Eileen was 38 when Vikram Desai picked her up in his cab and she so impressed him with her knowledge of the area that he gave her a job at the Victoria Street taxi firm. The following year, Eileen moved into No.11 with her teenage sons Jason and Todd, who she was raising alone without any support from their fathers. Except for a brief period working at Underworld from 2011 to 2012, Eileen has been a constant at Street Cars, always on hand to talk sense into the various owners, primarily Steve McDonald, from whom she bought No.11 in 2010.
Eileen was tough as nails and would do anything for her boys. In particular, she disapproved of their romantic entanglements with Sarah Platt and had an ongoing feud with her mother Gail ever since she came gunning for Todd when he came out of the closet and cheated on Sarah with Karl Foster. In 2009, she welcomed her half-sister Julie Carp into the family after it was discovered that Eileen's father Colin had slept with Julie's mother Paula Carp when she was fourteen. The revelation led Eileen to become estranged from Colin until his death later that year.
Having never been married, Eileen had many lodgers over the years, including Sean Tully, Marcus Dent and Shona Ramsey. After failed relationships with Dennis Stringer, Paul Kershaw and Michael Rodwell, among others, Eileen made it to the altar with builder Pat Phelan in 2017. They'd been married for just a year when Eileen found out that Pat had been involved in the deaths of four people. Pat himself was killed by Anna Windass, allowing Eileen to move on with her life.
1961-1982: Upbringing and death of her mother
Born on 7th October 1961, Eileen had a pleasant upbringing having been raised by her father Colin and mother until the age of either fourteen or fifteen when her parents began fighting (unbeknownst to her this was due to the fact that her mother had discovered Colin's affair with her daughter's best friend Paula Carp, who had later discovered that she was pregnant).
Eileen, still unaware of the cause of the conflict, blamed her mother for her parents' later divorce and their relationship remained strained until her mother's death in 1992.
1983-1985: Birth of her two sons
On 27th June 1983, Eileen gave birth to her first son - conceived out of wedlock with a man named Tony Stewart. She later went on to have another son two years later on 13th January 1985 with a man named Duncan. Eileen raised both of her sons by herself as a single mother.
2000- : Arrival in Weatherfield
Eileen first arrived in Weatherfield in mid-2000 when she was picked up by Vikram Desai to attend a job interview at the chip shop. During the taxi journey, Eileen impressed Vikram with her excellent local knowledge (having worked for another taxi company for years) and he offered her a job on the switchboard at the newly-opened Street Cars. Eileen accepted the job and later went on to impress Vikram's business partner Steve McDonald.
Later, Eileen moved into 11 Coronation Street as a tenant of Steve, with her two sons.
Eileen has had many failed relationships. Her promising relationship with Dennis Stringer failed when he left her for Janice Battersby. Following Jason and Candice Stowe placing her ad in a Lonely Hearts newspaper column, she dated cleaner Harry Flagg for a while, but they eventually decided to remain friends. She dated Ernest Bishop's killer, Ed Jackson, despite the disapproval of most of the Street. It was during this relationship with Ed, a Christian, that Eileen came to the conclusion that she was agnostic. In 2007, she met Pat Stanaway who she assumed was married and had an "affair". Pat in fact turned out to be single, but was dating six other women at the time. She dated kebab shop owner Jerry Morton, but dumped him in 2008 after he proved to take more of an interest in his children than in her.
Eileen's sworn enemy was Gail Platt and their infamous feud peaked in several brawls in the Street. The pair constantly sparred whenever they crossed paths in Weatherfield. The feud began when her son Todd moved in with Gail's daughter Sarah, Eileen believed that she was holding her son back. Todd's revelation that he was gay caused a cat fight in the Street. The two women were at loggerheads again when they both became attracted to reflexologist Phil Nail when he started working at the Rosamund Street Medical Centre, Gail was the one who eventually won his affections. Their rivalry resulted in Eileen being the prime suspect when Gail was stalked by someone claiming to be serial killer Richard Hillman in 2006. Eileen was eventually revealed to be an innocent party, with Gail's son David being revealed as the hoaxer. Gail and Eileen became related after Sarah and Jason married in October 2007.
On Christmas Day 2006, Eileen got a surprise when a woman called Emma dropped a baby off at their doorstep, claiming that Jason was her baby's father. Eileen took responsibility to look after the baby, whom they called Holly because she arrived during the Christmas period.
Jason initially didn't approve of the child and tried to convince Eileen that the baby wasn't his, but Eileen disagreed and Jason eventually called Social Services in desperation. He later admitted to calling them, but admitted he had grown fond of baby Holly.
However, Eileen was due for yet another shock on 9th April 2007 when Holly's mother returned, claiming that Jason's deceased employer, Charlie Stubbs, was in fact the father, after she found his photograph on the front page of a newspaper. She claimed that when she met Charlie, he told her that his name was Jason Grimshaw. Holly's mother, Emma, asked Eileen for the baby back but Eileen refused and threw her out of the house, threatening to call the police. Social Services became involved in the situation, and a desperate Eileen decided the best thing to do was to "run away" with the baby. Eileen's arch-nemesis Gail Platt discovered her plan and talked to her, finally getting her to realise that the best place for Holly was with her real mother. A tearful Eileen handed Holly over on 25th April 2007.
On 12th December 2008, her father Colin Grimshaw arrived and met Peter Barlow in the bookies. As he placed a bet, Eileen phoned him, and told her a lie that he was still on the bus to Weatherfield. He was known for his gambling and drinking, and this led to a row between the pair when they met.
Colin settled into the Street, and Eileen tried to accept his new love with Rita Sullivan. At the same time, she coincidentally reunited with old friend Paula Carp through Paula's daughter Julie. Eileen hadn't seen Paula since her friend became pregnant at the age of fourteen and left the area. Paula had told her that the father was a teacher, but to Eileen's horror, at Colin's seventieth birthday party; Paula admitted that Colin was Julie's father, and that they'd had a brief relationship. Initially, Eileen blamed Paula for seducing her father, but soon raged at him for taking advantage of a child and for turning her against her mother. Eileen shut Colin out of her life, but after he suffered a stroke, Eileen reluctantly allowed him to stay in her home. The police stopped by after Paula reported him, and he died of a second stroke. In spite of Eileen's revulsion and anger towards her father, she gave the eulogy at his funeral.
Eileen began dating children's entertainer Jesse Chadwick. In spite of Eileen not getting along with his family, her relationship with Jesse progressed enough to where she let him move into her home, and she put up with his annoying parrot. However, Eileen was not happy when Jesse began using her newfound sister Julie as his sidekick. He agreed to sack Julie, but continued working with her in secret. Eileen got Eddie Windass to spy on their activities and soon forced Jesse to sack Julie for real. Eileen and Jesse dated for a few more months, but when he baulked at Jason and his fiancée Tina McIntyre moving back into the spare room where he kept his party supplies, Eileen responded by moving them outside. Eileen was then delighted to learn that when Jesse bet on the horses to take his mind off their conflict, he won thousands of pounds. She was even more delighted when she found travel brochures for Egypt; only to learn that he was planning to take his parents on the trip. Eileen dumped him.
- In 2011 Eileen discovered she was a distant relative of Elsie Tanner (who also resided at 11 Coronation Street seventeen years prior to Eileen moving in) and thus a relation to Dennis Tanner who returned to Coronation Street after a 43-year absence.
- Eileen briefly worked at the Rovers in 2015, but the management let her go as she lacked experience and annoyed the customers.
First and last lines
"I'm not most people" (First line)