to cope with her stepson's behaviour, Leanne sent him to live with Ken in November 2015. During this time, Simon hit his cousin Amy and Leanne was forced to open up about the problems she was having to Ken and Tracy. In February 2016, Leanne reported Simon's abuse to the police when he broke another boy's leg during a football match. Simon fell out with her because he had actually broken the leg by accident. Eventually though, they made up.
2016-: Steve and Oliver
In June 2016 Leanne slept with Steve McDonald, who called round to her flat upset over his recent split from his wife Michelle Connor. A few weeks later Leanne discovered she was pregnant but kept it a secret. She told Steve about the pregnancy, by which point he was back with Michelle. He offered to help pay for an abortion but Leanne was adamant that she was keeping the baby due to her past fertility problems. Steve did not approve of this but Leanne told him that nobody had to know he was the father. Afterwards, Leanne found out that Steve had told his mother about the situation, much to her frustration. She also found out that Michelle was pregnant with Steve's child as well.
Leanne started to rekindle her relationship with Nick but instead decided to move to Liverpool with Simon to escape the drama. Learning she was pregnant, Nick arrived at the bus station just in time and convinced Leanne that he loved her and didn't want her to move away. A relieved Leanne tearfully admitted the same. Leanne decided to remain in Weatherfield and start a relationship with Nick for the third time. Nick suggested she tell everyone he was the father. When Tracy saw Leanne returning from her first scan, she found out about the pregnancy and announced it in the Rovers, forcing Leanne to tell Nick's family on the spot that she was carrying his child.
On Christmas Day Leanne was shocked when Toyah returned to Weatherfield after nearly fourteen years away, having split up with her husband Toby. Leanne let Toyah move in with her, unaware that she was having a secret affair with Peter. Several weeks later, Leanne realised what was happening between her stepsister and ex-husband, and furiously kicked Toyah out.
In January 2017 Michelle lost her baby, Ruairi at 23 weeks, intensifying both Leanne and Steve's guilt over their deception. In February Leanne went into labour while trapped in the lift with Toyah at Victoria Court. Despite the circumstances, she successfully gave birth to her son Oliver, also choosing to forgive Toyah over her relationship with Peter. Later that week Nick's family decided to celebrate the birth of what they thought was Nick's baby in the Bistro. During the event, Steve held Oliver and confessed to Michelle that he was the baby's father. Furious and still grieving over her own son's death, Michelle hit Leanne, wishing Oliver dead.
Nick continued to stick by Leanne in the aftermath of the revelation but struggled to be a surrogate father with Steve still in the picture and in May he walked out on her and Oliver believing that she deserved someone better than him. Leanne was forced out of the Victoria Court flat and moved in to the Rovers with Peter and Toyah after they bought it. Steve then proposed to Leanne but after a very brief engagement they realised they wouldn't work together. Steve later got engaged to his ex Tracy but had a second one night stand with Leanne shortly before the wedding when they were once again drowning their sorrows.
Tracy found out about Leanne and Steve on the wedding day and instigated a fight with Leanne at the reception. Leanne swiftly left the wedding but on her way home was mowed down by Ronan Truman's car, having stopped at the scene of a prior accident and rushed to hospital. Leanne required CPR on the roadside and was rushed to hospital for surgery, with Nick who was still listed as her emergency contact rushing to her bedside. Over the following weeks, Leanne recovered from her injuries and also reconciled with Nick once again. She stuck by him despite the bombshell that he had an estranged wife Elsa, who he had married in Nottingham since they last parted. After a rocky reunion, Leanne stuck by Nick through his messy divorce and began living with him again at Victoria Court along with Toyah and her boyfriend Imran Habeeb.
The harmonium was soon disrupted as Toyah and Imran believed Nick to be responsible for the roof collapse at Underworld that had killed Imran's sister Rana. Although Leanne declared her loyalty to Nick, she had her suspicions and when Nick's lies began to catch up with him, Leanne discovered that he was responsible for stealing £80,000 from his grandmother Audrey Roberts. Not wanting to lose Nick and be left stranded as a single mother again, Leanne decided to support him in his plan to pin the full responsibility of the crime on his brother David. At the last minute, Nick confessed but was spared prison and handed a suspended sentence due to his brain injury.
When she first arrived on the street, Leanne was a product of her upbringing with the idleness of Les and the bolshiness of Janice. At 16 she believed herself to be grown up but could be immature and irresponsible. This was demonstrated when she was attacked by two boys in the backyard and failed to recognise the seriousness of an incident, leaving Samantha Failsworth incredulous when she shrugged it off.
Leanne can be devious and is not afraid to go to extreme lengths to get what she wants. Although her feistiness and loud mouth can get her into trouble, Leanne can be very loyal and defensive of those she cares about, confronting Judy Mallett on behalf of friend Zoe Tattersall and stepping in to help see of some thugs who were harassing Roy Cropper in 2014.
Having Simon and later Oliver to care for made Leanne finally grow into a more responsible adult as she had to put the needs of her children before her own. In 2017, she regretted helping Michelle Connor to catch her stalker after it left her injured and she realised she was risking her children's future as well as her own. With time she has also developed a stronger moral compass, having been no stranger to law-breaking in the past.
Les was Leanne's ignorant, beer-swilling, work-shy father. Although Les had resolved to look after Leanne after her mother walked out, a lot of the time this job fell to the women in his life i.e. his mother and wife. Les's ambivalent attitude towards his daughter's behaviour as a teenager allowed Leanne to get away with rebelling further and become a nuisance both in school and in the local neighbourhood.
Despite this, Les was protective of Leanne and would respond to her being upset or taken advantage of by others in the best way he knew how- using his fists. When Curly Watts broke Leanne's stereo after the Battersby girls spent days blasting music from the bedroom of No.5, he earned himself a headbutt from Les. Later when Les discovered Leanne working in a lap dancing bar in 2004, he threatened Patrick Tussel for making lewd comments towards her, despite the fact he had made similar comments himself before he realised his daughter was involved. For all this Les wasn't blindly loyal to Leanne. When Judy Mallett hit Leanne for example, Les confronted her but decided that she was justified after hearing her side of the story. Like Les, Leanne has never been afraid of a fight and can stand her ground but she has an ambition and drive that Les always lacked.
Through Les, Leanne had an older half-brother Greg Kelly although neither were aware of Greg's existence until he turned up looking for Les in 1998 and Leanne was mildly offended that Toyah had been put in the picture before she had but when they did meet they got on surprisingly well. Subsequently, Greg turned out to be a 'bad penny' and after causing grief for Sally Webster, among others, left Weatherfield and Leanne's life for good.
While Leanne was living abroad, Les had separated from Janice and taken up with a new woman, Cilla. Although Leanne and Cilla's relationship was amicable, they never shared the close bond that she had with Janice. In 2007, Les left the area to work as a roadie for tribute band ZZ Top O' the Morning and has had practically no involvement in Leanne's life since although it has been alluded that they are still in contact.
Janice was the major maternal influence in Leanne's life from the moment she started a relationship with Les, who she went on to marry in 1994. As with Les, some of Janice's influence can be seen in Leanne, in her bolshiness and sharp tongue but also her deep down striving for better. Janice continued to bring up Leanne as a daughter and treated her as equal with her own daughter, Toyah. Despite this, Leanne initially considered Janice to be more Toyah's mother than her's, resenting the absence of her biological mother, but came to love Janice deeply as a 'mother' over the years, although she always referred to her by her first name.
At the time the family moved to Coronation Street, Janice was the sole breadwinner and was determined for her daughters to earn an honest living, unlike layabout Les. Janice desperately sought employment for Leanne at the factory where she herself worked and pleaded for second chances even after Leanne abused her cleaners job by larking about and smoking in the toilets. Like Les, Janice was relatively open and uncaring to Leanne's young love with Nick but was upset to discover they had eloped and she had not had the opportunity to see Leanne married.
Janice was elated when Leanne returned to her life in 2004 and began living with her again but opportunistic Janice would hope to gain in other means when Leanne started an illicit relationship with Janice's boss Danny Baldwin in 2005. In exchange for keeping the affair secret, Janice began taking liberties with Danny at work by taking extra breaks and talking down to him in front of the other staff. When Danny decided to end the affair because he was afraid Janice would give the game away, Leanne was forced to step in and speak to her.
Despite Leanne's faults, Janice tended to see the best in her, but Leanne brought great shame to Janice when she discovered her prostitution in 2007. Janice had followed Leanne to a hotel where she was supposedly attending a property exhibition to return her phone. Janice made it clear to Leanne how appalled she was and how ashamed it made her feel to have a child she raised engaging in such activities but Leanne brazenly defended herself and claimed she was simply following an easy way to a sizeable income. Despite her own feelings, when Leanne's secret was exposed Janice was still the first on hand to leap to her defence, fighting Kelly Crabtree in the street after she overheard her slagging Leanne off.
Janice was used to fighting Leanne's battles both physically, such as when she stood in her corner against Maria Connor in June 2004 and on an emotional and financial level. She used boyfriend Roger Stiles to fund Leanne's business venture in 2007, desperate to see Leanne pick herself up and not have to resort to prostitution again in order to continue with her restaurant plans. Leanne, on the whole, did less for Janice and in 2008 she allowed Janice to take the full responsibility for the lottery scam that they were both involved with and face the scorn of her workmates alone. Nevertheless, Leanne would always offer her a place to stay when she was down on her luck, even if it met the disapproval of her current boyfriend.
Stella was Leanne's biological mother who had got pregnant by Les when she was 17 and tried to make the best of the dysfunctional relationship that followed, but was ultimately ground down by the drunken neglectfulness of her partner and walked out when Leanne was three years old. Leanne didn't remember her mother's face, only the smashing of plates during the final argument she had with Les. Stella later returned for her daughter, having got herself together but Les and his mother refused to let her take her, which left her heartbroken.
It wouldn't be until 2011 that Stella would re-enter Leanne's life by which point she had given birth to another daughter, Eva and was living with a long term partner Karl Munro. Leanne was introduced to Stella before she knew her true identity and Stella helped organise Leanne's 30th birthday in order to get closer to her daughter incognito. When Leanne discovered who Stella really was, she angrily rejected her for abandoning her to start a new family and leaving her behind. Leanne scoffed at Stella's explanations of how she tried to get her back and insisted that a mother shouldn't leave her child.
Leanne first began to thaw towards Stella after she suffered a miscarriage after falling down the stairs, with Stella being the one to find her and raise the alarm. At the hospital, Leanne asked Stella to stay but she still struggled to move beyond her past abandonment and later told Stella she could never forgive her. It was only after Stella was hit by a car and rushed to hospital with internal bleeding in September that Leanne's attitude changed. Not wanting to lose her mother again, Leanne realised she did want her to be part of her life and called her 'mum' for the first time after she came round from an operation.
Although they are not biologically related, Leanne and Toyah consider each other sisters, having been raised as such by Les and Janice. Both teenage tearaways, together they could be a force of nature intimidating older neighbours like Percy Sugden and Mavis Wilton with their brash and uncaring attitude. The Battersby household was a centre for loud music and arguing. The girls would egg each other on to get into trouble but as the youngest by almost a year, it was usually Toyah who was the follower asking to join in with Leanne's friends.
Although they bickered as siblings do, they were always there for each other when it really mattered. In September 1998, Toyah was kidnapped while looking for her biological father in London and when she returned to Weatherfield, Leanne took time off work to support her. The girls were also there for each other through their respective relationship disasters although Leanne never particularly approved of Toyah's boyfriend Spider Nugent. When Leanne fled Weatherfield in 2000, she wouldn't see Toyah for several years but she didn't stop caring about her and took revenge against Maria Sutherland upon her return in 2004 on behalf of Toyah, who had by then left town herself.
Toyah and Leanne continued to live apart for over a decade but maintained regular contact and Leanne was upset when Toyah was unable to get to her 30th birthday at the last minute to do missing her train in 2011. In 2016 a pregnant Leanne arranged to spend Christmas with Toyah and her husband Toby Chapman in Liverpool until Toyah turned up on the street and announced that she had left Toby. Leanne gladly offered Toyah somewhere to stay when she needed it but reacted badly when she discovered the real reason for the breakdown in Toyah's marriage was her affair with Leanne's ex-husband Peter, who she had met by chance in Portsmouth. Leanne considered this the ultimate betrayal of her and disowned Toyah, only forgiving her after they were trapped in a lift together and Toyah helped deliver Leanne's baby, Oliver.
Since then the sisters have mostly maintained their close bond again and it was Leanne who was forced to rely on Toyah next after her and Oliver were forced out of their flat and had to move in with Toyah and Peter at the Rovers Return Inn.
Leanne and Eva were both gobsmacked to discover the other existed when they first met as adults in 2011 and the relationship that followed was far from an instant sisterly bond. To Eva, Leanne’s existence destroyed her childhood memories and she believed Stella had only given her what she wanted to give Leanne. Stella and Leanne criticised this selfish attitude and the sisters personalities continued to clash. A rare moment of unity came when Stella was hospitalised in September.
Nick was Leanne's first love who she fell head over heels for in 1997 and eloped with to get married in Scotland. He has been a long term on/off partner ever since and a second marriage would follow over a decade over the first fell apart.
Leanne and Nick first met when he returned from Canada where he had been staying with relatives in October 1997 and were immediately attracted to each other. Leanne followed him to technical college, although their polarised work ethics there amazed each other. Romance swiftly followed but the first major obstacle to the relationship was Nick's mother Gail who thought Leanne and her family were common and not good enough for her son. Gail was horrified when she discovered that Leanne and Nick had been spending time together in Leanne's bedroom and she continued to urge Nick to dump Leanne over the following months.
Seeking to be free of their parents' influence, Leanne and Nick decided to elope to Scotland to marry in secret in January 1998, lying to their families that they were spending the day in Leeds. Despite having to drag strangers off the street to be their witnesses, the pair went ahead with the ceremony and returned to Weatherfield as man and wife. Leanne soon became frustrated at how nothing had changed and she still struggled to spend time with Nick. When they were caught by Gail having slept together under the roof of No.8, she told a horrified Gail that they weren't doing anything wrong as they were married. With Gail and stepfather Martin unable to accept Nick's marriage, he moved out of the family home and in with her.
For some time the young couple proved their doubters wrong and lived in wedded bliss but the first cracks began to show at the end of the year when Nick started doing modelling work for Miranda Peters and Leanne became convinced that Nick was being unfaithful to her with Miranda. Her fears were compounded when Miranda gave Nick a present for Christmas, angrily telling Nick that they were finished. They were reconciled however when Leanne heard Nick had been injured in a fight with her brother Greg and she believed that nothing had happened between him and Miranda.
The reconciliation was brief however as the marriage soon fell apart in 1999 when Leanne told Nick she was pregnant. Leanne wanted the child but Nick eventually admitted that he didn't. With some encouragement from Miranda, Nick pressured Leanne in to an abortion and then insisted they tell everyone she had miscarried. With Leanne feeling guilty and angry towards Nick for pushing her towards getting rid of the baby, the relationship reached the end of the road. Nick returned to Canada and the pair wouldn't cross paths again for five years.
By 2004, both had moved on with their lives but when Leanne returned to Weatherfield and found Nick living there with somebody else she had a grudge against, she spitefully set out to split them up and succeeded in doing so with Nick leaving for Nottingham shortly afterwards. Another long interval lasted until their next meeting when Nick returned home again in 2010, by which point Leanne was in a committed relationship with Peter Barlow.
Simon Barlow is the biological son of Peter and Lucy Richards who died from cancer when he was six, but he has come to regard Leanne as his mother. Simon was upset when Peter and Leanne split in March 2009 and Leanne left for Leeds, naming his pet rabbit after he despite it being male.
Creation and casting
At the start of 1997, new producer Brian Park took over the reins at Coronation Street and set about bringing the programme up to date to attract a younger audience, a crucial part of which involved introducing a new working-class family unit. As early as February, reports suggested that a "family from hell" was to be introduced headed by a "gruff man" and two tearaway teenage daughters, with a mother following after being released from prison for shoplifting  (The People, 23rd February 1997). Although events did not play out on-screen exactly as initially reported, this was the rough mould from which the Battersbys would emerge.
The role of eldest daughter Leanne was cast to Jane Danson, an 18-year-old actress from Bury, Greater Manchester. Having made her TV debut in the Alan Bleasdale series GBH in 1991, Danson had also held roles in Children's Ward and The Bill. In 1997 she appeared in the ITV period drama The Grand, which lead to her being spotted by Coronation Street. Having auditioned for the part of Zoe Tattersall, she won the role of Leanne instead. Leanne, along with Les and Toyah made her debut in Episode 4223 on 4th July.
Of Leanne and her family upon arrival, Danson said: "They're very different to anyone else on the show. Leanne's loud, cheeky and in yer face. She's very cocky, doesn't give a toss and does what she wants. She's just a lout coming in at three o'clock in the morning all the time. She disrupts the Street with her loud music, and she's always smoking and getting on everybody's nerves."  Danson later stated that although she had little in common with Leanne, she based aspects of her personality on her own older sister Alison: "She used to like to go out and stay out late - a bit like Leanne. She even had the bleached bit at the front of her hair." 
Initial reaction to the Battersby family was overwhelmingly negative, and in a Teletext poll with 15,250 responses, 97% said the family should be axed, after only two episodes (The Battersby Family Album, 2005). Danson later commented that this was "hard not to take personally as an actor" at the time but described the Battersbys as a family that the public "loved to hate".
Teenage bride, abortion and drug scandal
Leanne's first significant storyline involved her relationship with and teenage marriage to established character Nick Tilsley, now played by Adam Rickitt. The scenes which saw the pair elope to Scotland were actually filmed at a register office in Salford close to Granada's studios. Danson believed the marriage matured the character somewhat, telling the Sunday Mirror: "Now we've seen a few more sides to Leanne's character. She's more gentle and thoughtful and even a bit playful. The only thing I've got to sort out now are her clothes."  Brian Park also found it important to show another dimension to the Battersbys after their deliberately loud entrance and saw Leanne integrating with the older generation through her job with Rita Sullivan at The Kabin as achieving this (The Guardian, 10th August 1998) .
More drama soon faced the young married couple when Leanne was threatened by Darren Whateley, the killer of Nick's father whom he had been writing to using Leanne's name. Jane Danson explained how the situation drove a wedge between Nick and Leanne: "Anything could have happened. But instead of being worried about her, all Nick is interested in is what Whateley is like. She feels like she's been used as bait. She reckons he can't really care if he can betray her like that. In spite of what everyone thinks, she really loves Nick."
Jane Danson was nominated for a National Television Award for Most Popular Newcomer in 1998. One of her fellow nominees was Adam Rickitt, however both lost out to Emmerdale's Anna Brecon.
Leanne became the first Coronation Street character to have an abortion on-screen in 1999 and the show was commended by both pro-life and pro-choice groups for tackling the subject, although concerns were raised by anti-abortion pressure group Life over how exactly the story would play out.  It was also a storyline which Jane Danson found "emotionally draining and physically demanding" continuing "in acting terms, it was unbeatable. But on a personal level, something has to give." On the public reaction to the abortion storyline, Danson added: "I couldn't believe the lengths some people would go to. They obviously really thought I had been pregnant and had got rid of a baby. And they weren't too happy about that. I couldn't quite believe people were actually saying these things to me. It was a controversial storyline and I did expect a bit of flak. Thankfully, the vast majority of the letters were supportive and referred to my acting rather than me personally." (The Mirror, 8th May 1999) 
Following the abortion and the breakdown of her marriage to Nick, Leanne became more troubled and wayward again which was something Danson enjoyed: "For a bit she did go quiet and cosy. Now she's out having fun again. She's dating a few people. She's getting into a bit of trouble. And she's much more like the old Leanne - a bit mouthy, cheeky and streetwise." 
First exit and return
In February 2000, Danson announced her decision to leave Coronation Street at the end of her contract saying: "I feel it's time to move on and explore other roles. I'll be sad to leave the friends I've made, but I feel I have taken Leanne Battersby as far as I can." Incumbent producer Jane Macnaught confirmed: "We are leaving the door very much ajar for her to return at any time."  Leanne made her exit in Episode 4879 broadcast on 23rd August, fleeing to Amsterdam to escape drug dealer Jez Quigley. Following her exit from the street, Danson went on to have a prominent role in The Bill among other work.
In November 2003, The Sun claimed that Danson was in talks with Corrie producers and in February 2004 it was confirmed that Leanne would be returning to the show full-time, with the character reappearing from Episode 5778. On her return scenes Danson said: "She's been writing to Les saying everything is hunky dory, she's travelling the world, but actually she's just down the road in Manchester, working in a seedy bar. Les goes there and is mortified to find his daughter is belly-dancing. I look horrendous, too, with cheap beads on and my belly hanging out."
Controversy continued: Prostitution and arson
The character was absent from July 2006 to March 2007 when Jane Danson went on maternity leave. When she returned, Leanne was involved in one of her biggest storylines to date as she engaged in prostitution.
At the 2011 British Soap Awards, Jane Danson won 'Best Dramatic Performance'.
First and last lines
"About time. What took you?" (First line, to Janice Battersby)
(To be completed)
List of addresses
|5 Coronation Street||4th July 1997 to 18th February 1998|
|4 Coronation Street||18th February 1998 to 18th June 1999|
|Rovers Return Inn||18th June 1999 to 23rd August 2000|
|5 Coronation Street*||7th June 2004 to 9th June 2004|
|14a Victoria Street||9th June 2004 to 14th August 2005|
|7 Coronation Street||14th August 2005 to 17th October 2005|
|Leeds*||17th October 2005 to 31st October 2005|
|14a Victoria Street||31st October 2005 to December 2005|
|18a Victoria Street||December 2005 to 22nd January 2006|
|No. 4 Montreal House, Weatherfield Quays||22nd January 2006 to 31st July 2006|
|Spain||August 2006 to March 2007|
|7 Coronation Street*||2nd March 2007 to 5th March 2007|
|14a Victoria Street||5th March 2007 to 9th March 2009|
|Leeds||9th March 2009 to 11th September 2009|
|14a Victoria Street||11th September 2009 to 18th September 2009|
|9a Rosamund Street||18th September 2009 to 24th December 2010|
|1 Coronation Street||24th December 2010 to 13th January 2011|
|9a Rosamund Street||13th January 2011 to 2nd February 2012|
|Rovers Return Inn||24th February 2012 to 16th November 2012|
|8 Victoria Court||16th November 2012 to 27th December 2013|
|13 Coronation Street||27th December 2013 to 1st January 2014|
|8 Victoria Court||1st January 2014 to 4th April 2014|
|18a Victoria Street||4th April 2014 to 26th August 2016|
|8 Victoria Court||26th August 2016 to 24th July 2017|
|Rovers Return Inn||24th July 2017 to 8th August 2018|
|Unknown flat, Tile Street, Weatherfield||8th August 2018 to 26th October 2018|
|12 Victoria Court||26th October 2018 to present|
*Indicates temporary residence