Lewis Archer was a male escort and conman who had an on-off relationship with Audrey Roberts between 2010 and 2019, something which her family didn't approve of, especially her daughter Gail, who was continually suspicious of his actions (and quite rightly on some occasions).
Lewis originally stole from Barlow's Bookies and fled from the country, leaving Audrey brokenhearted. He made an unexpected return in 2012 in which he claimed to be a changed man and after repaying the money he stole at the bookies he reconciled with Audrey. However before the year was out their relationship fell apart when Audrey had doubts about how sincere he was, which was fuelled by Gail and Gloria Price, the latter of whom got close to Lewis by faking breast cancer and tried to incite an affair. A betrayed Lewis called a day on their relationship, and after Gloria left the area he began plotting revenge on Gail.
As Gail was convinced Lewis was truly a changed man, he faked that he was in love with her and they began a secret relationship with promises of a new life. However Lewis instead stole £40,000 from Gail and fled the country once more, but not before leaving a confession tape in which he admitted to stringing Gail along, leaving her penniless as well as humiliated in the process, although Lewis was apologetic to Audrey over how things didn't work out.
Five years later in 2018, Lewis was back in the country once again and teamed up with clairvoyant Rosemary Piper in order to target Gail and extort more money out of her, as he still felt disdain towards her for his separation from Audrey. He later reconciled with Audrey having owned up to the police to his part in the scam and paying back Gail the £40,000. A few months later, his relationship with Audrey came to a tragic end when he suddenly passed away, at the age of 68.
2009-2010: Falling for Audrey
Lewis met Audrey at the Weatherfield Council Christmas lunch on 18th December 2009 when he was escorting Claudia Colby. Audrey, a friend of Claudia's, fell for Lewis and he remained in her thoughts afterwards despite her shock at finding out he was a paid escort. In the New Year, Audrey called on Lewis to have dinner with her, but got cold feet at the last minute and pretended to be ill when he arrived at her door. Lewis, who was used to nervous first-time customers, sat with Audrey as she shared her memories of her late-husband Alf before they left for dinner as planned.
A month later, a bored Audrey called on Lewis again. This time they visited Audrey's regular pub, the Rovers, and pretended in front of Audrey's friends that they had never met before. Norris Cole, who had attended the Christmas lunch with Audrey, recognised Lewis and jumped to the conclusion that Lewis and Audrey were having an affair.
Rita Sullivan called on Lewis's services after seeing his advert in a magazine. On his second rendezvous with Rita, Lewis was surprised to encounter Audrey and Claudia and to find out that Audrey knew Rita. When he suspected that Audrey wasn't pleased about their meeting, he ushered Rita away. Rita's perceived interest in Lewis only encouraged Audrey to see even more of Lewis, although on a visit to Audrey's salon in Coronation Street, Lewis misplaced his notebook which contained details he had written about his thoughts on his clients. When Lewis went to retrieve it, he found that it had been a wake-up call for Audrey that she was a client and nothing more, but Lewis surprised Audrey with a kiss and told her he had developed real feelings for her. They immediately started dating.
For a time, Lewis saw Audrey while continuing with his escort work but after noticing that she was put out by him constantly being engaged with escort work, Lewis quit, telling Audrey that he was beginning to feel too old for the job anyway. Audrey decided to invest £100,000 to pursue Lewis's dream with him to run a hotel in Greece and they planned to leave for a new life.
Lewis began flirting with Deirdre Barlow at the bookies, and while her back was turned, he stamped the betting slips and later filled in the names of the winning horses to make it look like he had won. He managed to con £4,000 from the bookies. On Lewis and Audrey's "leaving" day for Greece, Lewis arrived at Manchester Airport in order to flee the country by himself. He left Audrey's money alone, cancelled the transfer, and booked a flight to Barbados. Before boarding, he met a woman called Lydia Radcliffe, and after discovering the pair were on the same flight, offered to sit with her to ease her nervousness. Back in Weatherfield, Peter Barlow discovered Lewis's con on the CCTV footage at the bookies, and Deirdre got sacked. A broken Audrey was shown the footage at the Platts' house where she was waiting for him, and back at home she found a letter from Lewis saying "I tried".
2012-2013: Attempted redemption
As of February 2012, Lewis was back in England. When he and a friend entered a country pub, he bumped into Audrey and Gail who were there after they got lost while out power walking. Lewis pretended to be his "twin" brother Hugh, but when the Barman referred to him by name, Lewis paid for their drinks and made a quick departure. However later in the day he returned to Weatherfield and repaid Peter Barlow the £4,000 he owed him, plus an extra £1,000. He then went to see Audrey, and asked her to escort him to the police station to hand himself in. He was let out on bail and turned up in the Rovers where he was punched by Deirdre. Audrey later met Lewis in Nick's Bistro for a drink where he made out he was a changed man and gave her his phone number. He turned up at the salon the next day where Audrey's grandson David threatened to hit him. He sent flowers to the salon, and Audrey tracked him down and found out he was living in a grubby bedsit after having money issues. Lewis attended Weatherfield Magistrates Court, and was ordered to serve forty hours' community service. He was given a job at the bistro by Nick Tilsley after impressing restaurant critic Greg.
While on holiday with Audrey in October 2012, he spotted Penny Thornley, a woman he had conned five years previously. While at a train station he vanished - leaving a confused Audrey abandoned, and she made her own way home. Lewis once again returned to Weatherfield shortly afterwards, and revealed the reasons for his departure. He then suggested they leave town and start afresh, but Audrey's family arrived while they were packing - along with Penny - who Audrey contacted. Penny planned to turn Lewis into the police, but Audrey stopped her and offered her the £10,000 that Lewis had conned from her. Even though Lewis didn't want Audrey to bail him out, she persisted. Penny then left - very disappointed in Audrey for being foolish enough for falling for him again.
Lewis began working at the Rovers and was supportive of Gloria Price, who claimed to have an illness and not long to live - although it was just a scam. She later got Gail involved to see if Lewis would agree to run off with Gloria and betray Audrey. Lewis was angry to discover what happened and told Audrey, and was annoyed to discover that she was aware of the situation and dumped her, devastating Audrey. Lewis then began plotting revenge on both Gloria and Gail for ruining his happiness, and later exposed Gloria when she cheated in order to win Lancashire Leisure's "Pub of the Year" competition, which caused a shame-faced Gloria to leave the Weatherfield, but not before Lewis told her and gloated about his success.
Lewis got his job back at the bistro, and then began planning his revenge on Gail. Despite her distrust in Lewis, Gail began to have a softer approach to him and felt guilty about what she had done. Lewis "staged" an accident in the bistro blaming the wet floors Gail was working on and then faked an injured back. A guilty Gail invited him to stay with her, and Lewis used the opportunity to get access to Gail's bank details and find out her worth. Lewis began giving advice to Gail and acted like he cared for her, winning her trust and she developed feelings for him. Lewis also let his old friend Patrick Woodson in on the con who was happy to see that Lewis hadn't gone soft and returned to his old ways. While sharing a bottle of wine with Gail in the bistro, Patrick arrived, pretending to bump into Lewis on the "off chance", and offered him a job running a hotel in Italy. However, Lewis turned down the offer as he didn't want to leave Weatherfield behind again, making Gail believe he was staying for her.
Lewis and Gail begin dating in secret but Lewis didn't want to take it further - not wanting to hurt Audrey's feelings. When the family found out about what Gail was up to, Lewis decided to drive a wedge between Gail and her family by saying that he would take up Patrick's offer for them to move to Italy together. Gail took a loan against her house for £40,000. Lewis then plotted to take the money, transferring it into separate accounts. Blackmailing Kylie after finding out that she slept with Nick on Christmas Day, he instructed her to get Gail's username and password. Once he obtained the information, he told Gail to get the family together at No.8 to announce the plans to move, having left a DVD recording of his confession, Lewis then vanished. The Platt family played the recording of Lewis telling Gail that he could never love her, and blaming her for his break up with Audrey. Lewis told Audrey he was sorry for causing her pain and would always love her and he sent a courier to the house with £9,000 for Audrey - settling his debt for bailing him out with Penny.
When Audrey arrived back at her house later that night, she found flowers left by Lewis with a card reading: "You were always the one. All my love, all my life, Lewis."
Despite a full police investigation, Gail was disappointed to find that Lewis had evaded capture and had settled in Belize where he was unable to be extradited even if caught.
2017-2019: Third attempt with Audrey & Death
Lewis spent the next four years residing in Belize until his money from the scam began to dry up, so used the remaining money to return to the United Kingdom in 2017. Not wanting to return to the escorting business, he found a new way of making money by teaming up with clairvoyant Rosemary Piper and running a scam which involved charging people for her services. Despite their working relationship, there was no romance involved and Lewis still missed Audrey, which caused his loathing of Gail to resurface and he again blamed her for ruining his chance of happiness.
Lewis used his knowledge of the Platt family to lead another con against Gail, who was made to believe by Rosemary that her deceased killer husband Richard Hillman had put a curse on her family. Rosemary managed to convince Gail to pay £3,000 for a session in return for her "removing" Richard's "curse" from the family for good. However Rosemary began having second thoughts as she realised Gail had been through enough in her life and came across as nice, although Lewis claimed Gail was nothing of the sort and revealed that she was responsible for the downfall of his relationship with Audrey.
During a session at St Ignatius Church Hall, Roy Cropper (who was sceptical about Rosemary's abilities from the start) determined to expose her as a fraud, snooped around and discovered Lewis outside in his car, giving information about the seance attendees to Rosemary through a walkie-talkie. Roy confronted him and Lewis attempted to talk his way out of it and escape, however Roy took his car keys and carried out a citizen's arrest on Lewis. Audrey and Gail were shocked to see Lewis again, and Gail had to be prevented from attacking Lewis as he was lying on the ground. While Roy and Gail went to contact the police and have Rosemary arrested, Audrey offered to keep guard of Lewis, who was locked in his car. However she chose to listen to his side of the story, in which he explained how he had continued to blame Gail for splitting them apart and that he would always love her. He told her that he had the money to reimburse Gail but if he was arrested the police would seize it all, so with that Audrey allowed him to escape, feigning that Lewis overpowered her to get the keys and got away, which disappointed Gail. Later that evening, Lewis sent Audrey a text thanking her and saying that he would love her always.
A couple of months later, Lewis kept to his promises and had someone transfer the £40,000 back into Gail's bank account, much to her surprise. Immediately afterwards he handed himself into the authorities and was locked up in Highfield Prison. He sent a visiting order to Audrey, and when she arrived, he informed her of what he had done, and how he was due out of prison soon and asked for another chance. He was released from prison and joined Audrey at her house, which she kept a secret from her family by claiming that she had gone away on a cruise holiday as to not arouse suspicion. However Gail began nosing into Audrey's business as she learned that the cruise ship she was allegedly aboard had been scrapped months prior, and believing her mother was going senile called round to Grasmere Drive to see if she was there, only to catch Lewis and Audrey sharing a dance with one another. Gail was angry that her mother had been taken in by Lewis yet again and made more warnings that he would break her heart once more, but Audrey stood by Lewis claiming that she would take that chance just to get some happiness, prompting Gail to leave. With Lewis having swindled the Platts in the past, Gail had been wary of her mum rekindling her romance with Lewis. However, Lewis swore that he’d turned over a new leaf.
In late 2018, Audrey inherited £80,000 after the death of her friend Archie Shuttleworth. Immediately after finding out, Lewis began acting shiftily, prompting suspicion from Gail. Whilst Lewis began to settle in with the rest of the Platt family, even joining them all for dinner at the Bistro, much to Gail's disgust, he was still under suspicion from her. Gail even went to the lengths of reading Lewis' diary and following him to a hotel where he was seen with a mystery woman. Gail began to inform Audrey of her suspicions which were initially brushed off. But when Lewis began making excuses to go somewhere and he started to stand her up, Audrey too began to doubt him.
On New Year's Day Lewis promised all would become clear and invited Audrey for dinner at the Bistro. But when he stood her up again, she thought the worst and gave up on Lewis. However, heading back to her home on Grasmere Drive, Audrey then got the shock of her life when she found that Lewis had passed away with an engagement ring in his hand, exactly twenty years after her husband Alf passed away. Prior to his death, Lewis had complained of chest pains and decided to visit the GP, though Audrey had dismissed his medical anxiety, having been influenced by Gail’s suspicions. Audrey was distraught, angry that Gail had seen Lewis' plans for proposal as another scam and told her it was best that she didn't see her daughter for a while.
- Actor Nigel Havers joined the cast of Coronation Street in October 2009, and Lewis' scenes were first aired in December 2009. This was a one-off appearance, and the character returned in the New Year to continue on the role. In March 2010, Nigel revealed he would like his contract renewed as he was enjoying his time on the show.
- Lewis was written out at the end of his storyline in August, eight months after his debut.
- In February 2011, Nigel revealed while on Loose Women that he was in talks with the Coronation Street producers about making a comeback. Later that year, it was revealed he would be returning to the show, and in January 2012, Nigel resumed filming with his return airing the following month.
- It was rumoured that Lewis would be killed off in the summer of 2012 in a car accident. However Nigel Havers later renewed his contract up to 2013, and Phil Collinson stated in an interview that the rumour was false.
- Lewis departed at the end of his second stint in February 2013 after being involved in a storyline conning Gail McIntyre.
- Four years following his second departure, Nigel informed Piers Morgan on Piers Morgan's Life Stories in February 2017 that he would like to return to Coronation Street, describing his experience on the show as "wonderful". On 20th March 2018, it was announced that Havers would be returning to the programme after a five year absence, which would involve a comedic story with Audrey. The character returned for a third stint on the programme in June 2018, and was killed off in January 2019.
First and last lines
"Charmed" (First line, to Audrey Roberts)
"No no it's alright I'll hold. No problem. Ah! I just wanted to confirm, that's economy is it? Hm? Oh wonderful. Yes, would it be possible for one to upgrade at the check-in desk if one was particularly charming? Hm? Oh sorry, I've forgotten your name. Oh Dolores? My aunt was called Dolores." (Final line, on the phone making plans for his and Audrey's honeymoon)
List of addresses
|Unknown Address||Unknown to 2010|
|5 Grasmere Drive||2010|
|Unknown Address Abroad||Unknown to Unknown|
|Unknown Adress in United Kingdom||Unknown to 2012|
|5 Grasmere Drive||2012|
|14a Victoria Street||2013 to February 2013|
|Belize||February 2013 to 2017|
|Unknown Address in United Kingdom||2017 to June 2018|
|Highfield Prison||June 2018 to August 2018|
|5 Grasmere Drive||August 2018 to January 2019|
|Male escort||Unknown to 2010|
|Conman||2010 to June 2018|
|Waiter||Nick's Bistro||2012 to 2013|