Deirdre Barlow

Full name: Deirdre Anne Barlow (née Hunt, previously Langton; previously Rachid)
Blanche and Donald Hunt
8 July 1955, 20 Victoria Street, Weatherfield, Lancashire
8 July 2015

  1. Ray Langton (7 July 1975)
  2. Ken Barlow (27 July 1981, All Saints CoE)
  3. Samir Rachid (28 November 1994; d: 31 May 1995)
  4. Ken Barlow (April 8, 2005)

Children: Tracy Lynette Langton (later Barlow); b: 24 January 1977; f: Ray Langton

Played by: Anne Kirkbride
First appeared:
20 November 1972, last appeared October 8, 2014

Deirdre Hunt was born in July 1955 to the parents of Blanche and Donald Hunt. Donald was a bank manager, but died in 1960 aged 42. Deirdre was four years old and her stubbon streak showed early when she refused to wear her braces at the funeral.

Deirdre was introduced into Coronation Street in 1973 . As an 18 year old she made a play for Alan Howard, Elsie's third husband, when she was introduced to him by one of his business partners. In the same year Ray Langton decided to buy the paper shop, and offered Deirdre a job , only to have it bought out from under him by his boss Len Fairclough. When Ray learned Deirdre had typing skills, she was employed as a secretary in Len's building yard.

By 1974, Deirdre was engaged to be married to Billy Walker, much to the horror of his mother Annie. The wedding was set for May, but 19 days before the event Deirdre had serious doubts. How could she cope living with a domineering mother-in-law? Was she too you at 19 to marry a 36-year old Billy? Would she make a good publican's wife? Billy agreed to give her more time when she voiced her doubts, but after some time Billy packed his bags and went to work in a wine bar in Jersey.

Everyone was sympathetic, except a certain Ray Langton who could needle her just by being there. She finally blew her top, resigned from the builders yard, and married Ray two weeks later in July 1975, two months after she should have married Billy, and she became Mrs Deirdre Langton.

In March 1977 Ray and Deirdre moved into No5 Coronation Street, shortly after their daughter Tracy was born on 24 January. But their happiness was not to last. In the October Deirdre was sexually assaulted under the viaduct at the end of the street whilst walking home. It had a profound effect on her, and next month she seriously contemplated suicide, standing on the parapet of a motorway bridge. She was only snapped back to reality by a lorry driver asking for directions. However, their marriage never recovered, and almost inevitably, by September 1978 Ray had started an affair with a waitress Janice Stubbs. When Deirdre found out, they decided to start afresh and move to Holland, but at the farewell party in November 1978, Deirdre decided she couldn't go and Ray left alone.

Next month Ray demanded that Deirdre either sell No5 or come and join him. Councillor Alf Roberts had promised to arrange a new council house for her, but she discovered it was a tower block, and nearly pulled out of the sale of No5 to the Tilsley's - at the last minute she was offered a room with Emily Bishop at No3.

In March 1979 Deirdre popped into the Rovers, leaving baby Tracy in a pushchair outside. Although she was only outside for a few minutes it was long enough for a passing lorry driver to have a heart attack and send his load of wood crashing into the Rovers. Deirdre was distraught - and when Tracy's body or pushchair couldn't be found when into a trance and walked out. She was eventually found at the edge of a canal, contemplating suicide, and only Len Fairclough bringing Tracy to her snapped her out of it. Unbeknowns to everyone, Tracy had been taken for a walk by Sally Norton, a woman who met Deirdre when they were in hospital having their babies. After Sally's daughter was adopted, she became mentally disturbed.

By June 1979 Deirdre and Ken Barlow had become friendly - when her ex-fiancée Billy Walker turned up at the Rovers again. He had the chance of buying into the wine bar in Jersey - but needed £2,500 to finance the deal. He hadn't known Deirdre and Ray had separated but soon began courting Deirdre again. Billy's mother gladly gave him the money, but hastily withdrew the offer when she found out about Deirdre - especially when she found out Deirdre had agreed to a new life in Jersey for herself and Tracy. However, at the last minute Deirdre's doubts surfaced again - and this time there was Tracy to consider - would Billy ever really accept her as a daughter ? When Billy forced the issue, Deirdre was forced to admit that although she was fond of Billy, he never excited her in the way Ray did, and realised any relationship was doomed. Distraught , Billy took the first flight back to Jersey - his mother's cheque for £2,500 little compensation for his broken heart.

Ken and Deirdre's friendship continued and deepened, until at the end of January 1980, she strongly hinted to Ken that if he asked her to marry him she wouldn't say no. This only scared Ken away - saying he was too old for her and would be unsuitable as he was twice-married. In the meantime Deirdre and Emily had set up the Coronation Street Secretarial Service, working out of the back room of No3, to keep them both occupied and bring in some money.

After Emily became engaged to Arnold Swain, Deirdre realised it was time to move out of No3 and wind up the secretarial business. Now a number of occurances, foruitous at least for Deirdre, secured her future. Bet Lynch vacated the shop flat to live with Dan Johnson in Victoria Street, and Renee Roberts was killed in a car crash. Once Alf Roberts decided to keep the shop on he knew he needed a new assistant, and by September 1980 Deirdre was working in the corner shop and living with Tracy in the flat above.

In January 1981 Ken Barlow asked her out again and their romance was briefly revived - until Dirk van der Stek (who worked in the same Dutch company as Ray) arrived on Deirdre's doorstep with a birthday present from Ray for Tracy. He was over in England on business and was clearly struck with Deirdre, asking her out a few times. The feeling seemed mutual, particularly when Deirdre agreed to visit Dirk and stay with him in his Amsterdam flat, though she never actually went. However, Deirdre was still attracted to Ken, and once Dirk left she hinted that she was still available. They both went out for a meal and agreed to see more of each other without getting tied down.

However, the next month something occured which was to have profound consequences on the rest of Deirdre's life. Ken's Volkswagen Beetle broke down on the moors outside Huddersfield and Deirdre was left standing alone in the Rovers, waiting for Ken. Mike Baldwin took pity on her and took her out for a meal - a romance soon blossomed. Ken confronted Deirdre, but she reminded him of their "no strings" arrangement. He admitted to her he was jealous and offered her marriage, but she turned him down. It looked as though Mike may make a permanent committment when he asked Deirdre for her opinion on a flat he decided to buy for £28,000 in March 1981.

However when Mike threw a flatwarming party, asking Deirdre to be hostess, it was Ken's current girlfriend Sonia Price that Mike took to a nightclub at the end of the evening, leaving Ken and Deirdre to clear up. Despite Mike's apologies and offers of compensatory meals out, Deirdre knew Mike's casual, fast-paced lifestyle wasn't for her and she and Ken were reconciled. They went away to Glasgow together at Easter 1981 to see Ken's twins, and after a couple of weeks of thought agreed to marry. Deirdre finally married Ken on 27 July 1981 with her employer and friend Alf Roberts giving her away. Together with Tracy they moved into No1 Coronation Street with Ken and Uncle Albert.

After only a few months of living with Ken and Uncle Albert, life had become mundane, and by February 1982 Deirdre's thoughts had turned to having another child. Ken very firmly turned down this possibility, saying he didn't want the responsibility. In May 1982 there were a spate of muggings. Deirdre's suspicions were raised about local lad Ray Attwood when DS Bell asked youth club organiser Ken if he had seen anything suspicious. Ken refused to contact the police, citing it as a betrayal of confidence until he had firm evidence, but after Betty Turpin was mugged, Deirdre went against Ken's wishes - and it transpired that Ray was indeed responsible for the muggings. Ken felt Deirdre had betrayed him. However, in the same month Ken relented and agreed that they should try for a child.

Two years on in 1983, her marriage was stale to Ken and she started an affair with Mike Baldwin. After much heartache, she decided to stay with Ken and life ran smoothly for a few years until Ken had an affair with co-worker Wendy Crozier in 1989. Much to his suprise - when Deirdre found out - she decided to seek a divorce, forcing Ken to sell his livelihood, The Weatherfield Recorder newspaper to buy off the morgage. Deidre and Tracy remained living at No1, and after Wendy and Ken's affair ended, Ken eventually moved above Alf's shop, much to the disappointment of Deirdre. They were divorced in 1990.

Ken was hoping for a reconciliation, but Deirdre had already found herself another boyfriend, plumber Dave Barton, who saved Tracy from chip pan fire. But she found she couldn't give the committment Dave wanted. She had a full-time job, a child and house to look after, and she was now a Councillor for Weatherfield.

Her next relationship ended in tears, after Phil Jennings conned her out of money. Whe she went to confronted him, he was already out of the country with his wife about to join him. By 1994 it looked like Ken and Deirdre would be reconciled, only for Deirdre to have to leave Weatherfield to look after her sick mother. When she returned months later, she thought her and Ken would pick up where they left off, only to discover Ken had a new pregnant girlfriend - Denise Osbourne. Having a child was something Ken had always resisted, and was something of a bone of contention between Deirdre and Ken.

To cheer herself up, Deirdre booked a singles holiday to Morrocco and had a holiday romance with a twenty-one year old - Samir Rachid. She invited him over for a holiday in England, borrowing the money from Emily Bishop. She married Samir in November 1994 and became Mrs Deirdre Rachid. By 1995, Tracy was in hospital suffering with kidney failure after taking the rave drug 'E'. It was discovered that Samir was a good match, and he was walking to hospital to donate a kidney to Tracy, when he was set upon by thugs and put on a life support machine. The killers were never found. It was Deirdre's hardest ever decision to switch off the life support system. In 1996 there was no man in Deirdre's life, though her and Ken were best of friends and they sought out one another for advice. She became a live-in caretaker at 5 Crimea Street, one of Mike Baldwin's properties, working for Alec Gilroy in the Weatherfield branch of Sunliners travel agents.

In May 1997, Deirdre became manager of Sunliners when Alec Gilroy was forced into early retirement to make way for younger management. Deirdre felt bad for taking his job, but she soon cheered up when she met  Jon Lindsay at a bar where she went with her best friend Liz McDonald . Deirdre fell for Jon when she saw him in his pilots uniform when he came to pick her up for a date. Deirdre allowed herself to fall in love with Jon believing that Jon was the one who would make her truly happy at last.  Deirdre moved into Jon's very expensive house in August. Things went well for them both until  Ken Barlow let it slip to Deirdre that he saw Jon working at a tie shop at the airport and that he wasn't a pilot after all. She went to the airport to confront him, and Jon begged for her forgiveness and he promised her faithfully that he`d never lie to her again. Blinded by love, Deirdre forgave them and they made a fresh start by moving into a luxury house in Didsbury on the edge of the Cheshire countryside.

At first Deirdre was worried as she wondered if they could afford it, but Jon assured her that they could. But unknowingly to Deirdre, Jon was just a con man who stole another mans identity so he could obtain credit cards to keep them in the lifestyle they became accustomed to. The rot began to set in after Christmas when Deirdre not only discovered Jon had a wife and kids, but he was also living with his wife whilst supposingly being away on business trips. She went to Jon's house to confront him, and Jon's wife was there whilst Deirdre was at the doorstep shouting at him. Jon told his wife that Deirdre was a lunatic who was obsessed by him. Deirdre threw Jon out their house, and began to recover the money she lent Jon by drawing out £500 at a time. When her card is refused, Deirdre went to the bank to enquire, and she found herself under arrest for fraud, along with Jon. Things turned even worse for her when she was found guilty of fraud in March and sentenced to 18 months in jail. Jon was let off with a suspended sentence.

Deirdre repeatedly protested her innocence much to the annoyance of the other prisoners and to her cell mate Jackie Dobbs. Ken and Mike Baldwin fought constantly to free Deirdre, and they were sucessful when an ex-wife of Jon's came forward to testify that Jon Lindsay was the con man that Deirdre said he was. Ken had hoped for a reconcilliation with Deirdre, but it wasn`t to be at that time. In September, Mike hired Deirdre to work for him at his factory Underworld. Deirdre was just getting her life back to normal when she got an unexpected visitor at her flat in the form of Jackie Dobbs, her former cell mate. Jackie gave Deirdre a sob story of no place to go, so she reluctantly took Jackie and her son Tyrone in for a few weeks until Jackie moved to bigger and better surroundings - much to Deirdre's relief.

In January 1999, Deirdre's mother Blanche Hunt came to stay. Blanche was her usual interfering self and tried to get Deirdre to get back together with Ken as Blanche hated to see Deirdre all alone. Eventually Blanches matchmaking paid off as they both discovered they still had feelings for each other. The Valentines Disco in February 1999 led to the start of their closeness. Ken and Deirdre were triumphant in patching up a quarrel between their daughter  Tracy Barlow and her husband Robert before things got bad enough to start talking about divorce proceedings. After Tracy and Robert left happily to go back to London, Ken and Deirdre decided to give their relationship another try, and Deirdre moved back into No1 Coronation Street with high hopes for her new beginning with Ken...

In 2001, Deirdre discovered that Ken's daughter Susan didn't have an abortion and she had Mike Baldwin's son. Peter was the only one that knew. Deirdre felt Mike should know and told him, causing problems between she and Ken. By Christmas, she'd developed a crush on her boss, Dev Alahan and after a blazing row at home, she retreated to Dev's. Dev had recently split with barmaid Geena and the two got drunk and had sex. Dev immediately regretted it and pushed Deirdre back home. A year later, Tracy was dating Dev so Deirdre confessed. Ken did forgive her in the end. Ken and Deirdre eventually got engaged and remarried in October of 2005. One of the guests at the wedding was her first husband, Ray Langton who had come home to make amends with Tracy because he was dying of cancer. He in fact expired at the wedding reception

Deirdre was devastated when Mike Baldwin developed Alzheimer's in late 2005. He died in 2006 in Ken's arms on the street in front of the Kabin.

One of the most difficult times of Deirdre's life was when Tracy killed her boyfriend, Charlie Stubbs. Tracy maintained that it was self defence and that Charlie was abusing her though viewers knew Tracy did it deliberately because Charlie was having an affair. Tracy finally admitted it to her mother and insisted her mother lie in court for her. Dierdre didn't do very well. In the end, Tracy went to prison, sentenced to 15 years. Deirdre was devastated.

Deirdre and Ken temporarily split up when Denise Osborne returned with her and Ken's son, Daniel. Ken had wanted to get back in touch with the boy but Deirdre was jealous. They had row after row and Ken finally walked out and went to Denise who really wasn't interested. They did get back together but weren't happy for long. Ken fell for a free spirited actress who lived on a barge, Martha. They had a lot in common and she was far more exciting to him than Deirdre. He didn't tell Martha he was married but in the end, Ken couldn't go through with leaving Deirdre. The problem was, he'd written a confessional letter and though Peter had found it and kept it from Deirdre, Ken gave it to her anyway. Things were not good in Number 1 for some time.

In 2010, Blanche died while on holiday in Portugal. Deirdre was devastated but pleased to see that Tracy was let out of prison to go to the funeral. She was working in the medical centre when Gail was arrested for the murder of her husband, Joe McIntyre though his death was actually accidental. Tracy made a deal to try to get a confession out of Gail in exchange for a transfer to an open prison and she even went to court to testify, lying as always but in the end, Gail was not guilty and Tracy was still in jail. Deirdre was delighted, however, when Tracy's conviction was overturned due to a suspect DNA expert. Tracy was freed at the end of 2010 at Christmas, just after the tram crash.

Tracy wasn't long causing more trouble and Deirdre had more sleepless nights over her daughter's behaviour. Tracy accused Steve's wife, Becky, of pushing her down stairs causing a miscarriage. She'd got pregnant with twins by Steve while he was split up from Becky temporarily. She miscarried but pretended she hadn't, so when she argued with Becky and fell, she took advantage and blamed Becky, causing Steve and Becky to split for good. Deirdre knew she was lying but was sworn to secrecy lest Tracy be sent back to jail. Steve and Tracy started getting close. He proposed to her at Christmas and bought nubmer 13 for her but it wasn't to be. Becky discovered that Tracy had lied about the miscarraige and produced evidence on Steve and Tracy's wedding day. It was the shortest wedding ever!

Deirdre had to carry the load of the whole family when Ken went to Canada to care for his grandson, Adam who was very ill. Peter went bankrupt, Tracy talked her into letting her boyfriend, Rob, move in. Deirdre didn't approve of Rob but eventually grew to like him. But Peter's life was spiralling out of control. He had an affair with Tina McIntyre and when she was discovered dead, Peter was arrested. Deirdre was convinced Peter was innocent but unknown to everyone, Peter was taking the blame because he thought his wife Carla did it. The stress was enormous and Deirdre was nearing a breakdown when Ken finally returned. He helped shoulder the load and offered her a holiday, a camping holiday to Wales! With Tracy planning a wedding and Peter's trial impending, Deirdre's stress levels were off the scale so Ken suggested she visit her friend Bev in the Peak District for a break. She stayed there until her death on her 60th birthday in July 2015, admitting to Bev that Tracy's affair with Liz's fella, Tony, made her too ashamed to return earlier.

Deirdre's final absence was due to actor Anne Kirkbride's illness and battle with cancer. Anne lost her battle and died January 20, 2015. Deirdre's death was written and aired in July, 2015.

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