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Coronation Street

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Deirdre Barlow
Occupation Secretary
Born 8th July 1955
Residence 1 Coronation Street
Father Donald Hunt
Mother Blanche Hunt
Spouse(s) Ray Langton (1975)
Ken Barlow (1981, 2005)
Samir Rachid (1994)
Children Tracy Barlow (1977)
First appearance 20th November 1972
Duration 1972, 1973 to present
Played by Anne Kirkbride

Deirdre Anne Barlow (née Hunt, previously Langton and Rachid) is a longtime Coronation Street resident, currently married to Ken Barlow.

Deirdre grew up in Weatherfield, raised by her mother Blanche Hunt as Deirdre's dad Donald Hunt died when Deirdre was four. She first arrived in Coronation Street in 1972 and got a job as secretary at the Builders' Yard, and a marriage to owner Ray Langton followed only weeks after Deirdre's fiancé Billy Walker broke off their engagement. The marriage ended in 1978 when Ray had an affair with Janice Stubbs, and Deirdre decided that the trust was gone from their relationship. Deirdre continued to raise their daughter Tracy by herself while Ray moved to Holland.

In 1981, Deirdre married Ken Barlow, who was 16 years older than her but was committed to her and Tracy. Their marriage was happy but sometimes lacked excitement, which in 1983 led Deirdre to have an affair with entrepreneur Mike Baldwin. Deirdre eventually confessed to Ken and decided to stay with him rather than go with Mike. The marriage did end however when Ken had an affair with his secretary Wendy Crozier. When Deirdre found out, she threw Ken out and kept their house.

In the 1990s, Deirdre found happiness with toyboy Samir Rachid and married him in 1995 but Samir was killed when he was beaten up by thugs while on his way to donate a kidney to Tracy. Bad luck continued to follow Deirdre as she became involved with con man Jon Lindsay, who duped her into committing fraud and, in court, convinced the jury that she had masterminded their scheme and tricked him. Deirdre was sent to prison but was released several weeks later when another victim of Jon's came forward.

With Ken also reeling from a string of bad relationships, Ken and Deirdre found themselves living together again and they re-married in 2005. Their second marriage has not been without incident; in 2007 Deirdre testified in court when Tracy murdered Charlie Stubbs, with Tracy confessing to Deirdre that she was actually guilty but expected Deirdre to defend her. Deirdre watched as her only child was given a life sentence for murder.

Deirdre has worked at various places in Weatherfield including the Street Corner Shop and with the Council, although she was made redundant in 2009. A chain smoker, Deirdre has a gravelly, scratchy voice from years of smoking. For many years she wore oversized glasses but now prefers smaller frames. Deirdre currently lives at No.1 Coronation Street with Ken and Blanche.

Contents

Biography

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In the past, Deirdre has been employed at the Corner Shop, first helping Alf Roberts in the 1980s, and then Dev Alahan two decades later. Currently, however, she works at the council offices as a secretary.

Deirdre's trademarks include a gravelly, scratchy voice (intensifying over the years due to actress Anne Kirkbride's real-life chain smoking) and very big glasses. She wore the same style of glasses for almost thirty years (in her youth she was nicknamed "Miss Sexy Spex"), before Dev Alahan crushed them with a box when she put them down for a second. Today, her frames are much smaller than they used to be. Interestingly, Anne Kirkbride does not wear glasses at all, opting for contact lenses. For the first couple of years, Deirdre's glasses on the show did not have any sort of lenses.

Relationships

In the past, Deirdre's boyfriends have included the characters Billy Walker, Mike Baldwin and Dave Barton (the actor who played Dave, David Beckett, is now Anne's partner). In a number of early scenes Deirdre repeatedly mentioned a former boyfriend known as Seb H. She went through a messy divorce when her first husband, Ray Langton, decided to leave the country in 1978, and moved to Holland. Deirdre stayed behind with their daughter, Tracy. It was after this that Deirdre first dated Mike Baldwin, and attempted reconciliation with Billy Walker (her ex-fiancé), but she soon realised that Ken Barlow was better suited to her.

In an episode in 1981, over 24 million viewers watched Deirdre's wedding to Ken Barlow (which received higher ratings in Britain than the wedding of the Prince of Wales to Lady Diana Spencer). The marriage got into trouble when Deirdre, feeling insecure, began an affair with Mike Baldwin in late 1982. The story ran on into 1983 and was a ratings winner, the first Coronation Street story to be written about in length in many of the country's newspapers.

The episode in which Deirdre broke off with Mike Baldwin after reconciling with Ken was a national event (including being announced on the scoreboard during a Manchester United match, with the words "Ken and Deirdre reunited. Ken 1 - Mike 0" leading to cheers from the spectators).

Ken had an affair with his secretary, Wendy Crozier, and Deirdre started divorce proceedings in the year 1990. True to form, however, the rifts in their tempestuous relationship healed and they got back together. In the interim Deirdre had become a widow; her Moroccan husband, Samir Rachid, was killed by thugs on the day before he was to give his kidney to her daughter, Tracy (who had suffered kidney failure after a drug overdose). Deirdre was devastated by his death, and couldn't help wishing Tracy had died instead of him.

Imprisonment: "Free The Weatherfield One"

The most controversial storyline Kirkbride had to play was when her character was sent to prison in the year 1998 for a crime she did not commit. Deirdre had begun a relationship with bogus 'airline pilot' Jon Lindsay, who treated her to an extravagant lifestyle, but one which was funded by crime and deception. She remained oblivious to the truth about her boyfriend but she learned the hard way when she was falsely accused of fraud.

Jon had implicated Deirdre in his numerous scams. He portrayed her as the brains behind the fraud but the reality was that she had known nothing about it. Deirdre was tried, convicted and sentenced to eighteen months in prison. The British public started a big grassroots campaign, pleading with Granada to "free the Weatherfield One." The Home Secretary even involved Prime Minister Tony Blair, who, with only a touch of irony, attempted to intervene on Deirdre's behalf. When another of Lindsay's victims came forward, Deirdre was released and Jon was finally made to pay for his crimes. The traumas of the past year and daughter Tracy's wedding led Deirdre to reunite with Ken in the year 1999.

Reconciling with Ken Barlow

In the December 2001 period, Deirdre once again became dissatisfied with her life with Ken. After rowing with Ken and his son Peter, Deirdre slept with Dev Alahan, her boss at the Corner Shop. Afterwards, Dev rejected Deirdre and she subsequently kept her liaison a secret from Ken for over a year, until early 2003, when Dev started dating her daughter Tracy. This prompted Deirdre to confess her fling to both Tracy and Ken, but Ken forgave her and the two subsequently lived happily together, dealing with the trials and tribulations of their children's turbulent love lives rather than their own.

Eventually, Deirdre and Ken were engaged to be married yet again, and tied the knot in an episode on 8th April 2005. The marriage was supposed to coincide with the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles, just as Ken and Deirdre's first marriage coincided with Charles and Diana's nuptials, but scheduling conflicts due to Prince Charles going to the funeral of Pope John Paul II ended up throwing the date off by one day. Nearly 13 million people watched the television event. Only nine million watched the royal nuptials; Ken and Deirdre's second ratings victory against the royal family made the national newspapers.

Deirdre's ex-husband Ray Langton eventually returned to the Street in 2005 and announced that he was dying from cancer. He died at Deirdre and Ken's wedding reception held at the Rovers Return Inn.

Charlie Stubbs' murder

Deirdre is now facing darker times. Tracy has been found guilty of the murder of Charlie Stubbs. Although Deirdre did her best to defend her daughter in court, she had been made aware of the truth about Charlie's death in an episode on 25th March 2007, when Tracy explained that she had killed him in cold-blood. Consequently, she ended up having a panic attack in the witness box. Tracy's fifteen year sentence has devastated Deirdre and left her relationship with Ken on rocky grounds.

Separation and reconciling with Ken Barlow

After weeks of turmoil at No.1 Coronation Street, Ken offered Deirdre a shocking ultimatum. In the middle of a blazing row, he announced that if she left, he would be gone by the time she got back. True to his word, Ken Barlow left wife and began rebuilding a relationship with his son Daniel Osbourne, and the child's mother, Denise Osbourne. Deirdre, full of resentment, promised to confront Denise, and in an episode on 11th May 2007 matters came to a head. The pair rowed in front of an audience at the Rovers Return, an argument which resulted in Deirdre slapping her nemesis, who was then ushered out by Ken.

Deirdre has since tried to mend her relationship with Ken and even apologised for her behaviour in the Rovers', but she failed to convince him to come back to her at that time. Since then Ken has since returned to No.1 and has reconciled with Deirdre.

Miscellaneous information

Current characters
Ken Barlow | Emily Bishop | Rita Sullivan | Peter Barlow | Betty Williams | Deirdre Barlow | Gail McIntyre | Audrey Roberts | Jack Duckworth | Nick Tilsley | Kevin Webster | Bill Webster | Sally Webster | Liz McDonald | Steve McDonald | Rosie Webster | David Platt | Norris Cole | Sophie Webster | Roy Cropper | Ashley Peacock | Janice Battersby | Leanne Battersby | Hayley Cropper | Tyrone Dobbs | Dev Alahan | Eileen Grimshaw | Kirk Sutherland | Jason Grimshaw | Sunita Alahan | Fiz Stape | Joshua Peacock | Simon Barlow | Sean Tully | Chesney Battersby-Brown | Claire Peacock | Amy Barlow | Kelly Crabtree | Lloyd Mullaney | Molly Dobbs | Amber Kalirai | Aadi Alahan | Asha Alahan | Becky McDonald | Michelle Connor | Freddie Peacock | Ryan Connor | Carla Connor | Teresa Bryant | Tony Gordon | Tina McIntyre | Graeme Proctor | Julie Carp | Ted Page | Natasha Blakeman | Joe McIntyre | Pam Hobsworth | Eddie Windass | Anna Windass | Gary Windass | Minnie Chandra | Jesse Chadwick | Sian Powers | Connie Rathbone

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







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