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Coronation Street

Up to date as of January 31, 2010

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Alan Bradley
Occupation Businessman
Born 20th July 1939
Died 8th December 1989
Spouse(s) Pat Bradley
Children Jenny Bradley (1971)
First appearance 15th January 1986
Last appearance 8th December 1989
Duration 1986-1989
Played by Mark Eden

Alan Bradley was an aspiring businessman who had a relationship with Rita Fairclough in the late 1980s. He went to great lengths to get access to Rita's money and when she cottoned on to his schemes she fled to Blackpool, where Alan was hit and killed by a tram.





A complicated man, Alan Bradley lived in Manchester with his wife Pat and daughter Jenny, born 1971, until 1980 when he grew tired of family life and yearned for freedom to pursue other women and not be tied down. Alan moved to Leeds and got a divorce from Pat and lost contact with them both, starting a new life and new job.

Alan was brought back into the fold in 1986 when Pat was killed in a road accident and Jenny was fostered by Rita Fairclough. Alan was tracked down and travelled to Weatherfield to collect his daughter, but Jenny resented him for abandoning her and being absent for so long. He took a shine to Rita and she helped him convince Jenny to give him a chance. Mindful of his responsibilities, Alan got a transfer to Weatherfield and got a flat in 41 Ashdale Road, though more of his time was spent pursuing Rita than making up for lost time with Jenny. Alan's masculinity and aggressiveness reminded Rita of her dead husband Len, which made him attractive to her, but Alan wasn't sure what he wanted from the relationship and started an affair with barmaid Gloria Todd after thumping her ex Terry Duckworth who had been pestering her. Rita soon realised that he was seeing two women and told Alan to pick one or the other and stop being childish. Alan preferred Gloria, but after taking stock of his finances - and considering Rita's - he ended the affair and went back to Rita.

Building a new family

Alan's relationship with Gloria was soon forgotten and Alan and Rita enjoyed courting. In September, Alan was made redundant, and as a proud man he couldn't admit it to Rita, and Jenny told her. A new job came up in Liverpool, and Rita convinced Alan to take it even though it meant three months in Dubai, with Jenny moving in with Rita.

Alan returned in January 1987 to the news that Jenny had been in a car crash and that the driver Martin Platt had been speeding. Violent Alan was ready to hit Martin but Jenny admitted she was driving. Martin and Jenny confessed to the police, with a little persuasion from Alan, but Rita refused to press charges so nothing came of it. Alan thanked Rita by telling her he would compensate her from money earned in Dubai. He confirmed his commitment to her by proposing, expecting her to say yes as she wasn't getting any younger. Surprisingly, she said no, preferring them to carry on as they were, though she did invite him to move into Number 7 with her and Jenny, regardless of the gossip it gave the neighbours.

Alan brings Rita to the registry office for a surprise wedding - her own!

The new setup was good news for Alan, who was able to assert himself at Rita's newsagent, The Kabin, opening a video library and electric till there. Rita's co-worker Mavis Riley feared Alan was worming his way into the Kabin, edging her out, but she was most worried for Rita, who only saw the good in Alan. Rita told Alan she didn't want him involved in the business. Feeling frustrated by being second to Rita financially, Alan set about buying the garage in Coronation Street, but the seller Brian Tilsley changed his mind. Alan was determined to marry Rita, and thinking she just needed a push, booked a wedding at the registry office without telling her, and got her there under the pretence that they had been invited to one of his friends' weddings. When they got there, Rita was stunned when she realised it was a surprise wedding for her, and got straight back into the taxi she came in. Alan accepted that Rita would probably never marry him.

With Jenny now 16, she decided to leave school, but Alan wanted her to stay and complete her A-levels. Alan and Rita later found out that Jenny had gone to France to escape them trying to tell her what to do. Fuming, Alan went to France to find her, but he came back empty-handed. Jenny came back to Weatherfield in October to tell her parents that she was marrying Patric Podevin and live in France. Alan thought Jenny was too young to get married and refused to give his blessing. Alan was proved right when Patric found out Jenny had kissed another boy and went back to France alone.

Bored of running the video library, Alan got a job fitting burglar alarms in 1988. He wanted to go into partnership with Dave Craig but Dave wasn't interested - Alan got a £6,000 loan from Rita to start the partnership that wasn't going to happen, and spent it on a car and went into business on his own. He tended to keep Rita in the dark about these major decisions, and she felt she couldn't trust him. However, she was impressed at his the money he was making so forgave him. Alan set up Bradley Securities Limited in Len's former builder's yard. In the summer he started seeing client Carole Burns, and left Rita for her, telling Rita that he was tired of her coldness towards him. Alan moved out and Rita wanted back the money she had foolishly given him to finance his business. This severely hurt Alan, who also had to vacate the yard and find new premises. To make matters worse, Carole had no money and the bank had refused him a loan, so he returned to Rita and Jenny. Full of ideas, Alan told Rita he intended to set up a shop, but to keep himself in her good books he told her he wouldn't ask her for money to pay for it.

Stuck for cash, Alan stole the deeds to Number 7 and went to a building society to mortgage the house for £15,000, calling himself Len Fairclough. With the cheque in hand, Alan happily announced to Rita that he had been granted a loan for his new business Weatherfield Security Systems, who was unaware that she was paying for it.


Rita finds out about where Alan got his money from

Alan played a hard game to keep his deception from Rita, which was difficult because the bank were sending letters addressed to Len to Number 7. He hired Dawn Prescott as receptionist and Martin Platt as assistant. Fancying Dawn, he asked her out, telling her Rita was just his landlady, but she wasn't interested, which only encouraged him and eventually he tried to rape her in March 1989. The incident was costly to Alan as Dawn went to Rita and told her about the attempted rape, as well as the letters and phone calls asking for Leonard Fairclough. Rita did some investigating and when Alan returned home on Jenny's 18th birthday he found out that Rita had been to the building society. Alan attacked her and tried to suffocate her with a cushion just as Jenny and Martin arrived from a night out, causing him to flee.

As the police searched for him, Alan phoned Jenny, but him attacking Rita had turned her against him, but asked her to meet him and give him his passport and money. He was caught by the police who were following Jenny and arrested for assault. When she visited him, he asked her to beg Rita to play down what happened, but Jenny realised he was only thinking about himself and didn't do what he asked.

Alan's trial took place in September. Pleading guilty to deception and actual bodily harm, Alan was given two years in prison, but walked free that very day after serving enough of his time on remand. Rita was horrified and became convinced Alan was going to take revenge on her.

Alan forgets to look both ways before crossing

Alan did the best to pick up the pieces of his life, moving into a bedsit at 31 Redford Street and a job at a building site in Coronation Street, where new houses were being built. He and Rita were angry at each other, and when the Kabin was broken into Alan was taken in for questioning by the police. When it transpired that it wasn't him, Rita came off looking bad as she admitted she wished it had been him. Jenny turned against Rita for being too vindictive and victimising Alan.

When Rita disappeared without a trace, Alan was taken in for questioning. The residents thought Alan had killed Rita and buried her at the building site, but even though nothing was found when the site was dug up, Alan lost his job because of the trouble it had caused with the police. Though he had Jenny back on his side, Alan was bitter that Rita had ruined his life. Rita turned up in Blackpool when Bet and Alec Gilroy were visiting to check out some acts at a hotel owned by one of Alec's colleagues. The distress caused by Alan had made Rita mentally block the last 15 years from her mind, and when Alec returned to Weatherfield he told Alan where Rita was. He drove to Blackpool to find her himself and caught up with her on the street, proceeding to try to force her into the car. Rita ran away from him and only narrowly missed being hit by a tram - Alan was killed instantly when the tram slammed into him as he chased Rita.

Only Jenny went to Alan's funeral, with Martin and Kevin and Sally Webster going along to support her.

Behind the scenes

The character of Alan was one of the show's first examples of a longterm villain, built up over time before a sensational exit storyline. This motif served the series well, with viewing figures going through the roof culminating in 29.93 million UK viewers watching him meet his end in Blackpool in 1989. The development of future villain Richard Hillman followed a similar pattern and similarly gained the series some of its highest ever ratings.

Alan's trial for assault in 1989 was the first episode of Coronation Street to be broadcast in the new Friday slot created when the show went out three days a week.

This article uses material from the "Alan Bradley" article on the Coronation Street wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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