Born in 1938, Fred was a Master Butcher, his shop being situated on Nelson Street, and first appeared in the Street as part of the Weatherfield delegation to their French twin town. At a black pudding contest, Fred tried to bribe the French judges, and nearly caused a diplomatic incident.
In May 1999, after gossiping a bit too much to Audrey Roberts, Fred was forced to admit that Ashley was his secret son. After Fred's first wife Sybil had died in 1975, Fred became romantically involved with Kathleen Gutteridge, a young worker in Elliott's shop in Nelson Street. Kathleen became pregnant, but scoffed at the idea when Fred proposed marriage - she was too young and wanted to see the world. It was agreed that Kathleen would leave the baby boy with Fred's childless sister, Beryl Peacock and her husband Sam. They brought up Ashley as their own son, never telling him of his true parentage.
Ashley found out that Fred was his dad and they forged a close bond, even moving in together at 4 Coronation Street which Fred bought from Mavis Wilton after the death of her husband Derek. Ashley and his wife Maxine lived there until Maxine died and then Claire Casey the nanny moved in, eventually marrying Ashley and completing the family with the birth of Freddie, a new grandson in July 2006.
Fred was scammed by a woman named Stacy Hilton who pretended to be an immigrant called Orchid, looking for a "mail order" husband. She was after his money - working with Dennis Stokes, an acquaintance of Fred's. Ashley discovered her working on Levenshulme Market and Fred's heart was again broken. A year or so later, Fred discovered Orchid beaten and being admitted to hospital. He almost took her back in but in the end sent her on her way.
Always a serial proposer, having been turned down by Rita Sullivan, Audrey Roberts and Doreen Heavey, he made friends with Shelley Unwin's mother, Bev. They started to develop a closeness that they both shied away from, having been burned by members of the opposite sex in relationships but soon came to care deeply for each other. This time, Fred's proposal was accepted. They decided to move away from Weatherfield and Fred accepted an offer for the pub from Steve McDonald. The wedding was all set to go. However, his old friend Audrey was having doubts and spilled her heart out to Fred. She regretted saying no to him all those years ago! This caused Fred a lot of anxiety but on his wedding day, he rushed from the church to see Audrey and told her gently that he was marrying Bev, whom he loved. On the way out of her house, he collapsed and died after suffering a massive stroke leaving his family, friends, and fiancée, Bev, devastated.
- Ashley was shocked when his apprentice butcher Graeme Proctor began talking like his dad Fred, and believed that he was possibly possessed. However, it turned out that Graeme had learned about Fred when Ashley's wife Claire told him about him, and Graeme was only doing it to wind Ashley up.
- Fred was introduced on a recurring basis, before returning full-time in 1996.
- Fred was originally scheduled to have small part in the live 40th anniversary episode broadcast on 8th December 2000, but the character was written out when actor John Savident was advised by doctors not to appear, as he was recovering from neck wounds sustained in an a knife attack. Fred's lines were given to other characters.
- In 2005, it was announced that Savident planned to quit after eleven years, wanting to spend time with his family. Fred was killed off in October 2006, although the episode where he had a stroke and died wasn't his last, he appeared in the following episode in an open casket.
First and last linesEdit
"Do you like a nice blood sausage?" (First line, to Ken Barlow)
"Be happy, I say. Be happy." (Final line, to Audrey Roberts)