Peter Adamson (16th February, 1930 - 17th January, 2002) was a British actor best known for his portrayal of the womanising hard man Len Fairclough in Coronation Street from 1961 to 1983. He had made his theatre debut in 1948 and the year after joined the Fortesque Players in Bury. For five years he acted and produced weekly melodramas, forming his own company in 1954 and producing summers shows in Weston-Super-Mare. His initial television roles were for Granada in Skyport and Knight Errant before first appearing in Coronation Street in February 1961. After twenty-two years of being one of the programme's most popular and recognisable performers, Peter's Street career was threatened by his arrest in April 1982 for allegedly indecently assaulting two 8-year old girls in a Lancashire swimming pool. Producer Bill Podmore stood by him, Granada supported his defence financially, and in July 1983 he was found not guilty.
However, Peter had been previously suspended by Podmore for writing articles and giving interviews to the press that criticised his fellow cast members, and the producer sacked Adamson for breach of contract after learning that he had sold his memoirs to a tabloid newspaper. Len Fairclough was killed off the programme in December 1983 in an off-screen car accident, and in a deliberate attempt to demonize the character played by the controversial Adamson, it was revealed that Len had died returning home from his mistress, cheating on screen wife Rita Fairclough.
Peter Adamson had become a hard drinker, perhaps stemming from constant financial troubles, during his time on the Street, and was suspended from the programme over it in 1969. Years after his sacking, Peter appeared to confess his guilt over the 1982 swimming pool incident in a rambling, possibly drunken, interview with a Sun reporter, although he always maintained that there was no sexual intent. Adamson's wife passed away in 1984, and in 1991 he declared himself bankrupt, thanks in large part to high legal bills from his 1983 court case that Granada wouldn't pay after his sacking. Peter died of stomach cancer in Lincoln in 2002.
Telegraph Online Obituary