Brian Packham was the snobbish, intellectual headteacher of Bessie Street School and former partner of Julie Carp, and a Coronation Street resident on-off since 2012. He is currently dating Cathy Matthews.
His romance with Julie began when they crossed paths in October 2010 after Brian had a meeting with colleague John Stape. Although their relationship was dampened by him being still married to his controlling wife Margaret, the pair reconciled and started a proper relationship in 2011 after Brian finally divorced his wife.
Julie and Brian separated in December 2013 when he set out to destroy their chances of adoption as he took up a job in Wales and wasn't interested in kids after spending years teaching and putting up with them. Despite this Brian felt he and Julie still had a chance, and returned in June 2015 in an attempt to win her back. Despite their reconciliation they separated again during the following year, and by November 2016 was working as an Environmental Health Officer for Weatherfield Council.
1963-2011: The Fishwick drama
Brian was formerly head of the English department at Daisyfield High School when he was part of a panel which interviewed who they believed to be Colin Fishwick for a teaching position in April 2010. "Colin" was given the job, although unbeknown to the staff, he was actually John Stape, who had used his friend's identity to apply for the position due to his own ineligibility because of his criminal record. The following day, Brian guided "Colin" on his first day at the school. He later paid a visit to John's house to return John's mobile phone, which he had left in school. While John and his wife Fiz were prepared for a brief visit, they were shocked when Brian decided to stay for a while and have a drink with them. They were able to keep up the pretence of John's false identity long enough for Brian to leave.
A couple of months later, the real Colin, who had been in Canada, returned to the UK where he found out about John's deception and died of a sudden heart attack in the middle of an argument with him. John and stalker colleague Charlotte Hoyle buried his body under the rebuilding work at the Underworld factory. His troubles weren't over though as he received another visit from Brian in October to tell him that Colin's mother had been in touch with the school for a contact address as she hadn't heard from her son recently. John span a yarn about a family feud and that he was living under the name of John Stape after he had been the unwilling witness to a murder. Brian took in the story hook, line and sinker but on leaving the Street helped Julie Carp with a burst bag of shopping and in chatting to her found out they had a mutual love of Neil Diamond. The two arranged a date but John spoiled the event by alerting Brian's wife Margaret who turned up at the restaurant shocking Julie who apologised to her and fled the restaurant. Margaret, who had told Julie that they weren't living apart but Brian's brain was "separated from his unmentionables", dunked Brian's mobile phone in his drink and made it clear that he wasn't welcome at home. Brian dumped himself on John and Fiz and revealed that he was attracted to Julie. Desperate to get rid of him, Fiz rang Margaret and told her that a mentally-unstable Julie had pursued Brian and her husband was desolate that their marriage appeared to be over. The ruse worked and Margaret told Brian he could come back to her.
2011-2013: Romance with Julie Carp
When John was exposed for his crimes and later went on the run, Brian was questioned by police about him. Brian later went round to Fiz's house to question her about John, but didn't appear angry, and admitted she must be a loving wife to stand by John as his own wife wouldn't do it for him. Then Julie came round, and stormed out angrily over the way Brian left her. However Julie admitted later on to Fiz that she still had feelings for Brian. They crossed paths a month later when Brian was temporary filling in at Bessie Street School, and Julie took along her friend Sean Tully's son Dylan Wilson to a book reading. Brian thought that Julie was Dylan's mother, and later went to the Street to hand in his coat. He later found out from Julie that Dylan wasn't really her son - she confirmed this and he later asked her if she would go out on a date, which she delightfully accepted. He had also mentioned he and his wife had separated.
On their first date, Brian took Julie for a meal at Nick's Bistro. Julie ended up getting drunk and accusing Brian of flirting with the waitress. he was embarrassed by her and turned down her offer to go back to her house for a night of passion. Julie took offence and she declared their relationship was over.
A week later, Julie's half-sister Eileen Grimshaw enlisted the help of uncle Dennis Tanner to bring Brian to her house so that she could match-make between Julie and Brian. Julie and Brian hurled insults at each other but then fell into each other's arms. Eileen returned home and Julie declared she and Brian were now in a relationship.
By April 2011, Brian had become the new headteacher of Bessie Street School, who after a meeting with Cheryl Gray informed her that her son Russ was a "gifted pupil." In September of that year he escorted Russ home from school after he kicked a teacher.
In 2012 Julie had discovered she was pregnant, presumably to Brian's child however he was unsure, as he had an operation when married to Margaret which should of made him unable to have kids. He did however discover it was a possibility he had healed, and he was sorry to Julie for doubting her, believing she was having an affair.
But tragedy struck when Julie discovered she wasn't pregnant and it was a growth causing a phantom pregnancy and she had the growth removed, but at the expense that she couldn't have children.
2013-2015: Separation and later reconciliation
In late 2013 Julie wanted them to foster children, however by this point Brian had developed a dislike for his job as Headmaster, being around children and felt he wasn't up for it. He then spotted an advertisement in the paper for a job in Wales working at Llewellyn House museum, and ended up applying and secretly went for an interview without informing Julie. He got the job, but didn't tell Julie for fear of upsetting her. Brian then told foster agent Trudy Michaelson that he didn't want children and wasn't interested, which then led to their application being cancelled. Brian got worried when Julie planned to appeal against the decision, however Todd Grimshaw later informed Julie about Brian's lies, as he'd been told from Marcus Dent who Brian kept approaching for advice. Julie left Brian and moved into Eileen's house. Brian left Weatherfield in December feeling broken. Julie was devastated after he left.
Brian returned in June 2015 looking for Julie at 12 Coronation Street but was approached by Beth Sutherland who revealed that Julie had moved on and was in a relationship with Dev Alahan. A stunned Brian then got back into the cab he came in and left, although returned the next day and revealed to Julie they'd won a competition they entered jointly a while back - the prize being a round the world trip. Julie turned down his offer out of loyalty to Dev (unaware of the fact he had his sights on charity volunteer Talisa Grady who he'd met during his time in India). Brian moved into No.1 with friend and former colleague Ken Barlow and worked on getting Julie back, each time declaring his love to her when they crossed paths. The pair left to go on a holiday they had previously entered for, and when Brian moved back to Wales upon their return to the UK Julie joined him. However their reconciliation didn't last they broke up again in 2016.
2016-: Moving on from Julie
Brian moved back to Weatherfield later that year and was working an Environmental Health Officer for Weatherfield Council. He found himself back amongst local residents in November after someone put in a complaint about Nick's Bistro and he approached the co-proprietor Robert Preston about the matter. Robert believed it was part of a joke played by someone, and managed to buy Brian off with a free meal. Later that evening Brian visited the Rovers, and told Tracy Barlow that he planned to visit Ken due to his recent stroke. He began lodging with Norris Cole, however after the New Year moved out and went to live with Roy Cropper in the cafe flat.
Brian became close to Cathy Matthews, Roy's former partner, and they start dating. In January 2018, he and Cathy decided to move in together but were worried about how Roy would react. Roy reacted well as he wanted Carla Connor to move into Brian's room. Brian, Cathy and Cathy's nephew, Alex Warner, moved into 12 Coronation Street.
Peter Gunn originally appeared for two guest stints as Brian Packham in 2010, first for four episodes in April before appearing for a further five episodes in October. This served as part of a storyline in which John Stape (Graeme Hawley) was committing identity theft and masqueraded as his old colleague Colin Fishwick. During Brian's second stint that year, scenes depicted him having an attraction for Coronation Street resident Julie Carp (Katy Cavanagh), which would be taken further upon his full-time return the following year.
Relationship with Julie Carp
The character was permanently paired up with Julie, with the pair acting as a comedy couple. A humorous plot involved them going UFO spotting, only to be pranked by Tommy Duckworth and Tyrone Dobbs who set up a fake UFO to trick Brian. They were given a more serious plot in 2012 which involved Julie believing she was pregnant with Brian's child, only to be devastated to learn it was in fact a growth inside her, resulting in her ovaries being removed and making her unable to ever conceive.
Cavanagh expressed interest in Julie marrying Brian, however this storyline never came about.
Original departure and brief return
In February 2013 it was reported that Gunn would not be getting his contract renewed and would be departing later in the year. This came about following Stuart Blackburn taking over the helm of producer from that of Phil Collinson, who at the time still had some scenes left to air on the soap. A Coronation Street spokesperson told The Sun: "Peter will leave at the end of his current contract. The decision is purely storyline-driven. Peter is a great actor who has made the character of Brian Packham a joy to watch."
In the lead up to Brian's exit, a storyline involved Julie wanting to adopt a child due to being unable to conceive any herself, however Brian was reluctant because having to put up with children every day when working as a headmaster at Bessie Street School, so opted to apply for a job in Wales behind her back and went as far as to sabotage any chance of their adoption application being successful. The character made his on-screen departure in Episode 8281 on 18th December 2013.
However this wouldn't be the final time Gunn would appear in the show as Brian. Fifteen months following the character's on-screen exit, it was reported in March 2015 that Gunn would be reprising the role as Brian in order to tie with the upcoming departure of Julie Carp, after Katy Cavanagh chose to leave the show. Brian returned on 12th June 2015 and departed three weeks later with Julie in Episode 8675 on 3rd July 2015.
Second full-time return
In early-2016, it was reported that upcoming producer Kate Oates (who was taking over from a departing Blackburn) would be reintroducing some past characters, with one of them reported to be Brian himself. This was confirmed in September that year. It was reported that he would be returning without Julie, and that his return would occur in November. The story details were given that he would be back to support his friends Ken Barlow and Roy Cropper.
Brian's return was broadcast on 18th November 2016. He managed to secure a job on Weatherfield Council as a "Recycling Czar and Litter Enforcement Officer".
First and last lines
"Mr Fishwick? Brian Packham, Head of English." (First line to John Stape)