Howard Lee was the chairman of an alcoholics' support group at the Rita Tushingham Community Centre in Manchester, of which recovering alcoholic Peter Barlow was an occasional attendee.

Howard was keen for members to be at ease and at Peter's first meeting Howard told him he didn't have to speak if he felt uncomfortable. A month later, Howard chaired an open meeting, which Peter's family attended to support him. Howard had no option but to allow Blanche Hunt to sound off against the regulars even though the things she said were hurtful.

In February 2010, Peter went to another meeting after some time away to tell the group that he had had a drink but resisted the temptation to have another. Howard didn't think it was a good idea to tempt himself.

In October of the same year, Howard almost had a new member of the class: Carla Connor, who turned and fled when she saw that Peter was a member, unable yet to face up to anyone she knew that she too had a drink problem.

In December 2011, Howard phoned Peter to inform him that his sponsor at the support group - Jonno Richardson - was in Weatherfield General as a result of liver failure, prompting Peter to go and visit Jonno. Later that day, Howard presided over a meeting at which Carla Connor spoke for the first time. Howard informed Peter that Jonno had died shortly after his visit.

In March 2012, Howard turned up at Barlow's Bookies searching for Peter, who was in Highfield Prison, having confessed to the murder of Frank Foster. Howard bumped into Peter's estranged wife Leanne, who was intrigued to hear how Peter had turned up drunk at Howard's home and spent several hours there before picking a fight and storming off. Leanne realised that Howard's information gave Peter an alibi for the night of the murder and - although tempted to keep quiet - she took Howard to Weatherfield Police Station to make a statement. Peter was subsequently released and Leanne was furious with him for confessing to a murder to save new girlfriend Carla's skin, without giving a thought to his son Simon.

Howard Lee is a rare example of a character played by an actor with the same name.

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