Blanche was a corset maker and ran a corsetry business from her Victoria Street home. Her husband Donald Hunt was knocked down and killed by a car in 1963, leaving Blanche to raise Deirdre. Blanche later worked at the Rovers Return Inn and ran the Corner Shop before leaving Weatherfield in 1976 to run a country club in Kenilworth for old flame Dave Smith, although she occasionally visited Deirdre, who remained in Coronation Street.
In 1999, Blanche returned to the Street permanently and, after match-making Deirdre and ex-husband Ken Barlow, moved in with them at No.1. Now retired, Blanche kept herself busy by attending reading groups and going to funerals of people she didn't know. She considered herself still available and in 2002 had a relationship with undertaker Archie Shuttleworth.
While most of her peers mellowed with age, Blanche became more brash and outspoken, being brutally honest with people if she found fault with them and delivering often hurtful or insensitive comments. Her most damning words were usually directed at her family, with Ken, Deirdre and Tracy getting a particularly hard time. Blanche believed in being truthful, even if people didn't want to hear it, as only then would her words have value. She did occasionally show her caring side where her family was concerned; in 2004 she bought No.7 so that Tracy and her daughter Amy would have a home, and she sometimes admitted to Deirdre that deep down she was proud of her.
Blanche was married to bank manager Donald Hunt, who was knocked down and killed by a car in 1963. They had a daughter together called Deirdre. Blanche ran a corsetry business from her Victoria Street home, and later started working in the Rovers Return Inn for landlady Annie Walker. She later gave up her corsetry business to help Gordon Clegg run the Corner Shop. In 1976, she encountered Dave Smith, a wartime romance. They began a relationship and later left the Street together.
Her relationship with Dave ended and she returned for a visit in 1977 when her granddaughter Tracy Langton was born. There she met a man called Steve Bassett and they got engaged, but later call it off and split up. She returned a year later when Deirdre had marriage troubles with husband Ray Langton and Blanche came to help. Ray had later left the Street. Blanche returned again in 1981 for Deirdre's second wedding to local Street resident Ken Barlow. In 1993, whilst she was living in Warwickshire, Blanche suffered a stroke and Deirdre left to go and take care of her. Deirdre later returned when Blanche was better. Blanche reappeared in 1996 for Tracy's wedding to Robert Preston, and for Deirdre and Jon Lindsay's engagement party in 1997. Blanche returned to Weatherfield permanently in 1999 and moved in with Ken and Deirdre, after she had recently got them back together, for they had been split up and divorced for a few years. She worked at The Kabin before resigning because she found Rita Sullivan too moody, from then on she was retired, and filled her time with the One o'clock Club, attending wakes and court hearings.
In 2002, she fell in love with funeral director Archie Shuttleworth and although they later broke up, they still remained good friends. She then started dating Wally Bannister, who was apparently a rich retiree. He then started to have an affair with Blanche's granddaughter, Tracy, who then later discovered that the mansion he was "living" at wasn't his, he was only housekeeping for someone.
When Tracy became pregnant, Blanche bought her a house in Coronation Street to live in. When Tracy later left to visit step-brother Peter Barlow, Blanche sold the house to pay for a hip-operation in Poland, as she had been on an NHS waiting list too long. Tracy later gave birth to a baby girl, and after making out that it was Roy Cropper's, it was revealed to be Steve McDonald's child. She later named the baby Amy. Tracy was arrested in 2007 for murdering boyfriend Charlie Stubbs. She was later sent down for fifteen years.
Blanche started insulting her neighbours, family and close friends in June 2007. She was later upset when she heard her friends commenting on her negative traits, with Norris Cole even saying no one will miss her if she dies. She decided to become a bit nicer to everyone, but still insulted people at certain opportunities. In December 2008, Blanche showed her vulnerable side, becoming visibly upset when Peter turned up drunk to her great-grandson Simon's nativity play.
In 2009, Deirdre discovered that Ken had an affair with actress Martha Fraser. But when she forgave him and wanted to move on, Blanche was disgusted. Sick of her mother, Deirdre told her to leave. Blanche then moved in with Peter and Simon. But she later made up with Deirdre and moved back into 1 Coronation Street.
During Peter's alcoholics anonymous meeting in July 2009, Blanche got fed up with people talking about their drink problems, and started telling them that she was fed up with their whining. She then started to tell everyone about Ken's affair with Martha Fraser and Tracy being banged up in prison. But even when a woman at the meeting commented on Blanche's behaviour, Deirdre stood by Blanche and told the woman to shut up. Blanche and Deirdre left the meeting, with Blanche feeling happy with herself.
When Simon's other long lost other granddad George Wilson arrived to see him, Blanche fell in love with George due to him being rich. Even though he was married, Blanche still let him know how she felt. When George and his wife Eve came to visit, Blanche got drunk and started revealing about Ken's affairs, Deirdre being in prison, Peter being an alcoholic and Peter's girlfriend Leanne Battersby being a former prostitute, which left George and Eve stunned.
Blanche took an extended break in Portugal in late 2009 to see her friend May Penn. On 3rd May 2010, Blanche was due to return home but died that very morning. Her friend May visited Ken and Deirdre and told them that Blanche wanted to remain in Portugal longer as she had become engaged to a man called Arnold. She also saw Blanche as a very nice sweet woman, which stunned the Barlows as that ran counter to the Blanche they knew. Deirdre was very distraught by the death of her mother, and decided to fly over to Portugal with Ken to piece together Blanche's last days alive. They later returned with the knowledge that her life had ended happily.
- The role was originally given to Patricia Cutts who appeared in two episodes in August 1974. Suffering from depression, she committed suicide on 6th September 1974. The role was then re-cast and given to Maggie Jones, who was originally considered for the role by producer Susi Hush but rejected solely because it was considered that she was well known to the public for her recent starring role as Peggy Barraclough in the Granada series Sam. Maggie had previously appeared in the show in July 1961 as a Policewoman and in December 1967, on the opposite side of the law, as the shoplifter Maggie Monks.
- Blanche was absent from May to November 2003 as Maggie Jones had fallen ill.
- Maggie Jones played the role from 1974 to 2009. The character was written out and killed off in 2010 after the actress passed away on 2nd December 2009. Her final scenes aired on 11th December 2009.
First and last lines
"It's always the same. Ladies' night down t'masonic. It isn't as though they don't know in advance, eh Gary?" (First line)