23. MAVIS WILTON (146 VOTES)
Duration: 1971, 1972, 1973-1997
Played by: Thelma Barlow
2012 character poll position (women): 21
After a brief stint working as a vet’s receptionist and shop assistant, she was hired by Rita Littlewood to be her assistant at the newly opened newsagents ‘The Kabin’ in 1973. Over the next 24 years they would form a wonderful double act and friendship that lasts off-screen to this day.
As well as being workmates, Mavis and Rita were also best mates and confided in each other when they had personal problems. Despite being chalk and cheese, they shared a strong bond.
Budgie lover Mavis had her fair share of male attention as well. She was barely behind the Kabin counter that she was wooed by builder Jerry Booth. They had an on/off relationship and they both shared the same personality. Sadly Jerry’s premature death in 1975 prevented the relationship from developing. No sooner that Jerry was in his grave that Mavis was being wooed by salesman Derek Wilton.
For the next 11 years Derek would pop in and out of Mavis’ life and lead her a merry dance, much to Rita’s chagrin. But in 1983 he had to battle for Mavis when potter Victor Pendlebury came on the scene. In a love triangle to rival Ken/Deirdre/Mike, Mavis was forced to choose between Derek and Victor. She chose Derek and they planned to marry but they both jilted each other in 1984. A Wilton jiltin’ indeed!
But Mavis eventually did marry Derek in 1988 and they lived a happy life despite being the butt of neighbours’ jokes – mainly Des Barnes’. The marriage lasted until Derek’s death in 1997. A heartbroken Mavis decided to leave the street and moved to Cartmel in the Lake District to run a B&B.
Were you a fan of Mavis? Should she return to visit Rita and Emily?
Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street - official ITV tribute to a soap icon. Available here.
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