Thursday, 14 June 2012

Character Study: Gordon Clegg (Slight spoiler at the end)

(This post was originally posted by me on the Coronation Street Blog in March 2012.)

Les, Maggie and son Gordon Clegg came to Coronation Street in April, 1968 and moved into the Corner Shop, which was still owned by Irma Barlow at the time. Les was a violent alcoholic and after being hospitalised when teenage son Gordon knocked him flat, he never returned and the marriage was over.

It wasn't long before Gordon, a nice looking 17 year old, fell for young Lucille Hewitt, who was Annie Walker's ward. Lucille only had eyes for Ray Langton who had a girlfriend already. Lucille did get to date Ray but reckoned he was not the gentleman that Gordon was and went to him instead. Ray and Gordon were at odds more than once over the lovely Lucille who dropped Gordon for a soldier but Gordon won out in the end and proposed to her.

Neither Annie nor Maggie approved of the relationship but the young couple were determined to be together and attempted to elope to Gretna Green. While waiting for a delayed train en route, they both had second thoughts and returned to Weatherfield but continued on as a couple, planning a proper wedding.

It was not meant to be, however, when Gordon got cold feet a week before the wedding, and ran off to London to be an accountant. After he moved out, Maggie's sister Betty moved in!

Gordon made a success in his chosen career and in little more than a year was able to lend his mother enough money to buy the partnership from Irma. He didn't return to Weatherfield until summer, 1974 when his mother married and emigrated to Zaire. He lived with his Auntie Betty until he could sort out the shop and rented it out to a Welsh family, the Hopkins. Lucille was not happy to see him back and left for Ireland where her step-mother, Concepta still lived but Gordon didn't seem to be bothered and had time to get out and date a few willing women.

His world was soon turned upside down when interfering Granny Hopkins discovered Gordon's birth certificate in the flat. It showed that his biological mother was his Aunt, Betty. Gordon knew nothing about this but Maggie told him rather than him hearing it from anyone else. Gordon was pleased that the man he hated was not his father.

After Maggie left, and an argument with Betty over the shop, Mrs. Hopkins let the cat out of the bag, writing Gordon a letter containing the information, thinking blackmailing him would give her family a chance to buy the shop cheaply. No such luck. Gordon chucked them out instead and installed Blanche Hunt in as manager for a while before selling up to Renee Bradshaw.

Betty admitted the truth and told Gordon that his father was a married sailor, Ted Farrell, that she'd met just after the war (Gordon was born in 1950). Maggie and Les agreed to adopt and raise the baby for her.

Gordon and Betty became close but Gordon wasn't planning on making Weatherfield his home. He left again and moved to London. He returned in 1982 to introduce his intended, Caroline to his mother. Caroline was a snob and thoroughly disapproved of Betty, a mere barmaid. Gordon married her anyway and lives in London with her and his son, Peter.

Betty visits regularly and Gordon has made occasional visits home. He was at her wedding to Billy Williams (though played by a different actor) and he came to see Betty on the occasion of her 84th birthday in 2004. He will return in April 2012 for his mother's funeral.

The following paragraph does contain a SPOILER but most fans already know that Betty Driver has passed away in real life.

Gordon has mostly been played by Bill Kenwright though that one time was substituted by Geoffrey Leesley. Bill became very close to Betty Driver who played his real mother and sent her cards every year for Mother's Day.

Thanks to,, and several of Darren Little's Corrie anniversary books for the bio information.

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