When Les Battersby appeared in the local papers in September 2002 as a result of his daughter Toyah’s art exhibit “Les's Chair” winning an art competition prize, it alerted the council to the fact that Kirk Sutherland was a sub-letting tenant at 5 Coronation Street and as a result, they threatened eviction.
When councillor Curly Watts made a comment that the only way in which the council would agree to Kirk remaining in the house would be if they were a gay couple, Les seized on the idea and wrote to the council to say that this was indeed the case. The deception backfired though when they wrote back and insisted on sending round an inspector. Les’s next bright idea was to put on a show of being a gay couple for the visiting snooper. They were in the midst of tidying the house up and removing all signs of what they felt to be a hetrosexual lifestyle (and indeed, having a domestic tiff over a spilt cup of tea) when inspector Belinda Sawyer rang the doorbell. Serving tea in china cups with biscuits and patting a loving hand on Kirk’s knee, Les put on the best show he could. He also told her that his “coming out” was what had finished his marriage to Janice when the lady herself came through the door. When Janice heard that her rampantly homophobic husband was supposedly gay she burst into hysterical laughter and totally spoilt the illusion, even when Les and Kirk indulged in a bit of desperate hugging. Belinda told Les that she didn’t believe his story and would be reporting her findings back to the council.
Les’s next idea was to persuade Janice to fool the council into thinking that she had moved back in with him. Not at all happy with this notion, she at first refused but, on the day of Belinda’s next visit, she appeared in the house at the last minute and put on a convincing show of togetherness (helped by the fact that all signs of Kirk’s habitation had been well-hidden) and the council dropped their eviction plans.