|Spouse(s)||Fred Gee (1981)|
|First appearance||23rd March 1981|
|Last appearance||24th May 1999|
|Number of appearances||72|
|Played by||Meg Johnson|
Eunice Gee (née Clarke, previously Nuttall) was the second wife of Rovers potman Fred Gee. They married in 1981 with the intention of getting their own pub, but as Eunice had been in trouble with the brewery for stealing the Gees were turned down. They separated soon after this.
Eunice Clarke was born in 1937. Her early life included one marriage to a Mr. Nuttall, a daughter called Debbie, and work as a barmaid at the Foundryman's Arms which came to an end when Eunice was sacked after being accused of taking £30 from the till.
By 1981, Eunice was happily divorced and working at a dry cleaner. While she didn't want to be tied down, Eunice was open to a bit of fun and in March went to a singles evening where she met Fred Gee, potman at the Rovers Return. Fred wasn't an obvious catch - he was large, balding and pot-bellied, and his personality was no better - but Eunice seemed to like him, much to the surprise of his colleagues. Fred also lived at the Rovers but landlady Annie Walker was quick to curtail any opportunities for the pair to use the place to get intimate (although she did recognise that Eunice was good for Fred).
At this time, Fred was making enquiries at brewery Newton & Ridley about the possibility of being appointed landlord of one of their pubs, feeling he had worked under Annie long enough. Only a few weeks after they started dating, Fred proposed to a stunned Eunice, explaining that if they were married the brewery would be much more likely to approve his application. Eunice, who fancied herself a pub landlady, accepted his proposal, assuring Fred that she had faith in him. Unfortunately, their plans were moving too quickly for Annie, who used a contact at the brewery to have their application delayed until she had found a new potman, with Eunice persuading Annie to let her move into the Rovers in the meantime. They married on 13th May and took their honeymoon in Rhyl.
Eunice hadn't wanted to start married life as a lodger at the Rovers but she soon took charge and made herself at home. This upset Annie, who started to feel like a guest in her own home. A week after their return, the Gees were interviewed by the brewery for the positions of landlords but were mysteriously turned down; Eunice thought Annie had put in a bad reference to spite her, but in fact it was the report of Eunice's theft from the till from her barmaid days that had killed their chances. Eunice confessed to Fred but he believed her when she said she was innocent. However, this was immaterial as the Gees soon had bigger problems; Annie had found a new potman Frank Pritchard and demanded that the couple vacate the Rovers. Fred put his name down for the position of relief manager at Grassingtons Brewery and refused to leave the Rovers, feeling that Annie was effectively sacking him even though he'd done nothing wrong. Eunice also fought for his job and managed to get Annie to agree to Fred staying on but living elsewhere, with an increased pay - an amazing feat as Annie was not known for giving things away. The couple moved in with Eunice's father Sid Clarke and worked on repairing their already strained marriage.
In September, Fred asked Alf Roberts to let him and Eunice the Corner Shop flat in Coronation Street but Alf put them down for the positions of caretakers at the Community Centre instead, feeling that the alternative of having the Gees live above his shop would be unbearable. They were taken on and moved into the Community Centre flat.
The small size of the flat didn't keep Eunice satisfied for long. When her work-shy daughter Debbie showed up after her dad threw her out the house, Eunice took her in, bringing her boyfriend Jeff Walters with her. Despite the space problems in the tiny flat, and the fact that Fred and Debbie didn't get on, Eunice stopped Debbie from moving out to live with Jeff - they would be living in sin - and insisted they stay. Further problems were caused by the Gees attitude to work at the Centre; Fred was aggressive and wasn't the ideal candidate for caretaker. It transpired that Alf had used his contacts to secure the job for the Gees. Councillor Ben Critchley, Chairman of the Social Services committee, ordered an investigation and sacked the couple. Eunice despaired but fortunately Critchley threw them a lifeline by offering them jobs at his hotel. Eunice was thrilled with the prospect of bar work but Fred thought Critchley fancied his chances with Eunice and turned down the job. Eunice then went herself, and refused to return to Fred when he pleaded with her, saying that their marriage had been nothing but hardship and admitted she liked Critchley more than him.
Eunice had virtually no further contact with Fred. In October 1982, Debbie went to see Fred, telling him that Critchley was knocking Eunice about, but Fred wanted nothing to do with it. Eunice showed up with a black eye and got Fred to agree to pick up her things from Critchley's, but when she asked Fred to take her back he refused. In November 1983, Eunice wanted to marry again and sought a divorce from Fred.
By 1999, Fred had died and Eunice was running the Park Road B&B, which she also owned. When Jack Duckworth asked for a room, Eunice tried to make herself available to him, little realising he was married to an old friend of hers, Vera Duckworth. The couple moved into the B&B permanently and Eunice kept her eye on Jack, but when she finally made a play for him in May, Jack had a heart attack. He was fine, but found out he had angina. A few weeks later, Eunice left for Spain to stay with her sister Dolly after the death of Dolly's husband Bernard, and was persuaded by Vera to let the Duckworths manage the B&B. A year later, Eunice decided to sell up, cutting ties with Weatherfield and retiring to Spain.
- Eunice Gee was Meg Johnson's third role in Coronation Street, after the unnamed Tipsy Woman in 1972 and Dave Smith's floozy Brenda Holden in January 1976.
- Eunice first appeared in Episode 2084. It was originally a six-episode role but the character was kept on and within two months of her debut had married Fred Gee. Johnson later recalled that she struggled to understand her character's motivations during the storyline: "To have fallen for Freddie [sic], she must have seen something there that other people didn't and I think her life was a lot of missed opportunities. She was ambitious and I think she wanted to do better for herself and they would get a pub."
- Eunice returned in January 1999 after a long absence. The character appeared in a further 15 episodes and was last seen in Episode 4617 on 24th May.
"It's much as I expected." (First line)
"Well cheers everybody." (Final line)