In May 2000, Maria met Tyrone Dobbs while working as a kennelmaid at Sutherland's Kennels - the pair became engaged, after Tyrone proposed atop the Blackpool Tower, but their long engagement ended after a year when Maria found out that Tyrone had snogged Fiz Brown. Remaining on the Street, Maria gained employment at Audrey's salon and moved into the upstairs flat (which she shared at various times with Bobbi Lewis, Toyah Battersby and finally Fiz). A string of bad relationships led Maria to reconcile with Tyrone although he himself broke it off this time, feeling that Maria was settling for him and would never be happy.
The change was a positive one for Maria as she found love with Liam Connor and married him in 2008. Though their first child, Paul, was stillborn, Maria gave birth to a healthy boy in 2009. The baby was named after his father, who was murdered in a hit-and-run orchestrated by Tony Gordon as payback for Liam's affair with Tony's fiancée Carla Connor. Maria got engaged to Tony herself before learning the truth and fleeing to Ireland, returning seven months later.
Since 2010, Maria has continued to lead with her heart. Over the years, her boyfriends have included Nick Tilsley, Jason Grimshaw, Vikram Desai, Chris Gray, Luke Britton, Ali Neeson and Gary Windass. She also had costly affairs with John Arnley, Charlie Stubbs, Marcus Dent and Aidan Connor. In 2016, she entered into a sham marriage with Argentinian Pablo Duarte in order to grant him residence in the country and was handed a twelve-month custodial sentence when the police found out, serving three.
Maria became attracted to John Arnley, the boyfriend of her best friend and flatmate Toyah Battersby. They had a one-night stand, and as a result she became pregnant. She had an abortion with an unknowing Toyah by her side. When Toyah discovered the truth, she left for Sheffield without him. When Leanne Battersby returned to the Street in 2004, she found out what Maria had done to Toyah. At that time, Maria was in relationship with Nick Tilsley, and Leanne stirred things up between Maria and Nick leading them to seperation.
After having a string of brief affairs, including being engaged for a second time when Nick returned from Canada to win her back, she found herself becoming close to Tyrone again, and eventually the pair reunited. After a pregnancy scare, Tyrone broke off their engagement, realising that she would never be happy with him and claiming she was too beautiful and that in the end it would make them both unhappy. Although upset, Maria accepted his decision.
Maria began an affair with bad boy Charlie Stubbs, who was in a relationship with Tracy Barlow at the time. When David Platt discovered Maria's affair, he was jealous as he personally had an intense crush on her. Charlie tried to drown David in a bath in an attempt to avoid his affair with Maria being revealed to Tracy. However, Maria walked in on Charlie's attack on David and confessed to a furious Tracy, who brawled with her on the cobbles as a result. It was this affair that would ultimately be the end of Charlie, as Tracy murdered him in revenge for his infidelity. Maria witnessed Charlie's death in hospital caused by Tracy's attack and quickly saw through Tracy's self-defence claims, testifying against her at the murder trial.
Maria then began flirting with local entrepreneur Liam Connor and eventually they began dating in September 2007. Maria revealed to Liam that she was pregnant with his baby and he agreed to stand by her, subsequently proposing. Liam and Maria married, despite some last minute nerves from Maria. In April 2008, Maria was horrified to realise that her unborn baby had stopped kicking. She was rushed to hospital, where the midwives said that she must have her labour induced immediately. Unable to tell Liam, she went to the hospital alone and gave birth to a stillborn baby boy. Maria and Liam decided to name their son Paul after Liam’s brother, who had died the previous year in a car crash.
Liam and Maria then reconciled. While they were not together, Liam had a one-night stand with Carla Connor, who had always fancied Liam. Carla had earlier tried to ruin their marriage on the wedding day, without success. They soon began an affair, but Liam ended his and Carla's relationship, regretting his actions, after Maria had begged for forgiveness for telling him about their stillborn baby. Liam and Maria then left to go on their honeymoon with their dog Ozzy, much to Carla's despair.
Tension relaxed following the couple's return. In June 2008, Liam's cousin Tom Kerrigan arrived, planning to start a new business with Liam selling T-shirts. When Tom struggled to obtain £50,000 to start Lad Rags, he invested in Carla, giving her right in the ownership, much to Liam's annoyance, though they managed to keep this secret from Maria.
In September, Rosie Webster showed Tony Gordon, Carla's husband-to-be, footage she had of Liam and Carla kissing at her apartment, in an attempt to seduce him. He then planned a vendetta against Liam, hiring Jimmy Dockerson to kill Liam in a hit-and-run, this left Maria devastated, as she had just discovered that she was pregnant again. Following his death, Maria discovered Carla's involvement in Lad Rags, and later the affair, after Sally Webster, Rosie's mother, drunkenly informed her at the wedding of Tony and Carla. Maria, infuriated, failed to confront Carla before she departed on her honeymoon.
Maria was soon to figure out that Liam's death was no accident, and strongly suspected that Tony was involved. Over the next month, she began accusing Tony of murdering Liam. Fortunately, Jed Stone (who was bullied by Tony) stood by Maria and supported her, knowing what Tony was like. When Jed was nearly killed at Christmas and taken away by Tony to Wigan, Maria noticed he was missing and accused Tony of killing again. She even went to the police to report this, but since Jed wasn't reported missing by anyone, they couldn't do anything.
In January 2009, Maria was told by an annoyed Tony in the factory that he in fact killed Jed. Disgusted and shocked, she tried to tell everyone about it, including the police, but wasn't believed. Angered, returning from the police station she drove straight at Tony but at the last minute, swerved and crashed into the factory. She was taken to hospital and got a check to see if the baby was ok, which he was to her relief. To prove his innocence, Tony brought Jed back to Coronation Street and took him to the pub. Maria was so shocked to see him alive that she decided she must have been wrong about Tony killing Liam as well.
Carla gave Maria her share of Lad Rags and she started doing business with Tom. Meanwhile, she began to have a soft spot for Tony and wasn't happy when hairdresser Natasha Blakeman was dating him and warned her to stay away from Tony. Tony convinced Tom to sell him his share of Lad Rags, displeasing Maria at first though she later acquiesced.
Maria started to tire from her pregnancy and Tony helped her with the daily household tasks leading to them striking up a firm friendship with Tony promising to stand by Maria. Maria gave birth to a baby boy she subqequently named Liam on 3rd July 2009 at the beach with Tony by her side. Later, she and Tony became romantically involved, but the relationship ended after Tony confessed to having Liam killed. She then moved to Ireland.
Maria returned to the Street on 7th June 2010 to sell her house, 7 Coronation Street to Dev and Sunita Alahan. Whilst in Weatherfield, Maria went over to see Carla, not knowing that Tony Gordon had escaped from prison. Tony did not harm her but apologised for the grief he'd caused her.
Following this, Maria went back to Ireland but returned again for Audrey's surprise seventieth birthday party and revealed that she would be returning to Weatherfield with Liam. Maria moved back into the Salon flat with her brother Kirk.
In October, Maria met Chris Gray and the pair began dating. Although, when Lloyd Mullaney discovered the pair's relationship he attempted to warn Maria away from Chris by informing her about his history of abuse - specifically his violent nature towards his ex-wife Cheryl. After learning this, Maria attempted to distance herself from Chris - who grew annoyed at Lloyd's involvement in his life and threatened him to stay away. As a result of the tram crash in December 2010, Chris and Lloyd were able to put their differences aside when the pair became trapped in The Joinery together and Lloyd was able to pull Chris safely out of the wreckage. Now without Llyod's involvement, Maria and Chris resumed their relationship. However, Chris was still secretly jealous of Lloyd and Cheryl's relationship - although he pretended to be loyal to Maria.
Meanwhile, Maria began working as a personal assistant at Underworld and garnered the interest of new client Frank Foster. While trying to secure a deal, Carla sent Maria round to Frank's house to make him an offer - but Frank wasn't interested in talking about business and attempted to force himself upon her. Maria was able to fight Frank off and fled, but found herself unable to open up to anyone until Carla noticed that Maria had been rude to Frank at work the next day. After telling Carla everything, Frank apologised and agreed to sign the deal.
Despite originally agreeing to forget about the incident, Maria was left unable to stand back when she witnessed Frank coming on to Tracy at the Rovers. Maria warned Tracy about Frank, but he insisted that he had simply misread the signals and that the incident had been a mistake. Due to Maria's continued accusations, Frank decided to cancel his order with the factory - but he later resumed the order after Maria was forced to apologise by Carla. Maria had hoped that Frank would leave after the order was completed, but was left horrified in April when it was announced that Frank would be buying into Underworld. While everyone celebrated the news, Maria finally decided to open up to Chris about her encounter with Frank and he lashed out and punched him. Chris later told Maria that she should contact the police, but Maria was reluctant to do so. Although, after a heated confrontation with Carla in the street - Maria decided to do the right thing and contacted the police. Frank was arrested but later released due to lack of evidence.
During all of this, Chris had been trying to manipulate events in order to get back with his ex Cheryl. He paid a dodgy friend to burgle Janice Battersby's flat in order to frame Lloyd by placing some of the stolen goods in the boot of his cab - but the plan backfired when Lloyd and Cheryl were able to work out that Chris was behind the scheme and Cheryl told him that she wanted a divorce. In a furious rage after having his lies discovered, Chris trashed the flat that he and Maria shared - leaving her terrified. In a last ditch attempt to regain the affection of Cheryl, Chris pretended that he was suffering from side-effects of a brain tumour - which was the reason for his recent behaviour - Chris finished with Maria and was invited to live with Cheryl, Lloyd and his son Russ at 13 Coronation Street.
Despite being abandoned by Chris, Maria attempted to offer her support after learning about his tumour - but was cruelly told that her help wasn't wanted by Cheryl. Behind Lloyd's back Chris and Cheryl began an affair, after Chris tried to make her jealous with the possibility of returning to Maria. At the same time, Maria was offered continued support in looking after Liam by her close friend Marcus Dent. Marcus had recently sparked a desire to have children of his own after his partner Sean Tully's son Dylan Wilson came to stay with them for a while after his mother Violet was caught in a car accident. However, Sean wasn't interested in having any more children and Marcus was forced to pretend that his involvement with Dylan and Liam would be enough - although, Marcus wasn't able to pretend for long and the he eventually split with Sean over their differences.
In September 2011, Carla called time on her relationship with Frank the night before their wedding - after she admitted to him that she was actually in love with Peter (who she had been having an affair with for months behind Leanne Battersby's back). In retaliation, Frank viciously raped Carla at her own apartment and abandoned her there afterwards. Carla's first point of call was Maria, as Michelle was away, and Maria put aside their feud in order to rush round to the flat and support her. Maria phoned the police and Frank was immediately arrested and taken in for questioning - this time he was released on bail, providing he kept away from both Carla and the factory.
In court Maria stood up against Frank and revealed her own ordeal - but Frank's solicitors were able to twist events to make it look like Maria had purposely attempted to seduce Frank (on Carla's orders) by dressing up glamorously and flirting in order for him to sign off on the Underworld deal. Later, when Carla took to the stand - her affair with Peter was exposed to the court and the defense suggested that her rape accusation had been created as a way of forcing Frank out of the factory. The jury later found Frank not guilty and he was released, but was murdered a few months later by his own mother Anne Foster after she overheard him admitting his attack to Carla.
2012-2014: Marcus' betrayal and breakdown
Throughout 2012, Maria began to develop feelings for Marcus despite knowing that he was gay and allowed him to move into her flat in July 2012. When Maria started to continuously complain about being single, in the hopes of turning Marcus' eye, and as a result her friends decided to pair her up with Jason Grimshaw. Maria and Jason begin dating after sleeping together, but in October she discovered a lump on her breast and went with Marcus to the hospital - fearing that it could be breast cancer. Upon learning that she didn't have breast cancer, Maria and Marcus shared a kiss - much to Marcus' surprise as, like Maria, he was also in a relationship (with Aiden Lester). When Aiden visited Maria to inform her about a job offer he had received in London and asked whether Marcus would travel with him if he accepted, Maria was devastated at the thought of Marcus leaving and attempted to sabotage the idea. When Marcus found out about Maria's manipulation, she confessed her feelings for him and the pair slept together. Despite originally rejecting Maria after their night of passion, Marcus later refused to go with Aiden to London and broke up with him - pretending that he was still in love with Sean.
Maria was shocked to discover that Marcus hadn't left and, after Marcus revealed his love for her, she finished with Jason and the pair started dating. Later, Aiden angrily confronted Sean - believing that he was the reason that Marcus stayed behind - putting the idea into Sean's head that Marcus wanted to reunite with him. However, when Sean paid Marcus a visit he was confused to witness him sharing a passionate kiss with Maria and unable to accept the fact that he was now in a heterosexual relationship. Not long after, Sean informed Jason about the real reason as to why Maria finished with him and Jason attacked Marcus for his betrayal.
In November 2013, Todd Grimshaw returned to the area and began looking for trouble by attempting to seduce Marcus. Todd intentionally began trying to cause tension between Maria and Marcus, but his behaviour was soon picked up on by his mother Eileen Grimshaw - who attempted to warn him to leave Marcus alone. However, Todd refused admitting that he viewed Marcus as a "challenge" as a result of his current relationship with Maria. Todd continued to pursue Marcus and the pair eventually ended up sleeping together. Marcus felt extremely guilty and decided to buy a house for himself, Maria and Liam away from the street. Marcus viewed a chain of properties and eventually found a place which was suitable for their requirements and decided to surprise Maria.
Todd began to manipulate the situation, setting up a scenario in which Maria would catch him and Marcus being intimate, by accompanying Marcus to the show-home and inciting him to have sex again. When Maria and Audrey visited the house they were disgusted to catch the pair in action and Audrey immediately took Maria home. Marcus attempted to explain things to Maria but she lashed out at him and ended their relationship - kicking him out of their flat at the same time. Soon after Marcus revealed that he was going to London for a short time, but Maria informed him that she didn't care if he never returned as she wanted nothing else to do with him. When Marcus returned he and Todd resumed their relationship, although Todd secretly revealed to Tony Stewart that he was just using Marcus and had no intention of being with him long-term.
Throughout the first part of 2014, Maria went on a downward spiral and began to become obsessed with her former boyfriend Tyrone - who had stuck up for her and punched Todd when the affair had been revealed. When Tyrone's violent ex-girlfriend, and mother of his daughter Ruby, Kirsty Soames was released from prison - Tyrone began opening up to Maria rather than to Fiz. Maria enjoyed the feeling of being needed by Tyrone and began terrorising him with fake text messages that appeared to be coming from Kirsty
When Maria's actions were exposed Tyrone and Fiz were disgusted and called the police on her. However, Kirk was able to convince them to drop the charges and Maria left Weatherfield for a couple of weeks to spend time with her parents. In June 2014, Maria returned from Cyprus stating that her time away had been good for her mental health and had allowed her to come to terms with Marcus' betrayal. Maria vowed to make amends with those that she had wronged and apologised to Tyrone and Fiz. When Maria discovered that Marcus had been cheated on by Todd, and was planning to leave, she paid him a visit and the pair parted on good terms when he left the street.
2014-2017: Sham marriage and imprisonment
Feeling that she was now able to move on from everything that had happened, Maria began a relationship with local mechanic Luke Britton after he accompanied her to a wedding. Maria and Luke's relationship started to become serious after she realised that he was good with Liam, and she decided to buy Luke a stock racing car as a gift. However, when Luke's sister Steph Britton chastised Maria for her decision to buy the car - and revealed that Luke had previously got into a serious accident after crashing a racing car - Maria gave Luke an ultimatum that he either gave up her or the racing. Luke decided to give up racing but found himself blackmailed back into it by his sister's ex-boyfriend Jamie Bowman - who was in possession of Steph's naked images and was threatening to release them.
Jamie was later reported to the police and arrested on the charge of posting private and sexual images online. He was subsequently found guilty and ordered to serve a three-year custodial sentence. Meanwhile, Jenny Bradley paid Maria a visit at the salon to complain that Liam had assaulted Jack Webster. Maria and Jenny began to argue, which resulted in Jenny slapping her. When Maria reported the incident to Sophie Webster Jenny attempted to deny everything - although Sophie believe Maria. Later in the year, Maria returned to Cyprus to help her father look after her mother following an accident.
While Maria was in Cyprus she met gay Argentinian hairdresser Pablo Duarte and married him (so that he could gain a visa to the UK in order to be with his lover). When Maria returned in April 2016 she and Pablo took separate flights so that he would not be spotted by Luke when they arrived at Manchester Airport. However, Luke realised that she was keeping a secret from him and decided to make it his mission to find out what she was hiding. While at the salon Maria received text messages from Pablo and was forced to confess everything to Audrey when she spotted Maria and Pablo sharing a friendly kiss. Not long after Luke also learnt the truth after following Maria to Cafe Bianco and being heartbroken to discover her enjoying another man's company.
Maria's attempt to explain things fell on deaf ears as Luke was left incredibly uncomfortable about dating a married woman. However, Luke eventually decided to accept the situation after Pablo met with the pair one last time in order to tell them he was leaving and moving to London. Fearing that she would still lose Luke as a result, Maria decided to embarrass herself to prove her love for him and was left shocked when Luke proposed to her - admitting that the situation with Pablo had showed him how devastated he would be if he actually lost her. Around this time Maria became sympathetic towards Caz Hammond, the ex-girlfriend of Kate Connor, and invited her to move into the flat.
However, Luke was left uneasy about Caz's presence as he had seen how she had tried to manipulate Kate into believing that she had been injured while working in the army when in fact she had actually deserted her post. As a result of Caz's intrusion, Maria and Luke's relationship began to become strained. Eventually in August 2016, Luke apologised to Caz and attempted to help rekindle her relationship with Kate in order to rid her from the flat and get his relationship with Maria back on track. When Caz informed Luke that it was Kate's late mother's birthday, he agreed to order some flowers for her - Caz was grateful by the offer and informed him to buy strictly roses and not carnations (as she loathed the latter). Unfortunately, Luke confused the order and bought carnations instead - causing a huge row between Kate and Caz. Upon learning of the situation, Maria took Caz's side and condemned Luke's actions - causing the pair to fall out.
Later that day Kate's brother, Aidan Connor, turned up at Maria's flat looking for someone to talk to - as he had just spent the day at his mother's graveside. Both Maria and Aidan opened up about the problems that they were facing with their respective partners - Maria informed Aidan about Luke mixing up the roses for carnations while Aidan explained that his girlfriend Eva Price had been too clingy. After sharing a bottle of wine the pair became intimate and, after having sex, were forced to hurriedly get dressed to avoid suspicion from Caz - who had arrived back at the flat. Luckily, Caz was too engrossed in her own drama with Kate that she didn't notice anything out of the ordinary.
Following her fling with Aidan, Maria began to realise that she no longer wanted to be with Luke and expressed interest in continuing her affair with Aidan. At first Aidan considered the possibility, but decided against it after overhearing Fiz and the other factory girls labeling her "Mad Maria". After more prying from Maria, Aidan announced his love for Eva and insisted that he had made a mistake by sleeping with her and didn't want to lose Eva. For a date night Maria and Luke decided to have a meal at the Bistro and ended up sitting with Aidan and Eva - at Eva's insistence. Fortunately, the tension between Maria and Aidan wasn't noticed by the other two - but the pair were nearly caught out when Caz turned up and accidentally let slip that she had seen Aidan back at the flat with Maria. This revelation caused Eva to grill the pair for answers - as Aidan had lied to her and had told her that he was somewhere else at the time.
To hide the truth, Maria came up with the excuse that Aidan had in fact been looking at flats to buy and had actually popped round to ask for her opinion. The cover story completely fooled Eva - but Aidan was left irritated as he hadn't wanted to buy a home with Eva. Later, Maria terminated her relationship with Luke and turned on Caz after she informed Liam about her and Luke's split without her approval. While arguing, Caz questioned Maria about Aidan and Maria ordered her to leave the flat.
A few weeks later, Maria came across Caz while walking Ozzy on the Red Rec and discovered that she had been sleeping rough. Caz explained that she had nowhere to go but Maria refused to allow her to move back into the flat. As a result, Caz hired a man to break into Maria's apartment so that she could use the situation in order to make Maria feel unsafe in her own home and require her presence. After the break-in, Caz found Maria - who had been hurt in a scuffle with the intruder - and contacted the police. After the police concluded their inquiries, Maria asked whether Caz could stay the night - and Caz insisted that she would ensure her safety.
Soon Caz began to grow an unhealthy obsession with Maria, but her true nature was nearly discovered when Liam found his late father's watch - which had presumably been stolen in the break in - in her possession. Caz was able to pull the wool over Maria's eyes once more by insisting that she found the watch and was planning to return it. Not long after, Maria was able to overcome her fears of being alone in the flat and began attempting to move Caz on. The perfect opportunity came when Aidan, who also wanted to get rid of Caz so that his sister could move on, found her a job interview. When Maria revealed the job interview to Caz, she thanked her with an unrequited kiss - leaving Maria stunned.
Back at the salon, Maria told Audrey and Sophie about Caz's kiss and the pair began mocking Maria - with Audrey referring to Marcus and Pablo and stating that Maria attracts the gays. Caz overheard the comments and decided to flee leading Maria and Sophie to spend the whole afternoon searching for her. When they eventually found Caz they were able to convince her to return home but, back on the street, Caz learned the truth that the job interview was for a company based in Newcastle. Caz confronted Aidan and Kate and, after the heated exchange, Maria made it clear that she was on Caz's side. However, with Caz rejecting the job interview - Maria began to grow increasingly tired of her, especially as she continued to attempt to get closer to her.
Realising that Maria was planning on asking her to leave, Caz attempted to scare her by leaving numerous messages on her landline, but despite Caz's best efforts Maria revealed that she was going to London for a couple of days - in order to sort out issues in her sham marriage - and wanted Caz gone by the time she got back. While Maria was away, Caz began plotting her revenge and laid seeds of doubt in her friend's minds by lying to Tyrone that Maria had been sending threatening messages to her (having bought a burner phone using Maria's credit card to send the messages to herself) and had been violent in the past. Caz then trashed the flat and cut her hand on Maria's work scissors - leaving blood on the floor - before vanishing.
When Maria returned in late October, she was horrified to see the state Caz had left the flat and contacted the police. However, Kate soon began pointing the finger at Maria - believing she had seriously harmed Caz - and unveiled a distressed voicemail sent to her by Caz on the night Maria returned from London. DS MacKinnon, the detective investigating Caz's disappearance, soon suspected Maria of foul play too and took her in for questioning but was ultimately forced to release her due to lack of evidence. Although, Maria was later arrested when Fiz found a bloodstained rug belonging to her in a bin and Tyrone informed the police of Maria's breakdown in 2014 - during which time she began stalking him.
2017-2018: Affair aftermath and Aidan's suicide
- The character was absent between November 2009 and June 2010 as actress Samia Smith went on maternity leave. She returned during a storyline known as "Siege Week", where Tony Gordon (Gray O'Brien) broke out of prison and took Carla Connor and Hayley Cropper hostage at Underworld, as well as briefly detaining Maria. After a few episodes the character left but returned again a few weeks later for good.
- In 2011, Maria was involved in a storyline with Frank Foster (Andrew Lancel). He attempted to rape her when she called round to his house trying to clinch a deal when she briefly worked as PA at Underworld. The storyline actually was intended for the character of Michelle Connor, but after actress Kym Marsh went on maternity leave, the storyline was rewritten.
- The character was temporarily written out once more in October 2015 as Samia took maternity leave for her second child. She returned six months later in April 2016.
(To be completed)
List of addresses
|2a Coronation Street||July 2010 to present|
|Kennel worker||Sutherland's Kennels||Unknown|
|Hairdresser||Audrey's||October 2001 to August 2002|
|Barmaid||Rovers Return Inn||October 2002 to April 2003|
|Hairdresser||Audrey's||April 2003 to July 2018|
|Kennel owner||Sutherland's Kennels||September 2005 to May 2007|
|Hairdresser||Self-employed||July 2018 to November 2018|
|Co-owner||Audrey's||November 2018 to present|
First and last lines
"Cobblers! Most of the dogs I know are brighter than humans, there's nothing wrong with talking to dogs. Now talking to plants, that's daft. You don't talk to plants, do yer?" (First line, to Tyrone Dobbs)