|Occupation|| Cleaner and Waitress at Nick's Bistro |
Cleaner at V Court Fitness
|Born||16th April 1958|
|Residence||8 Coronation Street|
|Sibling(s)||Stephen Reid (half brother)|
|Spouse(s)|| Brian Tilsley (1979), (1988) |
Martin Platt (1991)
Richard Hillman (2002)
Joe McIntyre (2010)
|Children|| Nick Tilsley (1980) |
Sarah Grimshaw (1987)
David Platt (1990)
Tina McIntyre (Step-daughter)
|First appearance||29th July 1974|
|Duration||1974, 1975 to present|
|Number of appearances||3801 (as of Episode 8426)|
|Played by||Helen Worth|
Gail was raised by Audrey alone and didn't meet her father, Ted Page, until later in her life. Audrey was flighty and sociable and often left Gail on her own, which built up a difficult relationship between them, despite their closeness. Gail first arrived in the Street in 1974 and for a few years she lodged with Elsie Tanner at No.11, sharing a room with Suzie Birchall.
The young happy-go-lucky Gail of her teens grew up when she married Brian Tilsley in 1979. Life was a struggle as they were never secure financially and clashed over their living and working arrangements; Brian was ruled by his mother Ivy and he rarely gave Gail the support she needed, while Gail insisted on keeping her job at Jim's Cafe instead of being a housewife and full-time mother to their son, Nicky. Gail came to realise that she and Brian weren't suited to each other, and they divorced after Gail's affair with Ian Latimer. They re-married when Sarah Louise was born, but Brian was stabbed to death outside a nightclub in 1989.
Gail had matured into a strong-willed woman who fought for herself and her children. After Brian's death, Gail began a relationship with Martin Platt, who was ten years her junior. Their son David was born in 1990 and in 1991 they got married and moved into No.8 with the kids. The marriage ended in 2000 when Martin had an affair with Rebecca Hopkins and confessed to Gail.
In 2002, Gail married financial adviser Richard Hillman. The following year, Richard confessed to two murders and tried to drown Gail and the kids by driving them into the canal. Though none but Richard died, the affair would haunt Gail and the family for years to come; David grew into a troubled teen and his actions caused Gail much grief, with David setting out to hurt his own family, both physically and emotionally, many times.
In 2010, Gail married debt-ridden Joe McIntyre, who after a month of marriage tried to fake his death, which led to Gail's arrest for his murder. She was eventually found Not Guilty and returned home. She continues to live at No.8 with David and Nick, and currently works as a cleaner at Nick's Bistro.
1958-1989: Marriage to Brian TilsleyEditGail married Brian Tilsley on 28th November 1979. This set off a fifteen-year feud between Gail and Brian's mother Ivy, who hated her new daughter-in-law. Gail and Brian had two children: son Nicky (born in 1980) and daughter Sarah (born in 1987). Gail was originally unsure of the identity of Sarah's father, because she had had an affair with Brian's cousin, Ian Latimer, just before becoming pregnant. Brian when he found out had wanted Gail to have an abortion, which she refused point blank. The infidelity caused the break-up of the Tilsley marriage, but after paternity tests proved Brian to be baby Sarah's father, the couple reunited and remarried in the year 1988.
However, the marriage quickly deteriorated, and Brian and Gail had a massive argument one night as Brian was leaving to go out to a nightclub. They knew their marriage was over, however Brian vowed to fight for custody of Nicky. The threat, however, was never carried out as Brian was stabbed to death outside the nightclub. It was up to Don Brennan to break the news to his wife Ivy.
1989-2001: Relationship with Martin PlattEdit
After Brian's death, Gail became drawn to the much younger Martin Platt. The two became involved and soon Gail fell pregnant by him. Gail did not think it was fair for Martin to have a child at his age, and was about to have an abortion when Martin stopped her. Gail and Martin married in 1991, almost a year after she gave birth to her second son David. She allowed Martin to adopt her other children, but Nick changed his name back to Tilsley in order to benefit from the will of his grandmother, Ivy.
As Nick grew into his teens, he grew increasingly defiant towards his mother and Martin, so Gail eventually sent him away to Canada to live with her half-brother Stephen. A mature Nick returned in the year 1997, but shocked his mother by marrying Leanne Battersby. Leanne and Gail would have a similar relationship to that of Gail and Ivy, but eventually Nick and Leanne divorced. Nick left for Canada again.
Martin was much younger than Gail and so was tempted by other women. He cheated on her with nurse Cathy Power, but Gail forgave him. However, his affair with another nurse, Rebecca Hopkins, ended the marriage and they divorced in the year 2001.
2001-2003: Killer HillmanEdit
Later in 2001, Gail was to become central to one of the soaps most high-profile plot lines in which episodes would go on to get viewing figures over 17 Million. At first Gail grew closer to her good friend Alma Halliwell's cousin Richard Hillman. Smooth-talking Richard whisked Gail off her feet, and they married in 2002. But little did she know that her apparently perfect husband was actually a serial killer. He murdered several Weatherfield residents and tried to kill many others, including Gail's mother Audrey who then tried to tell Gail what happened, but Gail, thinking Audrey was going mad (which was part of Richard's schemes), refused to believe her and cut her out of her life.
When Gail began to suspect that her husband was more than he seemed, she confronted him with her suspicions. Richard confessed all of his crimes to Gail in a two-hander episode, admitting to the murders of Maxine Peacock and his ex-wife Patricia Hillman. He also revealed that he had tried to kill Emily Bishop and Gail's mother Audrey and had left Rovers' landlord Duggie Ferguson to perish. Gail also discovered that Richard was a serial con-artist. Absolutely horrified, Gail branded him 'Norman Bates with a briefcase' and proceeded to throw him out before informing the police of the real identity of the street serial murderer. Gail then reconciled with her mum Audrey.
Just as Gail began to get her life back on track, Richard returned to Weatherfield. He tied Gail up, along with her children and took them for the ride of their lives. Richard sent them flying into a canal in an attempt to kill them all. Gail and her children escaped unharmed, but Richard drowned. Gail later found out that Richard had left her in big debt, and all her money was gone as everything in their accounts' was frozen. Gail faced financial ruin and looked set to lose her house. However, Audrey saved the day when she used her life savings to buy the house for Gail.
2003-2007: Family problemsEdit
Shortly after Sarah's thirteenth birthday, Gail and Sarah made the discovery that Sarah was pregnant. Sarah was five months along and as a result it was too late for an abortion. Sarah would give birth to Gail's first grandchild, Bethany Platt, in June 2000.
From the early 2006 period until 21st May, Gail received cards apparently signed by deceased husband Richard, which caused her to become reliant on sleeping pills and drink. She contacted the police and wrongly believed that it was new boyfriend Phil Nail who was behind the cards. Her relationship with son David was strained to the point of breakdown when it was finally revealed to be him sending the cards. She marched him to the police to close the case of the Hillman cards for good, but didn't press charges. Gail forgave David and believed that he would keep in line, only to find out later on that he was playing truant. In the October 2006 period, the education officer visited Gail to suggest all the family have counselling for David's attitude. She also suggested that Gail should attend parenting classes.
On an episode on Christmas Day 2006, David unveiled Ivy Brennan's old diary, which revealed Gail’s planned abortion of David, and also exposed his Gran Audrey Roberts' affair with Bill Webster. David ran away from home when Gail finally told him that he needed to start paying rent, but finally returned home with the police, after having lied to them that Gail was abusing him. The final straw for Gail was when her granddaughter Bethany Platt swallowed an ecstasy tablet, left in her dolly's head by David. Bethany was sent to intensive care and Gail finally gathered the strength to tell David to leave home. David was distraught, but Gail remained strong and told him not to attend the wedding of Sarah and Jason.
On Sarah's wedding day, David drove his car into the canal where Richard had previously driven. A distraught Gail was forced to wait for hours on news on whether he was alive or dead, and when he finally did arrive home, Gail swore to him she would never let the situation get so out of hand again.
In they year 2007 Stephen Reid came to stay over Christmas. He offered David a job in Milan and David immediately accepted. However, because he spoiled her wedding day, Sarah vowed revenge and planted ecstasy tablets in his drawer at the salon. Audrey found them, and Gail told David that he was not going to Milan. Sarah was offered the job and left with Jason and Bethany, however confessed what she had done to Jason, who left her and returned to Weatherfield. He told Gail everything and she was shocked.
In an episode on 3rd March 2008, Tina McIntyre- David's girlfriend - revealed that she was pregnant with David's baby. Gail told Tina that David did not have to know and offered to pay for a termination, which Tina accepted. When David discovered their deception, he pushed his mother down the stairs in a fit of anger, leaving her hospitalised and suffering short term amnesia. Gail eventually remembered who pushed her, that it was her own son. Ted Page, Gail's long lost father, recently got in touch with her mother. Gail found out about this and was angry that she was not told. Recently, she has arranged to meet up with Ted after Ted discovered he was a father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Actress Helen Worth is fewer than eight years younger than actor Michael Byrne, who plays her father Ted.
In 12th May 2008, Gail met up with Ted, who was shocked when Ted explained he had just lost his partner of 20 years, a man called James. On the same day, Gail revealed that she was a "Blairite" and voted for the Labour Party. Gail has now been to visit Sarah in Italy, which followed a proposal by Audrey in the June period of 2008, after she sorted out all her problems, as Ted agreed to keep an eye on David whilst she was away. When she returned, she found that the house had been cleaned and decorated, Tina had been earlier that day to buy some plants to help decorate their house, after she was shown the variety of different plants, she soon found out that she was allergic to some of them, she moved one and found a cigarette stain on the carpet, David confessed about a wild party they threw while she was away, and he has a mate who smokes, Tina also told Gail that some guests came uninvited. Gail was upset about what they had done but she was also pleased that David had been honest.
2008-2010: Relationship with Joe McIntyreEdit
Gail took a shine to Tina's dad, Joe McIntyre. They went on several secret dates because they did not want their relationship to become public knowledge. Gail faced many problems with Joe, such as putting up with his drug addiction and depression.
On 8th January 2010, Gail married Joe McIntyre, her fourth husband. When Joe died Gail was arrested for his murder, her cellmate was Lyn Fulwood , but she was released after pleading not guilty.
2010-: Trial and later yearsEdit
Gail was put on trial for Joe's sudden death and she was falsely accused of murdering him. Over a few weeks David Platt bribed a polish woman called Anka who was supposed to be Gails Surprise witness but on the day of her court case she failed to take the stand so it was up to David to help save his mum.
June 10th was the day of the verdict. Gail was found not guilty by the jury and was sent home but on the way out of court she was met by hundreds of people from the press so David back her mum away from the press and went back to Coronation Street.
On Christmas Eve 2010, Gail fought with Tracy Barlow in the packed Rovers Return Inn, after Tracy plotted to make Gail admit she was guilty for Joe's murder to ensure that Tracy was moved to an open prison.
In 2012, Gail was initially horrified when son Nick began seeing Eva Price. Eva was manageress at Nick's bistro, a role Gail had wanted. In February 2012, Eva's mother Stella invited Gail and Audrey to a family dinner for Eva's birthday.
Gail turned up in the same blouse as Stella, and then proceeded to humiliate Nick by getting drunk and giving a disastrous speech to Eva, and then commenting that she had bought her blouse before the half price sale.
- Gail was only intended to be in the series for a few episodes as a friend to the character Tricia Hopkins.
- Gail announced in January 2014 that she is allergic to cats.
"You’re Norman Bates with a briefcase." (to Richard Hillman after he confessed to his murder spree)