Day 34 of our 50 day countdown of Coronation Street - written by blogger Sunny Jim.
It had been planned for Ken and Deirdre to reunite but when Anne Kirkbride fell ill and had to be written out of the show for six months, storlines had to be rejigged and Ken was paired up with Denise Osbourne instead and got her pregnant. On her return from nursing her sick mother, Deirdre was furious and reminded Ken of the times she’d begged him to let them start a family when they were together. Deirdre flew off on holiday to Morocco where she had a holiday romance with a 21 year old waiter. On her return she borrowed money from Emily and amazed the Street by paying for him to come to the UK. Samir Rachid arrived frightened by the western world but hopelessly in love with Deirdre.
He took a job in a local restaurant and moved into no. 1 with Deirdre, despite the misgivings of her daughter Tracy. When immigration officers started to show an interest, Deirdre proposed to him to keep him in the country and they were married at the register office. Immigration officials refused to believe it was a genuine marriage and they were both faced a fierce interrogation by the authorities. Samir felt like a prisoner and Deirdre felt isolated when her friends refused to believe he loved her. She sold no. 1 to Mike Baldwin and the pair of them used the proceeds to fly back to Morocco to start a new life.
Another unlikely romance blossomed in 1994. Curly Watts had always been interested in barmaid Raquel Wolstenhulme but she’d rejected his advances in the past and he’d come to think of her as unobtainable. He was sacked from Bettabuy after his area manager, Elaine Fenwick, submitted a sexual harassment complaint against him after he kept declaring his love for her. He worked for a week at the bookies but it was a disaster and so he took a job as manager of discount shop, SoopaScoopa. In an attempt to impress his new bosses he pretended to be engaged and managed to talk Raquel into pretending to be his fiancée.
Raquel had been having a hard time of thing, continually being messed around by Des Barnes. She’d moved into no. 6 with him but he was still attracted to the evil Tanya Pooley who was having an affair with Des’s boss, Alex Christie. Things came to a violent conclusion when Des confronted Alex & Tanya in bed. Raquel arrived on the scene in time to hear Des ordering Alex out of ‘my girl’s bed’ and left in floods of tears, searching out Bet Gilroy for comfort.
After such a torrid time, it is no surprise that when Curly decided that he really did love Raquel and proposed to her, she accepted even though she didn’t love him in return. Much to her delight, for Christmas that year Curly named a star after her. She broke off the engagement the following year after Des Barnes begged her to marry him at their engagement party but she eventually realised that she didn’t love him. So, on December 18th 1995, in the programme’s first ever hour-long special to celebrate the programme’s 35th anniversary, Raquel and Curly were married in secret in a register office with strangers as witnesses.
Also in 1994: Ivy Tilsley moves to religious retreat; Reg Holdsworth marries Maureen Naylor; Fred Elliott makes his first appearance, I say, Fred Elliott makes his first appearance; Sophie Webster born; Tony Warren gets an MBE; Reg buys the corner shop; Bet Gilroy teams up with Charlie Whelan but he runs off to Hamburg with the evil Tanya Pooley; Fred Elliott tries to bribe an official in a black pudding contest; Steve McDonald and Fiona Middleton move in together.