25. EMILY BISHOP (143 VOTES)
Played by: Eileen Derbyshire
2012 character poll position (women): 25
The show’s longest serving female character who’s been a resident at 3 Coronation Street since 1972. In her early years she was addressed as Miss Nugent.
Destined to be a spinster, she married photographer and lay preacher Ernest Bishop in 1972. Ernest was shot dead in a wages snatch in 1978. Emily then married pet shop owner Arnold Swain in 1980 but he turned out to be a bigamist. She then reverted back to Ernest’s name.
She hasn’t been short of male attention over the years despite her reserved and shy personality. She jilted boss Leonard Swindley in 1964 and has had relationships with Miklos Zadic, Frank Starkey, Bernard Morton and Ramsay Clegg to name a few.
Childless, she has become a mother figure and confidante to many with Deirdre and Tracy Barlow and Curly Watts being prime examples. She has also been the resident babysitter. She has also taken many lodgers over the years. Insufferable pensioner Percy Sugden lodged with her between 1988 and 1997 and then Norris Cole moved in in 2000 and was her lodger until 2014 when he bought the house from her.
Emily has held many jobs over the years: shop assistant, barmaid, café manageress, wages clerk. She is also notable for her charity and voluntary work. She is also a staunch Christian and has strong values. While having a timid personality, she does shock her neighbours sometimes when she stands firm over an issue.
She escaped death twice during the winter of 2002/2003. Financial adviser Richard Hillman was desperate for money and he attempted to kill Emily who had invested with him. Having failed to smother her with a cushion, he went on to clobber her on the head with a crowbar. But to no avail – Emily is still going strong today!
Any Emily fans out there?
Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street - official ITV tribute to a soap icon. Available here.
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