Chris Gascoyne is reprising his role of Peter Barlow in Coronation Street, it has been announced, as part of a plan by new boss Kate Oates to reinvigorate the soap’s first family.
The character of Peter has appeared in the Granada-produced serial on and off since birth 1965, with Gascoyne taking over the role that had been played by six previous actors in 2000.
Storylines have seen Peter married five times, but his third marriage to Shelley Unwin (Sally Lindsay) was bogus as he was still married to second wife Lucy (Katy Carmichael) at the time. Peter later married Leanne Battersby (Jane Danson) but cheated on her with fourth legal wife-to-be Carla Connor (Alison King). In further ‘love rat’ antics, Peter had an affair with Tina McIntyre (Michelle Keegan) whilst married to Carla.
Other plots have focused on Peter’s troubled relationship with son Simon – who was placed in his custody after the death of his mum Lucy in 2008 – and his battles with alcoholism.
Peter was last seen in a regular capacity in November 2014 when he decided to depart the cobbles after being cleared of Tina’s murder. However, Gascoyne made a one-off return to the saga last year with Peter returning to Weatherfield following the funeral of his stepmother Deirdre (Anne Kirkbride).
Peter with son Simon in 2008
Ken’s son Daniel Osborne and grandson Adam will also be making a reappearance on the cobbles with casting for both characters as yet unconfirmed.
“One of the things I am most excited about and something I consider a real privilege is that I am lucky enough to work on the longest-running soap. One of the longest-running families on that soap is the Barlows and why would you not want to strengthen that family?
“I love the idea of Ken as the head of the family which has Tracy, Simon and Amy here currently. I am excited to bring Peter back to the show. I am delighted to meet Daniel Osborne, who is Ken’s child with Denise and I am excited to bring back Adam, who is Mike Baldwin’s son and Ken’s grandson.
“I think that strong family dynasty, the first family on the soap here, big, strong and sending ripples through the street, is really exciting and I am really looking forward to seeing that.” – Coronation Street boss Kate Oates
The Barlow family have – in various guises, all including Ken (actor William Roache) – been a part of the serial since its inception in 1960.
Speaking to numerous press outlets, producer Oates (pictured below), also addressed the show’s move to six episodes per week, noting: “I’ve come from Emmerdale which has been doing six episodes a week for a very long time so I’m unfazed about it because I’ve done it. It’s making sure the show’s in a great place when we go six a week. I’m excited about the storylines we’ve got and I’m excited about the characters.
“I have read reports about the cast being unhappy but it’s not the case, people are excited to work , excited about the investment in the show. They know how passionate I am about storylines and how much I want to work with them and be collaborative.”