Coronation Street’s 13 biggest plot twists

Sometimes things take an unexpected turn

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Sometimes you can see a Coronation Street plot twist coming a mile off, other times it takes a little bit of working out, and then there’s those times when it’s a total surprise.

Huge plot twists are the staple of Soapland, but what have been the biggest ones Corrie’s ever produced?

From deaths that weren’t really deaths, to shock parental reveals, and identity theft, they’ve covered everything.

Here are the most dramatic plot twists Corrie has ever seen.

Read more: 9 Famous people who’ve been in Coronation Street

1. Gavin Rodwell is actually Andy Carver

Editorial use only Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/REX/Shutterstock (8965186g) Ep 8592 Monday 9 March 2015 - 1st Ep Andy, as played by Oliver Farnworth, a bag of nerves, feeling guilty about the fake mugging. Gavin Rodwell, as played by Mark Holgate, clocks Michael Rodwell, as played by Les Dennis, and Andy dressed for the service. Michael proudly explains that his son is his best man. Gavin's scathing and tells Michael that if he were his son, he'd despise him and never forgive him. 'Coronation Street' TV Series - Mar 2015
Andy wasn’t really Gavin, Gavin was the real Gavin and Michael was just Michael (Credit: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

When Michael Rodwell (Les Dennis) discovered he had a hereditary heart condition, he decided he needed to get in touch with his long-lost son, Gavin, to warn him he could have it too.

He tracked him down via his old job and pushed a note through his letter box. ‘Gavin’ got in touch and they had an uneasy reunion.

It was only when Michael revealed his heart condition that viewers realised ‘Gavin’ was actually Andy Carver (Oliver Farnworth) when he made a call to find the real Gavin – his flatmate who’d run off with Andy’s girlfriend.

When the real Gavin (Mark Holgate) showed up on Gail and Michael’s wedding day in March 2015, Gail ended up being part of a blackmail plot to keep quiet about Andy’s true identity.

The real Gavin had a heart attack and died at the wheel of a car that same day, leaving Andy free to keep pretending to Michael, who he had grown fond of, he was his son.

In June 2015, the truth finally came out. Michael was crushed, but eventually found it in himself to forgive Andy and they formed a close father-son bond.

2. Andy Carver’s not dead

Corrie seem to love putting Andy Carver in the middle of shock plot twists and this might be the best kept secret of them all when, eight months after we thought Pat Phelan (Connor McIntyre) had killed him, the barman was seen alive and well and being held hostage in a basement.

Andy had been onto Phelan for causing Michael Rodwell’s death and for setting up Kevin Webster (Michael Le Vell) and had evidence on a laptop.

On the day of Pat’s wedding to Eileen Grimshaw (Sue Cleaver), Phelan paid Andy a visit and silenced him forever – or so we thought…

Fast forward eight months and Andy was being kept in the cellar of a derelict building. He was begging and pleading to be let out, and eventually did a deal with Phelan in exchange for his freedom, but we all know how that ended up when Phelan killed him for real in January 2017.

3. Daniel Osbourne pushed Ken Barlow down the stairs

Meek and mild Daniel Osbourne (Rob Mallard) was no one’s first choice of perpetrator when Ken Barlow (William Roache) was pushed down the stairs. But it turned out, Daniel done it after Ken had caused then-girlfriend Sinead Tinker (Katie McGlynn) to have an abortion.

The entire Barlow family were suspects when Ken was first discovered and the finger of suspicion was firmly fixed on Adam Barlow (Sam Robertson) who had fallen out with his grandad when Ken had burned cash belonging to a drug dealer after Adam.

But it turned out studious Daniel actually had a dark side, caused by the fact his mum, Denise Osbourne (Denise Black) walked out on him and Ken himself was a neglectful father.

Years of pent up rage and frustration came out when Ken persuaded Sinead she’d be wasting Daniel’s life if she went ahead with her pregnancy, unaware a stable family of his own was all Daniel ever really wanted.

When Daniel found out he pushed his dad down the stairs, and the truth was revealed a few months later.

Ken decided not to press charges against his son and instead lied to the person police he’d fallen down the stairs.

4. Steve McDonald is Oliver Battersby’s dad

When Leanne Battersby (Jane Danson) fell pregnant after a mystery one-night stand no one knew who it could possibly be.

We’d never seen her hook up with anyone, she’d barely even spoken to a man of late.

But when she discovered she was with child – a miracle in itself given she’d been told she couldn’t have kids – she soon found herself arranging to meet the man in question to reveal he was going to be a dad.

No one was more shocked than Steve (Simon Gregson) when he found out it was his baby, except maybe the viewers.

It was decided Nick Tilsley (Ben Price) would play dad to the baby and Steve would get on with his life with wife Michelle Connor (Kym Marsh) who was also expecting a child.

However, when Michelle gave birth to baby Ruairi at 23 weeks and he sadly died, Steve couldn’t bear not to acknowledge Oliver as his son and the whole truth came out.

Michelle left him, Steve and Leanne were engaged for about half a second, and now she’s back with Nick and he’s married to Tracy Barlow (Kate Ford).

5. Shona Ramsey is Clayton Hibbs’ mum

When Shona Ramsay (Julia Golding) arrived on the cobbles in 2016 it was clear she had a secret and it was connected to the late Kylie Platt (Paula Lane).

She started off a wrong’un, stealing David Platt’s (Jack P Shepherd) wallet. But Billy Mayhew (Daniel Brocklebank) saw her as his project, got her a job in the cafe and a place to stay at Eileen’s and turned her life around.

But it became more and more obvious that Shona was hiding something and while speculation was rife she was Kylie’s secret sister, it turned out the truth was far worse…

As she and David grew closer, it was revealed she was the mother of Kylie’s killer, Clayton Hibbs (Callum Harrison). When David found out, he went mad and ended their relationship.

But he soon learned to forgive and move on and the couple were reunited. They had a brief split after David was raped, but they got back together and are still going strong.

6. Johnny Connor is Carla Connor’s dad

Johnny had an affair with Carla’s mum (Credit: ITV)

Johnny Connor (Richard Hawley) had been friends with the parents of Carla Connor (Alison King) and had an affair with her mum, Susan, about nine months before Carla was born.

After Johnny’s wife found out and ran away from Johnny, and was hit and killed by a car in the process. He kept the secret from his own kids, Aidan Connor (Shayne Ward) and Kate Connor (Faye Brookes) so they wouldn’t find out what really caused the death of their mum.

But when Aidan bought into Carla’s factory using Johnny’s money, the family were forced to relocate to Weatherfield to make it work.

And when Carla’s brother Rob Donovan (Marc Baylis), who was in prison for murdering Tina McIntyre (Michelle Keegan) tried to blackmail Johnny with the truth, Johnny decided to tell Carla himself.

Of course, everyone was hurt and horrified, but they eventually got past it and Carla got to know her new family.

7. Pat Phelan’s not dead

We just knew it wouldn’t be over (Credit: ITV)

When Eileen finally found out about all her husband’s horrifying acts of manipulation and murder, she was understandably distraught.

The couple went away to a cottage after Phelan realised The bodies of Vinny Ashford (Ian Kelsey) and Andy Carver were about to be dug up, and when Tim Metcalfe (Joe Duttine) called Eileen to warn her who her husband really was, Phelan knew his time was up.

He and Eileen rowed and she ended up pushing him into the Irish sea, never to be seen again…

Until a week later when we saw him hiding out at a remote B&B. Not dead at all then.

8. Anna Windass returns to kill Pat Phelan

Anna finished it (Credit: ITV)

Upon learning the truth that Phelan was not dead, Gary Windass (Mikey North) tracked him down with the express purpose of making him face justice.

But Phelan being Phelan, he managed to escape Gary’s clutches and went on to terrorise the cobbles for another few episodes.

He shot his pregnant daughter Nicola Rubenstein (Nicola Thorp), and then shot Michelle Connor while trying to get medical help for Nicola.

Just as it looked like there was no way Phelan was going to be caught, Anna Windass (Debbie Rush) made a shock return and stabbed him, killing him for real this time.

9. Tina McIntyre’s not dead

Editorial use only Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/REX/Shutterstock (3785776bd) Coronation Street barmaid Tina McIntyre, as played by Michelle Keegan, lies motionless on the cobbles after plunging from the balcony of the builder's yard flat following a dramatic showdown. 'Coronation Street' TV Programme - May 2014 Coronation Street Tuesday 27 June
Tina looked dead, but she wasn’t (Credit: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

In another case of thought-they-were-dead-but-actually-they-weren’t, Tina McIntyre (Michelle Keegan) didn’t die after Rob Donovan’s first attempt to kill her.

Rob had argued with Tina on the balcony of the builder’s yard and when she refused to do what he said – keep quiet about the stolen goods he and Tracy were selling – he pushed her out of the way and she went flying over the edge.

She landed on the ground with a thud and looked very dead.

But then it was revealed she survived as she got up and started threatening Rob that she’d tell the police he pushed her on purpose.

Seeing as he was looking at an attempted murder charge, Rob decided to finish the job properly and bashed her with a metal pipe.

It turned out she still wasn’t dead though and was rushed to hospital, where she did die from her injuries. Rob is now in prison for her murder.

10. Anne Foster killed her son Frank

Editorial use only Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/REX/Shutterstock (1644746ja) Anne Foster [Gwen Taylor] 'Coronation Street' TV Programme - 2011
Anne wasn’t even on the list of suspects, but she did it (Credit: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)
Frank Foster (Andrew Lancel) was an all-round bad egg and his mother, Anne (Gwen Taylor) wasn’t much better.

He persuaded Carla Connor to accept his marriage proposal and then set about trapping her by taking the blame for her drink-driving accident.

She eventually called time on their relationship and he responded by raping her. Although the case went to court, thanks to Anne and Frank’s manipulation and meddling, Frank walked free.

The nasty businessman was then found murdered and Carla was the prime suspect.

It turned out she hadn’t done it, in fact, Anne had hit her son over the head when she heard him admit he raped Carla and then taunted her about it. Ashamed and holding him responsible for his father’s death, Anne lashed out and killed him.

11. Billy Mayhew killed Susan Barlow

No one knew Billy was harbouring a big secret when he first arrived on the cobbles. But it was discovered in 2017 that he’d been responsible for the death of Peter Barlow’s (Chris Gascoyne) twin sister Susan’s death.

It turned out Billy had been part of an armed robbery in his youth and was in the getaway car as it crashed into Susan’s vehicle. Billy told the driver to keep going instead of coming to Susan’s aid and she died.

Billy discovered the truth after boyfriend Todd Grimshaw (Bruno Langley) hired a private investigator to find out what happened to those in the crash.

The vicar confessed to Peter, who drove him to the edge of a cliff and threatened to throw him over. Peter let him go free, but Billy slipped anyway and ended up in a hospital.

As he battled to recover from his injuries, a bitter Adam Barlow – Susan’s son – decided to take his own revenge and got Billy hooked on drugs.

Billy is now clean and Adam seems to have let the past stay in the past.

12. Hannah is not Jim and Liz McDonald’s late daughter

Jim McDonald and daughter Hannah ITV
Sick and wrong (Credit: ITV)

When it was announced in 2018 that Jim McDonald (Charlie Lawson) was returning to Weatherfield accompanied by the daughter he and Liz (Beverley Callard) believed died at one day old, fans were sickened by the shock twist.

But as ‘Katie’, or Hannah as she claimed to have been renamed, arrived and spun a story that there’d been a mix up at the hospital and she’d been taken to Australia where she’d had a good life, it seemed like the soap really were going to re-write history.

Fortunately for Corrie fans who remember the heartbreaking scenes where Liz and Jim lost their daughter, that wasn’t the truth, Hannah wasn’t Katie, she was a deranged woman who’d been writing to Jim in prison and had convinced him they could team up to get revenge.

Liz found out the truth when she caught Hannah and Jim kissing and devastated she told them both she never wanted to see them again.

Read more: Coronation Street’s 7 darkest plots

13. Deirdre Rachid goes to prison

Editorial use only. Exclusive - Premium Rates Apply. Call your Account Manager for pricing. Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/REX/Shutterstock (669631kk) Coronation Street TV - Deirdre Rachid [Anne Kirkbride] behind the bars of her prison cell ITV ARCHIVE
Free the Weatherfield One! (Credit: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)
It’s the storyline that gripped the nation as the then Deirdre Rachid (Anne Kirkbride) was in court for fraud that she didn’t commit.

We all knew she hadn’t done it, it had been boyfriend Jon Lindsay who had everyone convinced he was an airline pilot with plenty of cash.

No one actually expected her to go down for it though, we knew she was innocent. But in a shock twist, Deirdre was found guilty and sent to jail.

A campaign began to ‘Free the Weatherfield One’ in 1998 and it was even discussed in parliament.

Deirdre was eventually released when another of Lindsay’s victims came forward and backed up her story.

What do you think is the biggest plot twist in Corrie history? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!

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