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Coronation Street

Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From Coronation Street Wiki

File:Betgilroy2003.jpg
Bet Gilroy
Occupation Landlady
Born 4th May 1940
Birthplace Weatherfield
Residence Brighton
Father Patrick Lynch
Mother Mary Lynch
Spouse(s) Alec Gilroy (1987)
Children Martin Downes
First appearance 25th May 1966
Last appearance 30th November 2003
Duration 1966, 1970-1995, 2002, 2003
Played by Julie Goodyear

Elizabeth Theresa "Bet" Gilroy (previously Lynch) was portrayed by the actress Julie Goodyear in 1966, from 1970 to 1995 and reappeared in 1999, 2002 and 2003.


Bet was born on 4th May 1940, although her father took off when Bet was 6 months old. She received a strict Catholic upbringing from her mother in their home on Clegg Street in Weatherfield - but it didn't stop her becoming Miss Weatherfield in 1955. When she was 16 she met Joe Mason at a party. He was 12 years older than her. She got drunk and fell pregnant. Joe disappeared immediately upon hearing the news. She gave birth to son Martin, and almost immediately her mother arranged to have the authorities take away the child and put him up for adoption. When they came, Bet was helpless to prevent them as her mother had locked her in a room. Six weeks later, Martin was adopted by a family named Downes.

Contents

Early years in the Street

Bet first appeared in 1966 as a factory worker who gave Lucille Hewitt a black eye. She quickly departed with the explanation she had moved away.

Bet returned in 1970, when she shared a flat with Irma Barlow, who put a down payment on it with the help of Len Fairclough and Ray Langton. Bet began work as a barmaid at the Rovers Return Inn. The earlier incident with Lucille was not mentioned again and the two became good friends.

At first, Bet worked under Rovers landlady Annie Walker, whom she clashed with regularly. Annie fashioned herself as refined and posh, and Bet liked to dress in provocative clothing, which Annie thought too tarty. Whenever Bet would have frustrations, either with Annie or with the world in general, she would turn to confidante and fellow barmaid Betty Turpin for support. The two women forged a friendship which would endure.

Relationships

A liberal woman in the mould of Elsie Tanner, Bet wanted a man to sweep her off her feet, but always ended up sexually involved with bad prospects who were usually involved with other women (or married). She liked to flirt with men and receive attention from them, which was criticized by Annie Walker (and less frequently, Hilda Ogden and Ena Sharples). In fact, her son Martin, whom she had given up for adoption, came looking for her in 1974, but was repulsed by her overt sexual nature and left without informing her of his identity. He died in a car crash the following year at the age of 19. Bet nearly committed suicide, but was talked out of it by Eddie Yeats.

Bet had a relationship with Len Fairclough, but broke up with him when she realised he only wanted a casual affair and would not return her feelings. She later took up with Mike Baldwin soon after his arrival in Weatherfield, also acting as his live-in maid. He told her he was married, only for Bet to learn that he only had a girlfriend, and had lied to her so she wouldn't ask for a commitment. She slapped him and tried to lock him out of his flat, but he had her thrown out.

Taking over the Rovers Return

After Annie retired in 1983, the tenancy of the Rovers passed to her son Billy, who didn't really want the responsibility of running the pub, and got in trouble with the police for holding lock-ins after hours. Eventually the brewery, Newton & Ridley, tired of this and made Billy an offer he couldn't refuse. After buying the Rovers, they advertised the post of manager. Bet applied, but didn't believe she had much of a chance as the brewery normally favoured married couples. It therefore came as a shock when she was offered the job, as the regulars had all signed a petition insisting that she was offered the position. In 1985, Bet was installed as Newton & Ridley's first unmarried landlady.

Marriage to Alec Gilroy

After nearly two decades in search of the right man, Bet married Alec Gilroy in 1987, but even the wedding day was fraught with tension, as the two famously shared sarcastic banter while they were before the vicar.

Shortly afterwards, Bet became pregnant, but had a miscarriage. Bet's maternal instincts were somewhat mollified when she helped Alec with his teenager granddaughter Vicky, whose parents had recently been killed in a car accident. Bet and Alec ran the Rovers together, and were married until 1992, when he left Weatherfield to manage entertainment acts for a cruise liner. Bet was to go, but couldn't leave the Street and instead separated from Alec.

Life After Alec

Bet settled further into a role as an older and wiser figure of the Rovers, lending invaluable support to young, naive Raquel Wolstenholme. She dated Charlie Whelan, a trucker, only to have her heart broken when he ran off with barmaid Tanya Pooley.

Departure

After the fire at the Rovers, she would continue on as landlady until 1995. She could not generate the money required to buy the pub from Newton & Ridley, who were intent on selling. When she asked her friends for loans, they all declined, and she abruptly left the Street, thinking nobody cared for her. In an ironic twist of fate, Alec returned to the Street in 1996 and helped run the Rovers with the new owners, Jack and Vera Duckworth.

Visiting Vicky in Brighton

Bet's subsequent history was later revealed in a spin-off story in 1999, when she was seen visiting her former step-granddaughter, Vicky, in Brighton, and succeeding in helping Vicky into a successful second marriage as well as coming to the rescue of her ailing business.

Brief comebacks to the Street

Bet was re-introduced to the programme in 2002 after a seven-year gap as a ploy to boost the ratings. She arrived in June 2002 for Betty's retirement party, and also to take part in a court case against a former lover who had swindled money of her. She had lost the court case and returned to Brighton. The return wasn't successful as Julie Goodyear had to pull out after a few weeks after suffering from overwork.

In the autumn of 2003 Bet arrived in Blackpool to attend a licensee do and there she bumped into Liz McDonald who was having problems as her husband, Jim had escaped from prison and wanted to flee to Ireland with her. Bet also was due to marry former brewery boss Cecil Newton, however he died of a heart attack in hospital. Bet returned back to Brighton with Liz accompanying her.

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

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