Phyllis Pearce (née Grimes) first appeared in 1982, doing what comes naturally to her, looking for a man. Though this time is was really to find her grandson Craig Whitely, who had just moved into 9 Coronation Street with his paternal grandfather, Chalkie Whitely. Phyllis' daughter (Craig's mother) Margaret had died of cancer, and Craig was the only family she had left. Within a few months Craig joined his merchant seaman father, Bob, in Australia and Phyllis turned her attentions to Chalkie. Chalkie couldn't cope with Phyllis' interfering and by August 1983 he too sold up and joined Craig and Bob.
She was soon working with Gail Tilsley in Jim's Cafe, but she was eventually retired when Alma Sedgewick took a more active role in the business, though she still helps out in the cafe from time to time.
Phyllis is basically a lonely lady, and is always on the lookout for new companions - preferably male. For many years she has doggedly persued Percy Sugden, although his bowls rival Sam Tindall posed a useful attraction to try and make Percy jealous, but to little avail. In 1993, she won a poetry competition for a poem about her love for Percy, and in January 1996 her hopes rocketed as Maud Grimes read Phyllis' tea leaves and told her the man of her dreams was coming into her life. Sadly, Maud had mixed up the cups!
There is one other man in Phyllis' life - Des Barnes. Des took pity on Phyllis when she lost her cafe job and let her become housekeeper at 6 Coronation Street. Although Phyllis has seen plenty of Des' philanderings, she has always been discrete, though at times she has had to turn a blind eye or give Des a good talking to.