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Vanessa "Nessa" Warner was the sister of Cathy Matthews and mother of Alex Warner who first turned up in Weatherfield in October 2015 when son Alex went missing. This was a normal occurrence for Nessa except this time he wasn't answering her calls on his mobile phone. Nessa went to see her sister Cathy to see if he was with her, but when Nessa reached Cathy, Alex was not there. Nessa broke down in tears and sat down at a table in Roy's Rolls. She was comforted by Cathy and her partner, Roy Cropper. Later Nessa, Cathy, Roy, Ken Barlow and Audrey Roberts all fanned out to try and find Alex. He was discovered safe and sound drinking in the Rovers. By the end of the day, Nessa had taken a shine to Ken.

Nessa landed a job at Audrey's salon and she and Ken started dating during the following month, although his daughter Tracy disapproved of him dating Nessa so soon after her mother Deirdre's death. Despite this, Ken continued to see Nessa, making Audrey jealous in the process, as she had also developed strong feelings for the widower, but had failed to tell him.

In January 2016, Cathy told Nessa of her New Year's resolution which was to de-clutter the rest of her house. Nessa - who didn't believe that she would be able to do such a thing - told her that if she managed to get a car boot-full she would cook Cathy and Roy a meal over at No.1. While sorting through late-husband Alan's paperwork, Roy discovered some old love letters from Nessa. Surprised by this discovery, Roy decided to not tell Cathy in the fear that it would break the already fragile woman. Roy confronted Nessa about the discovery, who begged Roy to help her dispose of the damning letters. As they entered Cathy's living room, they saw a tearful Cathy at Alan's desk holding the letters. Cathy decided to call time on her relationship with Roy due to the fact that he knew about the affair but didn't tell her. Cathy later disposed of the letters by setting them on fire in a bin but she briefly left the room and by the time she returned, the flames had gone out of control. Roy and Nessa called round at the house to apologise, and as they spotted the blaze, Roy went inside to rescue a trapped Cathy as Nessa telephoned for the emergency services. Following the fiasco, Ken invited Nessa round to No.1 to tell her that he'd decided to finish with her since they were too different and that it was too soon for him to be in a relationship following Deirdre's death. Nessa then told Audrey that she was welcome to Ken, before driving off.

A couple of weeks after the split Alex revealed to Cathy that Nessa had moved onto another new man and by May, they had made arrangements to move to Scotland. Alex did not want to go however, so he moved into 16a Victoria Street with Roy and Cathy. In June, Nessa sent Roy and Cathy an engagement card, and in it, informed them that she and boyfriend Frank were going to Bali for a holiday until Christmas, leaving Alex to stay in Weatherfield with Cathy.

Nessa nevertheless returned to Weatherfield in December for Cathy and Roy's wedding. A few months' earlier, Cathy had discovered that Alex's natural father had been Alan and not Nigel Warner, Nessa's ex-husband. Nessa was unchanged in her selfishness and was happily oblivious to the atmosphere in the cafe, flirting outrageously with Brian Packham and Freddie Smith as Cathy bit her tongue until she heard sister boasting that she was a magnet for men. She unleashed her fury at her for the affair and threw her out but soon relented, not wanting anything to spoil her big day, and even agreed to Nessa's last-minute request to give her away. Nessa then proved unexpectedly supportive to her sibling when the wedding came to nothing, after Cathy discovered just before the service that Roy didn't want to commit to her and marry. While Yasmeen Nazir put Cathy up at 6 Coronation Street, Nessa came round with a bottle of wine and the suggestion that they both go out and find a new man for her. Instead, the two sisters stayed in and shared the bottle together before her return to Scotland.

List of appearances