Tracy Preston

Full name: Tracy Lynette Preston (previously (née) Langton, née Barlow)
Ray and Deirdre Langton; adopted by Ken Barlow 1986
24 January 1977
Daniel Osbourne (share adoptive father), Peter Barlow (share adoptive father), Lawrence Cunningham (share adoptive father)
Robert Preston (13 November 1996, Weatherfield Registery Office), Roy Cropper (2013, annulled), Steve McDonald 2012 (divorced)
Children: Amy (by Steve McDonald) 9 Feb. 2004

Played by:

  1. Christabel Finch (24 January 1977 - 21 November 1983)
  2. Holly Chamarette (July 1985 - March 1988)
  3. Dawn Acton (December 1988 - 13 November 1996; 3 - 5 December 1997; 14 - 28 March 1999; 10 October 1999
  4. Kate Ford (December 2002 - )

24 January 1977 - 28 March 1999, Dec 2002 - ). Credited as 'Baby' in first episodes

Tracy is the Street's most troubled teenager. The victim of two broken marriages and four actresses, it's a wonder she's not any worse than she already is.

The parish priest obviously got wind of Tracy early on by refusing to baptise her. She was eventually bapitised at St Margaret's, Weatherfield by Rev Smedley. Betty Turpin, Emily Bishop and prophetically Ken Barlow were her godparents.

In September 1981 she started attending Bessie Street Junior School - prompting questions as to why she had a different name to her mother. Deirdre wrote to Ray asking to change Tracy's surname to Barlow - but he refused point blank.
Eventually however, Ray allowed Ken to adopt Tracy and Ken brought Tracy up as his own.

This didn't stop Tracy from turning into a sullen, trouble making teen. After Ken and Deirdre divorced in 1990, Tracy became resentful of her mother and blamed her for the divorce. She became friends with new neighbours Steve and Andy McDonald who were just a couple of years ahead of her. They started an illegal radio station using Ken's flat while he was away. Tracy nearly was burned in a kitchen fire but was saved by Dave Barton, a builder, who began dating her mother. Another one of Deirdre's boyfriends, Phil Jennings, ended up using Tracy to help him cash a cheque, as he was bankrupt and couldn't be seen having any income. Tracy had a crush on Phil and used this to her advantage but he didn't want anything to do with her.

When Ken began dating Maggie Redmond, Tracy told Maggie's son Mark that his real father was Mike Baldwin. Ken was horrified that his old enemy had been involved with his new girlfriend and dropped Maggie. Tracy found out that her mother had an affair with Mike Baldwin and used it against her mother. She was working for Maggie Redmond at the time and Maggie told her as revenge for telling Mark that Mike was his natural father and fired her.

Tracy left home and lived with her boyfriend Craig for awhile but moved him into Number 1 after Deirdre begged her to come home. This didn't last very long and soon Tracy had left home. Tracy resented her mother's remarriage to Samir Rachid but grudgingly attended the wedding for long enough to say she'd been there. Several months later Tracy landed in hospital, having collapsed after taking exctasy at a club. Her kidneys failed and she needed a transplant. Samir was tested and found to be a match but he was attacked on the way to the hospital and died. His kidney was used and Tracy was saved but Deirdre resented her daughter because of her carelessness with drugs ultimately costing Samir his life. Tracy left for London not long after that.

She returned in 1997 with a fiance, Robert Preston in tow and got married in a charity shop dress and Doc Marten boots. She and Robert lived in London where he had a carpet fitting business and she worked in a flower shop. She returned several times, once after a row with Robert which resulted in Ken and Deirdre getting back together and one other time for Ken's 60'th birthday. She landed on the doorstep of Number 1 on Christmas Day, 2002. She's left Robert for good this time. But it turns out that she lied to everyone and it wasn't Robert who had an affair but her.

She jumped into Dev Alahan's bed within hours, not knowing that Dev and Deirdre had slept together the year before but when she found out, she lorded it over her mother for weeks and spitefully told her father on the day he was having a legal hearing for assaulting Aidan Critchley. She was ejected from the house and moved in with Dev who spoiled her rotten. She tried working in the pub as a barmaid but wasn't very good at it and got herself hired on in a flower shop for Lucy Richards. Then she discovered that Lucy was Peter's bit on the side and relished the ammunition over Peter.

Lucy even asked Tracy to be a bridesmaid at her wedding to Tracy's step-brother Peter which gave Tracy even more leverage but when Lucy found out that Tracy knew that Peter hadn't broke off with Shelley, she got sacked. Using her leverage, Tracy talked her way into a job at Peter's bookies. Tracy thought that the rich Dev was going to marry her but when she found out he had no intention, she cut up all his clothes and tried to use the credit card he gave her to stay in a posh hotel. That didn't last long. Dev cancelled the card and Tracy found herself back in Number 1, rejected.

Not one to sit on her laurels, Tracy had a one night stand with Steve McDonald in June of 2003 while he and Karen were broken up and also played on the affections of one of her grandmother Blanche's admirers thinking he was rich and she could get herself a "sugar daddy".

She was also a bridesmaid at Peter and Shelley's wedding. Tracy began the worst of her tricks just before the wedding when she bet Shelley's mother, Bev, that she could get gentle Roy Cropper into bed. She stole a date-rape drug from a punter who tried to slip it to Shelley on her hen night and drugged Roy at Peter's wedding. Hayley had been out of town nursing a sick relative. Tracy got Roy back to her bedroom and pretended to Roy that they had had sex. Roy nearly had a nervous breakdown thinking that he had betrayed his beloved Hayley.

A few weeks later Tracy discovered she was pregnant and told Roy he was the father. Roy and Hayley, after a brief separation, decided to try to adopt the baby and paid Tracy not to have an abortion. Tracy took their money and went on a holiday, but agreed in principle to give her baby to Roy and Hayley. Roy insisted that Tracy marry him (in name only) to make sure he had a legal right to the baby. If Tracy wanted the money, she had no option and married him in a secret registry office ceremony, witnessed only by Ciaran, Peter's best friend. It turns out though, that Steve is the baby's father, a fact that Tracy finally revealed to him at Christmas, 2003. She is now working for Streetcars as a driver and her affections for Steve are growing, but knows that he loves Karen.

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