Linda started out as a hard-as-nails machinist at Underworld, bullying her co-worker Hayley Patterson once her transgenderism was revealed to their colleagues. In 1999, she set her at cap at Mike following his split from his third wife Alma and rose to sales rep at the factory off the back of her relationship with the much older Mike.
Linda liked to live dangerously and on the day she got engaged to Mike, she and his son Mark Redman started an affair. Mike learned of their relationship on his and Linda's wedding day, by which time Linda had finished with Mark. Linda then convinced Mike that Mark had done all the chasing, leading Mike to cut his son out of his life and forgive Linda. It was a loveless marriage, and after a year Mike told Linda that he wanted a divorce.
She was feared dead when she drove off in Mike's car, which was later pulled out of the River Navan, but in 2002 news filtered through to Weatherfield that she was alive and well in Dublin and engaged to a rich man.
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Linda Sykes was taken on as a machinist at Underworld in 1998. Linda made fellow worker Hayley Patterson's life hell when Hayley revealed to a shocked workforce that she was transsexual. Although the other girls eventually accepted Hayley's past, Linda took much longer and continued to view her with contempt. She built on this reputation as a hard case and was rarely seen in the Rovers without her trademark roll-up cigarettes and pint of bitter in her hand.
When she learned her employer Mike Baldwin had been blackmailed over an affair, she saw an opportunity and revealed his fling to his wife Alma which destroyed the marriage. Having created an opening for herself, she successfully seduced Mike and, to her own amazement, found herself becoming very fond of the man old enough to be her father. The affair was spotted one day by Hayley, leaving the factory late, and Linda confronted Hayley about what she'd seen. Hayley kept quiet for a while, but once her good friend Alma had discovered that Mike was seeing another woman, Hayley went to see Alma and told her it was Linda. The secret eventually came out and Linda and Mike went public, to many people's amusement, and Alma's disgust. They actually became a very happy couple and Linda soon moved into Mike's flat. He also promoted her from machinist to sales rep, and she started to bring big orders into Underworld.
Mike's son Mark Redman also re-entered his life in November 1999, and Mike was delighted to make Mark a partner in the business - along with Linda. However Mark and Linda started an on/off secret affair at the Millennium, which caused both parties great heartache. Mark eventually had to leave, leaving Mike baffled as to why. Mike proposed to Linda and asked Mark to be best man.
In September 2000, Mike and Linda got married in a big plush wedding at De Lisle House. Later the same day, Mike found out about Mark and Linda's affair and threw Mark out of his life forever, eventually forgiving Linda.
After an armed siege at Freshco in October, where Mike was held hostage, she was horrified to discover that one of the gunmen was her own brother, Dean, and he had been shot and killed on the scene by DI Emma Taylor.
Linda's marriage to Mike quickly started to sour. When Alma was diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer, Mike pledged to stay by her side in her final days and was with her when she died. Linda, angry that Mike was spending so much time with his ex-wife, had an affair with one of his clients. Mike realised that Alma was his true love, and quickly fell out of love with Linda now fully aware she had only married him for his money. When Mike made up with Mark in the wake of Alma's death, Linda was furious to be asked for a divorce and made a failed attempt to restart her affair with Mark. Mike caught her at it and ordered her to leave his life forever, which she quickly did by driving off in his car.
Linda's sudden disappearance from Weatherfield did not go unnoticed, and when the car was discovered in the River Naven at Marsham, it was suspected by her family that Mike had murdered her. Linda's father Ray Sykes eventually contacted his ex wife Eve Elliott and told her that Linda was alive and now shacked up with her rich fiancé in Dublin.
"Mark..." (Final line)