The 10 most shocking 'Coronation Street' deaths

·5-min read
There have been many shocking deaths on Coronation Street over the years (ITV)
There have been many shocking deaths on Coronation Street over the years (ITV)

The grim reaper is once again sharpening his scythe, with a high-profile upcoming disaster on Coronation Street set to leave the lives of several residents hanging in the balance.

In what promises to be a dramatic and technical feat, a sinkhole will swallow up several show regulars, with a car crash and an armed confrontation only added to the tension. But will a much-loved face be meeting their maker?

Read more: Next week's Coronation Street spoilers

After all, Corrie has certainly been brutal in the past when it comes to killing off characters. So, as speculation mounts as to who might be next, we count down the soap's 10 most impactful deaths from down the decades:

Martha Longhurst (1964)

The axing of actor Lynne Carol sparked a near revolt among cast members, with colleague Violet Carson even threatening to resign when she heard about the breaking up of the iconic Snug trio of Ena, Minnie and Martha.

But new boss Tim Aspinall had his way and in his first episode as producer, Martha’s plan to go on holiday to Spain was halted when she suffered a sudden heart attack during a singalong in the Rovers.

Valerie Barlow (1971)

The borders of Coronation Street have always been fiercely patrolled by the storyliners, and those who express a desire to live elsewhere often come to a horrible end.

Read more: The most shocking TV deaths ever

Take Ken’s first wife Val as a prime example: the Barlows had opted to emigrate to Jamaica, with Ken having accepted a teaching job overseas. But on the eve of their departure, Val received a fatal electric shock from a faulty hairdryer, her fall knocking over a portable heater that started a blaze at the Barlows’ home.

Alan Bradley (1989)

The cast of 'Coronation Street' filming scenes for death of Alan Bradley storyline in Blackpool. Julie Goodyear as Bet Lynch and Barbara Knox as Rita Fairclough. 30th October 1989. (Photo by Andrew Stenning/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
The cast of 'Coronation Street' filming scenes for death of Alan Bradley storyline in Blackpool. Julie Goodyear as Bet Lynch and Barbara Knox as Rita Fairclough. 30th October 1989. (Photo by Andrew Stenning/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

Evil businessman Alan tried to defraud and then kill Rita before menacing the increasingly desperate newsagent over a period of months.

After Rita fled to Blackpool, Alan tracked her down, only for a seafront showdown to end in his own blood being spilt when a tram collided with him. It was a memorable end for a genuinely menacing villain, with Alan setting the template for such future Corrie antagonists as Richard Hillman and Pat Phelan.

Alma Halliwell (2001)

Coronation Street - Christmas Photocall. Johnny Briggs (Mike Baldwin), Amanda Barrie (Alma Baldwin) and William Roache (Ken Barlow), 19th December 1991. (Photo by Nigel Wright/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Coronation Street - Christmas Photocall. Johnny Briggs (Mike Baldwin), Amanda Barrie (Alma Baldwin) and William Roache (Ken Barlow), 19th December 1991. (Photo by Nigel Wright/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

The decision made by show bosses to have Alma die from cervical cancer proved controversial due to the speedy nature of her demise. At the time, Cancer Research UK criticised what they saw as an unrealistic depiction of the disease, but Corrie responded that Alma’s health had deteriorated so quickly because she’d missed a smear test.

Even Amanda Barrie was said to have been left upset by what she’d been asked to perform. Tabloids reported that she’d told a colleague: “How dare they use an issue as sensitive as this just to win more viewers?”

Maxine Peacock (2003)

Richard Hillman’s reign of terror remains Corrie’s most effective serial killer storyline – the dramatic high point of which was the brutal scene from January 2003 that saw him take a crowbar to the head of Maxine Peacock.

The salon stylist had returned home early from a bash at the Rovers, only to catch Richard trying to bludgeon Emily Bishop. After growling the now-famous line, “you should have stayed at the party, Maxine”, evil Richard took the life of the young mum and left poor husband Ashley a widower.

Ashley Peacock (2010)

Butcher Ashley himself became dead meat when he turned out to be a casualty of the big-budget tram crash that was staged to mark Coronation Street’s 50th anniversary.

Following the destructive derailment, Ash found himself trapped inside the crumbling Joinery bar, where he saved the lives of Nick and Peter. But after holding up a section of the ceiling to allow them to escape, Ashley tragically ended up being crushed to death when the roof gave way.

Hayley Cropper (2014)

Her entrance as the first transgender character in soap may have made headlines back in 1998, but Hayley's traumatic exit in 2014 also attracted sizeable press attention.

Following actress Julie Hesmondhalgh’s decision to hang up her alter-ego’s red anorak, writers scripted a final plotline that saw Hayley decide to take her own life after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Fans across the land wept as she swallowed a lethal cocktail of drugs before passing away in the arms of her soulmate Roy.

Kylie Platt (2016)

Fans knew that actress Paula Lane was set to exit the Street and that her character would die in what was being billed as a sizeable plot twist.

But Kylie’s stabbing by Clayton Hibbs was kept under wraps until broadcast, as was the guttural yell of despair from husband David as he cradled his wife’s bloodied body. Who could have predicted, though, that he’d then go on to marry Shona, the mother of killer Clayton?

Andy Carver (2017)

During a particularly macabre period in Weatherfield history, Pat Phelan ended up abducting Andy Carver and then shooting him dead in harrowing pre-watershed showdown that resulted in 541 complaints being made to Ofcom.

Despite the outrage, the broadcasting regulator decided ultimately that Corrie was not in breach of its code of conduct, while Phelan himself got his comeuppance in June 2018 when his nemesis Anna Windass killed him.

Seb Franklin (2021)

FROM ITV

STRICT EMBARGO - No Use Before 0001 Wednesday May 5th 2021

Coronation Street 

Wednesday 5th May 2021

Seb Franklin [HARRY VISINONI] in hospital with Abi Franklin [SALLY CARMAN]

Picture contact David.crook@itv.com 

This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on  www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms
Seb Franklin [HARRY VISINONI] (ITV)

And so we reach the present day, where many residents are still reeling following the hate-crime murder of Seb.

Abi’s son was kicked to death at the local canal and his girlfriend Nina brutally attacked by vicious Corey Brent and his acolytes. The upcoming drama, which is set to coincide with the Platts’ sinkhole catastrophe, will find Abi trying to take deadly revenge on the County footballer. But will her actions end up adding to Corrie’s already vertiginously high body count?

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