|Occupation||Machinist at Underworld|
|Born||4th March 1971|
|Residence||10a Coronation Street|
|Spouse(s)||Mr Midgeley (divorced)|
|Children||Tom Midgeley (2008)|
|First appearance||6th January 1986|
|Duration||1986-1991, 1993, 2015, 2016 to present|
|Number of appearances||441 (as of Episode 9208)|
|Played by||Sally Ann Matthews|
Jenny lived most of her teenage years in Coronation Street under Alan and Rita's watchful eyes, giving them no end of trouble with her wayward behaviour. When Alan completed a prison sentence for swindling and assaulting Rita, Jenny supported him and blamed Rita when he died after being hit by a tram in Blackpool. In 1989, she started studying Environmental Studies at Manchester Polytechnic but in 1990 she was thrown off the course and early the following year she left Weatherfield to live with a married man, Robert Weston.
Having last visited the area in the autumn of 1993, Jenny returned again in February 2015, two years after her four-year-old son Tom drowned in a paddling pool. Jenny suppressed her pain as best she could but while dating Kevin Webster, she snatched Kevin's son Jack in order to keep him safe and nearly threw herself off a balcony, resulting in her getting sectioned. She returned to the Street again in January 2016 when Rita took pity on her, soon to start work at Underworld and begin a promising relationship with factory boss Johnny Connor.
Jennifer Bradley, known as Jenny, was born on 4th March 1971. She grew up in Weatherfield as the only child of Alan and Pat Bradley. Jenny was close to her mother but not so much to Alan, whose job installing air conditioning systems around the country meant that he was rarely at home. This suited Alan, who found family life suffocating, but was a major factor in Alan and Pat's separation and subsequent divorce in 1978. Alan walked out of Jenny's life and didn't see his daughter again until circumstances forced them together in 1986.
Pat never re-married and brought Jenny up as a single mother. Jenny matured into a confident young woman who spoke her mind and achieved good grades in school. In her early teens, while studying at Weatherfield Comprehensive, she took on a paper round at The Kabin, encountering Rita Fairclough and her assistant Mavis Riley for the first time.
1986-1987: Alan returnsEdit
On 6th January 1986, Jenny's mother was involved in a hit-and-run in Albert Road and died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. As Jenny was out delivering papers at the time of the accident, a policewoman was dispatched to the Kabin to break the tragic news to her there when she completed her round.
If the trauma of losing her mother wasn't enough, Jenny was fourteen and had nobody to turn to. Her grandmother was in a care home down south, while her aunt Doreen Warburton, who lived locally in Clegg Street, refused to have her long-term due to her having three children of her own. Social worker Don Worthington placed her at Larchfield Children's Home temporarily while Social Services traced Alan, but Jenny hated it there and walked out after one night, prompting Don to approach Rita, a registered foster parent, about fostering Jenny. Rita obliged, and Jenny, preferring anywhere to the home, moved into 7 Coronation Street.
Alan was found living near Leeds and came over to see Jenny, arriving on the day of Pat's funeral. After eight years, Jenny and Alan were effectively strangers and Jenny required convincing that she needed him in her life, while Alan felt he couldn't have Jenny anyway as he was still in the same job and working all over the country. Fearing that Alan would give up too easily, Don got Rita to act as mediator between the Bradleys and with some cunning she persuaded Jenny to give her dad a chance.
In March, Alan was granted a transfer to Manchester and bought a flat at 41 Ashdale Road for him and Jenny. Jenny left Rita's to live with him. Six months later, Alan was made redundant and soon after went working in Dubai for three months, with Jenny moving back in with Rita. By now, Alan and Rita were dating, reinforcing the mother-daughter relationship which Jenny and Rita shared.
Jenny's closest friends in Coronation Street were Kevin and Sally Webster and Martin Platt. Jenny fancied Martin, but he rebuffed her as at eighteen he was three years older than her. Eventually she wore him down and they started dating. In December, Martin borrowed Rita's car to take Jenny to a talent contest in Rochdale, at which she won first prize. On the way home, Jenny talked Martin into letting her drive down the road for a thrill. Before Martin had a chance to fasten his seat belt, Jenny put her foot down and ran the car off the road, causing it to overturn. Miraculously, neither were seriously harmed, though Martin was in hospital for a few days. To protect Jenny, they told the police that Martin had been driving the car, but when Alan, home on leave, yelled at Martin for nearly killing his daughter, Jenny came to Martin's rescue and came clean before things got ugly. They were then frogmarched to the police station by Alan, forced to confess and given a dressing down by the police. Feeling that they'd learned their lesson, Rita declined to press charges and the case was dropped.
After completing his contract in Dubai, Alan accepted Rita's invitation to move in with her, which delighted Jenny. Jenny, meanwhile, hoped to carry on seeing Martin but the car crash had scared him off and at Jenny's sixteenth birthday party held at the Builder's Yard he snubbed Jenny for Edwina Turner.
1987-1989: The Bradley betrayalEdit
In August 1987, Jenny passed all of her O-levels, achieving four As, three Bs and a C. Hearing that Martin was packing in his job at Jim's Cafe and going to work in France, Jenny was inspired to join him instead of going back to school and sitting her A-levels. Alan and Rita knew nothing about her plans until they read a note from Jenny after she'd already left.
In France, Jenny and Martin didn't find jobs, grape-picking or otherwise, and after a few weeks Martin gave up and went home. Jenny, who had gone more for the adventure, went off to Paris with French law student Patrice Podevin, with whom she'd fallen in love. They were engaged within weeks. In October, Jenny returned to the UK to tell Alan and Rita that she was getting married and taking up permanent residence in France. Alan, adamant that Jenny was going back to school, refused to give the union his blessing and Jenny prepared to leave on bad terms with him. To her surprise, Patrice came to stay ahead of her departure, ostensibly to meet Alan but in reality to break the news to Jenny that he wanted to wait until finishing college in two years before marrying, in accordance with his father's wishes. Jenny feared that Patrice was getting cold feet and fell out with him. They made up when Rita gave Jenny a pep talk and made her see how childish she was being. Patrice then returned to France, with Jenny remaining in Weatherfield and resuming her studies.
Jenny was now in a long-distance relationship, a situation which didn't suit the ever-impatient teen. When Patrice cancelled a planned Christmas visit, Jenny cheered herself up by going to the Websters' housewarming at 13 Coronation Street with her friends Lisa Woods and Gary Grimshaw, taking off her engagement ring in case she met someone there. At the party, Gary dumped Lisa and made a play for Jenny, who led him on and initiated a kiss which Lisa saw, causing her to brand Jenny a rotten bitch. Patrice made it over just after the New Year and told a delighted Jenny that he'd changed his mind about the long engagement and wanted to marry as soon as possible. Blaming Jenny for Gary going off her, Lisa told Patrice about the kiss to get her own back. Jenny played it down and convinced Patrice to overlook it, but when Patrice discovered that Jenny had taken her ring off for the party, he realised he couldn't trust her and broke off their engagement.
In 1988, Jenny began her last year at school. That October, Jenny's friend Joanne Cresswell informed her that she'd witnessed Alan kissing Carole Burns. Jenny uncovered an affair between Alan and Carole, one of his customers from Bradley Securities, and her opinion of her father sunk to an all-time low. Jenny didn't plan to tell Rita but did so when Rita picked up on the atmosphere between Jenny and Alan. When Alan walked out on Rita, Jenny stayed with Rita but blamed them both for not doing more to salvage their relationship. After several weeks, at Jenny's urging Rita begged Alan to return to them, which he did, cutting ties with Carole.
As far as Jenny was concerned, everything was as it used to be. Alan got a bank loan to set up Weatherfield Security Systems in Curzon Street, while Jenny and Joanne marked their 18th birthdays with a joint party at the Mortlake Hotel. During the party, Jenny called home to hurry latecomers Alan and Rita, and heard Rita screaming over the line. Perturbed, Jenny raced home with Martin, interrupting Alan as he was attempting to suffocate Rita with a cushion. When Jenny and Martin walked in, Alan made a run for it and fled from Coronation Street in his car. It transpired that Alan had adopted the identity of Rita's late husband Len Fairclough in order to borrow against the house, and gone berserk when he discovered that she'd found out and told the Castlewell Building Society that he'd defrauded them. By stopping Alan when she did, Jenny and Martin had saved Rita's life.
As appalled as Jenny was by Alan's actions, she couldn't bring herself to disown her father and when he called asking her to bring him his passport and money so that he could flee the country she obliged him, meeting Alan at Gatley Station. In doing so, she unwittingly led the detective shadowing her to Alan, who was taken into police custody and charged with attempted murder. Jenny then saw her dad's true colours as he accused her of shopping him, and later when she saw him at Risley Remand Centre he showed no concern for Jenny, caring only about getting off with what he did and asking his daughter to play down what she witnessed when his case came to court. Jenny refused and had no further contact with Alan while he was in prison.
Jenny managed to pull herself together in time for her A-level exams and reserved a place at Brighton which she swapped for Manchester Polytechnic - studying Environmental Studies - in September 1989 so that she could remain in Weatherfield to support Rita.
1989-1990: Life at the PolyEdit
Alan's trial took place in October. In a surprising twist, the charges against him were lowered to obtaining money by deception and actual bodily harm, to which Alan plead guilty, thereby releasing Jenny and Rita from their obligation to testify against him. These factors resulted in Alan being shown leniency, sentenced to two years with one suspended. Having already served seven months on remand, and behaved himself in prison, Alan walked free from the court that day.
Jenny took Alan's plea as a sign that he was remorseful, and was willing to build bridges upon his release. She backed Alan in his efforts to rebuild his life, and hoped that Rita would follow his example and "forgive and forget" - a notion which Rita found preposterous, taking the view that Alan had got away with attempted murder. Over time, Rita's vindictive attitude towards Alan soured Jenny against her. After Alan showed up at No.7 to see Jenny and found Rita there alone, Rita complained that he'd frightened the life out of her, though Jenny thought she was just being over-dramatic. Jenny's faith in Alan appeared well-founded when a robbery at the Kabin was attributed to some hoodlums, and not Alan who Rita had blamed. Rita grew hysterical when Alan got a job at Maurice Jones's building site opposite the house, convinced that he was stalking her. When she told the police that Alan had let himself into No.7, based on slim evidence, it was the last straw for Jenny who packed her bags and moved out.
A few days after Jenny left, Rita went missing from home. Her absence dragged on for several weeks and the neighbours began to suspect Alan of harming her, a theory posited by Mavis when she reported her missing to the police. When Alec Gilroy informed Jenny that Rita had surfaced in Blackpool, physically if not mentally sound, he insisted that he pass the news onto Alan. Later that same day, Alan was hit by a tram while chasing Rita down in Blackpool's promenade. He died instantly.
Now an orphan, Jenny blamed the residents for hounding Alan to death and left Coronation Street to move into the student halls. After a miserable Christmas and New Year, Jenny became depressed and shut herself away in her dorm room. Rita was informed of the situation by Jenny's classmate Flick Khan and urged to act. After banging on her door until she let her in, Rita was met by a weary Jenny. Jenny was still hostile towards Rita but all the fight had gone out of her and Rita managed to break through her defences, taking Jenny in her arms.
To aid her recovery, Jenny decided to leave the halls and flat-share with Flick. Rita had a better suggestion: that the pair take on the tenancy of No.7, which would be empty following Rita's move to the flat above the new Kabin premises. Jenny was hesitant about going back to No.7 but it was too good an offer to turn down.
After finishing their exams, Jenny and Flick got holiday jobs in a sweet factory. They were fired in July and with nothing better to do they set off for France to spend the summer there. In Marseille, Flick fell for a final year medical student called Eric and decided to remain, leaving Jenny to go home on her own. In October, Flick's friend Angie Freeman, a fabric design student at the Poly, took the empty room at No.7. Jenny and Angie were never very close; far more committed to her studies, Angie was often critical of Jenny's life decisions, and was more of irritant to Jenny than a mate.
Jenny was considering leaving college and missed the first week of the new semester while she made her mind up. Having elected to carry on, the decision was taken out of Jenny's hands when her adviser Mr Robbins threw her off the course for her poor attendance record and missing the deadline for her dissertation.
1990-1993: Affair with Robert WestonEdit
With no direction in life, Jenny threw herself at Mark Casey, a former school friend who'd just been given Casey's Garage by his parents as a 21st birthday present. Jenny had never looked twice at Mark before his endowment, but Mark was naive and thought she really liked him. Meanwhile, Jenny got a job as a perfume demonstrator at Ashcroft Department Store alongside Steph Barnes. For extra dosh, Jenny and Steph got evening jobs as promotions girls for Newton & Ridley, touring the local pubs and hotels to publicise the brewery's Pomme de Lite cider at £20 a night. Jenny was alarmed at the skimpy costumes she had to wear but considered it a good laugh.
In January 1991, Jenny started seeing Robert Weston, a 38-year-old dentist who she met at one of the promos. Robert was mature, intelligent, and successful. The only snag was that he was married, if unhappily, with children. Living in the moment, Jenny didn't expect Robert to leave his wife for her and was content to be his mistress until he got fed up with her. Meanwhile, Jenny's interest in Mark died a death but she didn't have the heart to put him out his misery. When both Robert and Mark turned up at a promo at the Adelphi Hotel, Jenny let Mark assume that Robert was Steph's man, and that Steph was cheating on Des. Only after the Barnes' put pressure on Jenny to set Mark straight did Jenny finish with him.
With Mark out of the way, Jenny announced to her friends that she had a new boyfriend, and introduced him to Rita. When they met in the Rovers Return, Rita had been informed about Robert's marital status by Angie and refused a drink from him. Jenny planned to throw Angie out for being a snitch, but took up Robert's suggestion that he install her in her own flat instead which they could use as a love nest. As Jenny showed him off more and more, stopping by his dental surgery for the first time, Robert realised that he wanted to be with her openly and left his wife to live with her in the flat he was buying. Before leaving the street, Jenny made up with Angie and said goodbye to Rita. Rita was upset to see Jenny set herself up for heartbreak, but put her personal feelings aside in order to part with Jenny on good terms.
In September 1993, Robert ended the relationship in order to return to his wife Linda. Out of spite, Jenny dog-napped Robert's pregnant Japanese Akita Mitzi, worth £1,000, with the intention of selling the pups. With nowhere else to go, Jenny returned to Rita, passing off Mitzi as her own dog. Robert responded to this by clearing out their joint bank account and snatching Mitzi while Mavis and Derek Wilton were walking her. To earn her keep at Rita's flat, Jenny got taken on at the Rovers as a barmaid.
Rita welcomed Jenny back warmly but was saddened by the change in her since she took up with Robert. Selfish, manipulative, and with a high opinion of herself, Jenny encouraged Rita to take 16 Highbank Avenue, Oakhill - the house she'd inherited from her second husband Ted Sullivan - off the market so that they could live there together, and sell the Kabin flat instead. Rita saw through the attempt by Jenny to secure her inheritance and refused. Jenny then asked Rita to lend her £30,000 to open her own beauty salon. Annoyed that Jenny had come back to her for her money, Rita wrote her a cheque for £1,000 to get rid of her.
1993-2015: The worst day of Jenny's lifeEdit
Eventually settling in Middleton, Jenny married at some point and gave birth in June 2008 to their son Tom Midgeley. The four-year-old child tragically drowned when Jenny momentarily left him playing in a paddling pool during April 2013.
Following a messy divorce, Jenny took up internet dating and in February 2015 she made contact with former neighbour Kevin Webster. Kevin was now divorced from Sally and raising a four-year-old son, Jack. After twenty-two years, Jenny couldn't resist meeting up with Kevin to talk over old times. She was afraid to visit Coronation Street in case Rita was still mad at her, but having enjoyed her date with Kevin immensely, she braved her old stomping grounds to ask him out again, and to her delight Kevin was willing.
Few were happy to see Jenny back on the scene. Her reputation as a gold-digger and troublemaker preceded her, and Sally and Sophie Webster thought Kevin was mad to date her. Jenny finally came face-to-face with her former foster mother when Rita returned early from visiting Mavis in Cartmel and headed straight for the Rovers where an unsuspecting Jenny was drinking with Kevin. Remembering Jenny as the grasping young woman of her early twenties, Rita assumed that she'd returned to fleece her or Kevin. Jenny gave Rita a cheque for £300 - which Rita tore up - to prove her wrong, but Rita was never truly convinced.
Going by the surname 'Bradley' again, Jenny hadn't told anyone in the Street about the death of Tom, or that she'd had a son at all. Jenny's way of dealing with her guilt was to bury the memory of Tom and being in a new relationship helped with that. However, Jack who was the same age as Tom when he died reminded her of the son she'd lost and she felt an overwhelming need to keep him safe. When Jack picked up a shallot, Jenny panicked that he would choke and freaked out, only to find the shallot in his hand. Sophie and her girlfriend Maddie Heath, who had witnessed the incident, tried to convince Kevin that Jenny wasn't right in the head. Kevin's doubts, coupled with Rita's continued enmity towards her, nearly caused Jenny to finish with him but she changed her mind when he begged her to give him another chance.
Jenny's obsession with Jack grew over the coming weeks and when Jack's childminder broke her leg, Jenny quit her job so that she could fill in for her, pretending to Kevin that she'd been made redundant. In May, she enquired about renting a flat in Hull for herself and "her son", using the alias of Melanie Davis, and planned to leave Weatherfield with him on the day of Steve McDonald and Michelle Connor's wedding, from which she'd cried off by feigning a migraine. While waiting for her taxi at 13 Coronation Street, Jenny was interrupted by Maddie who deduced from the bags and dark wig Jenny was wearing as a disguise that she was about to abduct Jack. Jenny attempted to stall Maddie but when her taxi pulled up outside, the distraction enabled Maddie to knee Jenny and run out the back door. As she ran to warn Kevin, Maddie was involved in a freak accident, being in the vicinity of Jason's Construction when a fire at the Victoria Court flats caused some cannisters in the builder's yard to explode. Maddie died before telling anyone her story, granting Jenny a reprieve. Jenny got another chance to run away with Jack two weeks later, during Maddie's funeral. This time she and Jack made it to Hull without a hitch.
Since she started spending more time around Jack, Jenny had been finding it more difficult to keep her grief beneath the surface and was beginning to confuse Jack with Tom. In Hull, Jenny celebrated her deceased son's birthday, but when she noticed that Jack wasn't participating she lashed out at the child and ordered him to go to his room. As the reality of what she'd done hit her, Jenny broke down in tears and called the one person who might show her compassion - Rita. When the phone rang, Rita was at Kevin's, having been present when Kevin returned home to find all traces of Jenny and Jack gone. Kevin had then reported Jack's abduction to the police, who informed him of Tom's accidental death.
To enable Jack's safe recovery, Rita agreed to come to Jenny's location alone. Rita wanted to help Jenny but her top priority was Jack and so she let Kevin and Sophie tag along. Watching them arrive from the balcony, Jenny saw that Rita had reneged on her promise but Rita went upstairs by herself and managed to calm Jenny by showing her genuine concern and understanding. Her progress was undone when Kevin, having lost patience and instructed Sophie to call the police, came up after Rita. His knock on the door panicked Jenny, who grabbed Jack and ran over to the balcony clutching him tightly. Reliving Tom's death in her mind, Jenny was persuaded by Kevin not to put him through the same thing and let him have Jack. She contemplated jumping off by herself, upset by Kevin's insincerity when he attempted to talk her down, but ultimately decided to live and gave herself up to the police. Due to her mental health issues, no charges were brought against Jenny and she spent some time afterwards in hospital.
2016 to present: Bouncing backEdit
By January 2016, Jenny was out of hospital and living in a squalid bedsit. Once again, she was starting from rock bottom with no job or prospects and no friends. By piggybacking on a neighbour's Wi-Fi network, Jenny sent Rita a message on social media and they met up in a park. Their reunion was such a happy one that Jenny pretended she was living in a swanky apartment in Weatherfield Quays so as not to spoil it, but the charade upset her causing Jenny to run off without her purse. Rita found Jenny's address in the purse and went straight there to return it, seeing Jenny's cramped living conditions for herself. To help her get the second chance she deserved, Rita gave her the spare room in her flat and through Aidan Connor fixed her up with a cleaning job at Underworld factory.
Jenny was met with a frosty reception from the Websters, particularly Sophie who blamed her for Maddie's death. Kevin called a truce with Jenny, satisfied that her actions the previous year were caused by grief, but insisted that she stay away from Jack. Less than a week later, he caught Jenny leading Jack out of the factory and assumed the worst. Jenny was on the verge of leaving the area again as she was sick of everyone hating her but Kevin talked her round, Jack having corroborated her story that he'd wandered into the factory of his own accord after seeing Jenny sweeping up.
In May, Jenny went to visit Blackpool to properly lay the memory of her long deceased father to rest. Her boss, Johnny Connor, had made the suggestion as a way of honouring Alan and volunteered to go with her to the spot where Alan died outside The Strand Hotel so that she wouldn't be on her own. At the same time, Tim Metcalfe and Kevin were taking Jack for a visit to the resort but while the trio were eating in the Seashore Snack Bar, Jack ran away. He was spotted by Jenny running past her towards an oncoming tram. Jenny sprinted after the boy and snatched him before her could be run over, twisting her ankle in the process. Later in the day, back at the Rovers, Jenny was thanked sincerely by Sophie, ending their feud.
Jenny and Johnny were attracted to each other but Johnny was naturally cautious about asking out a woman on his payroll, while the prospect was exciting to Jenny. Some weeks after Blackpool, Jenny was alone with Johnny, practising on the sewing machine after hours to earn a promotion. Over the machine, they kissed passionately for the first time. For a couple of months, they dated in secret, with Jenny, newly promoted to machinist by Johnny, acting as his eyes and ears on the factory floor. In September, Jenny grassed up her colleagues for watching a film instead of working during unsupervised overtime, leading Johnny to dock their pay, which in turn caused the workers to go on strike. Jenny's identity as the mole - and her affair with Johnny - was exposed when Aidan and Kate Connor won the staff round with cakes and all concerned went back inside, catching Jenny and Johnny in a passionate embrace.
In August, following a suggestion from Jenny Johnny moved into Carla's old flat in Victoria Court. Meanwhile, Rita put down a deposit on one of the new flats Pat Phelan was building in Calcutta Street for Jenny. After this was exposed as a scam, Johnny invited a delighted Jenny to live with him and a week later, in the factory in front of all the staff, he proposed to Jenny, who accepted without hesitation.
Jenny dreamed of a flashy wedding and spent the early months of 2017 going on about how fantastic it was going to be. In April, Jenny sacked their wedding planner Michelle Connor for suggesting that Johnny's discomfort during a meeting with her was an indication that he was having second thoughts about marrying Jenny. Taking on the preparations herself, Jenny made herself so busy that she didn't clock Johnny's growing problems with his coordination and eyesight; symptoms of multiple schlerosis with which he was diagnosed in June. Already struggling to keep pace with Jenny, Johnny refused to ask her to look after him when he could no longer walk and ended their relationship, making out that he no longer loved her.
After finding out the truth about Johnny, the pair of them reconciled.
Jenny at 14 was a bright and outgoing but impudent girl. At that age, Jenny was effectively orphaned, as her mother Pat who died that year had raised her by herself since Jenny was six. Placed into the care of her strict father Alan, Jenny was expected to be well-behaved and compliant, but she considered herself mature enough to make her own decisions and would do what she wanted anyway, such as when she ran off to France at sixteen in 1987.
When Jenny was kicked out of college for not working hard enough in 1990, it heralded a change in her for the worse. Having screwed up her own future, Jenny started throwing herself at wealthy men, ending up in a romance with married dentist Robert Weston who was nearly twice her age. The relationship showed Jenny up as a conceited woman who used and discarded people as it suited her - exactly as her father had done. After Robert dumped her, Jenny went back to her usual safety net, Rita Fairclough, only to wreck that relationship with her greed.
Jenny returned to Coronation Street a more humble and damaged woman in 2015. Two years earlier, her son Tom had drowned in a paddling pool and Jenny, blaming herself, had buried Tom's memory in order to control her guilt. After kidnapping Jack Webster and nearly jumping off a balcony with him, reliving her son's death in her mind, Jenny was sectioned. She regained mental stability with much counselling.
Not for the first time, Jenny had to begin anew with nobody but herself to rely on. By 2016, Jenny had developed trust issues due to having experienced so much heartbreak in the past. Over the course of that year, her fortunes improved, with the old Jenny emerging as they did so - the Jenny who was ruthless in getting what she wanted, devious, and merciless to those who crossed her. These qualities showed in her pursuit of Johnny Connor, her treatment of Sally Metcalfe, and that of Underworld client Richard Drake in February 2017; Drake had placed an order at the factory for mastectomy bras - an idea originated by Jenny - only to cancel it. After noticing Drake groping his assistant Jemima Corey's backside in the background of a photograph, Jenny blackmailed the married man into reinstating the contract at double the quantity.
Jenny's father Alan had been absent for most of her life when Jenny's mother Pat died in a road accident in 1986. Alan came to care for Jenny but he was a strict father with a heavy-handed approach to parenting. He expected to be obeyed and often shouted at Jenny but despite being prone to violence he never laid a finger on her.
Having earned Jenny's devotion, Alan started romancing her foster mother Rita Fairclough. Jenny resented Rita for stealing her dad's affections and caused a scene at the Roberts' housewarming when she accused them of only wanting to be with each other. She eventually came round and hoped that they would marry; in 1987, she helped Alan plan a surprise wedding for Rita and was upset when she turned him down.
Jenny strongly wanted Alan and Rita to stay together, no matter how badly he treated her. She finally saw Alan for the violent and deceitful man he was when she walked in on him trying to throttle Rita, but as the memory faded Jenny convinced herself that his behaviour was an aberration and that he wouldn't have actually killed her. After Alan was released from prison, he showed only his gentle side to Jenny, proving to her that he regretted what he'd done and deserved a second chance. Jenny couldn't see that she was being manipulated and that Alan would instantly turn on her if she betrayed him, just as he did when she unwittingly led the police to him at Gatley station earlier that year when he was on the run.
After Alan was fatally struck by a tram in Blackpool, Jenny identified his body and organised the funeral. With time, she saw how Alan's vendetta against Rita had destroyed him but it didn't change how she personally felt about him.
Before the death of Jenny's mum Pat, Jenny was just another Kabin papergirl to Rita. Rita fostering Jenny was a logical idea; Rita had fostered before and Jenny had refused to stay at the Larchfield Children's Home, although it was social worker Don Worthington who initially suggested it.
Jenny didn't like Rita going out with Alan at first as she liked Gloria Todd better. In July 1986, Jenny deliberately stirred things by telling Rita that Alan was with Gloria at the Graffiti Club, causing Rita to march over to the establishment where she saw the pair kissing.
Much of Rita's worth to Jenny was in keeping Alan around. When Alan walked out after his affair with Carole Burns was exposed in 1988, Jenny blamed Rita for not doing more to stop him. The following year, when Alan was stalking Rita, his pretext for hanging around Coronation Street was to be near Jenny. No matter how bad things got, Rita refused to punish Jenny by turfing her out of No.7, and was devastated when Jenny fell for Alan's lies and moved out of her own volition.
Rita didn't have children of her own and looked upon Jenny as a daughter. In 1993, she cut ties with Jenny when it became clear that Jenny saw her as a bank and not a mother. 22 years later, the pair made up and Rita stood firmly in Jenny's corner when she returned to the Street in 2016.
Jenny would cast her friends aside if it suited her, as the Websters discovered when Jenny began dating Mark Casey. In order to spend time with Mark, she encouraged him to slack off at Casey's Garage and give Kevin the work. Sally rowed with Jenny over it, calling her a gold digger as she hadn't looked twice at Mark before his parents gave him the garage as a 21st birthday present.
Sally became close to Rita after she and Jenny parted ways in 1993, and became aware of how much Jenny had upset Rita with her greed and selfishness. When Kevin started dating Jenny in 2015, Sally didn't approve, and felt vindicated when Jenny snatched Jack and nearly threw him off a balcony in Hull, ignoring the fact that Jenny had been suffering mental health problems since her son Tom's death. The following year, a fitter but down-on-her-luck Jenny returned to the area once more, and within days was hired by Aidan Connor as Underworld's cleaner. Sally threatened to resign when she heard that she'd be working alongside Jenny, before sheepishly taking it back when Aidan called her bluff. Sally had to settle for sniping at Jenny from her machine.
Jenny relished any chance to embarrass Sally, who had become judgemental and stuck-up in the years since Jenny last knew her. During a debate between candidates Sally and Norris Cole in the run-up to the Council elections, Sally questioned Norris's success as a neighbourhood watch coordinator on the basis that Jenny was still walking the streets. Jenny retaliated by revealing to the audience that Sally's husband Tim Metcalfe had once been in jail for his part in a poll tax riot.
Jenny convinced the rest of the Websters that she was changed woman when she risked her life to stop Jack from being hit by a tram in Blackpool, but this still wasn't enough for Sally; when Jenny was interviewed by a journalist for her heroics, she refused to appear in the accompanying photograph. There were signs of improvement in February 2017 when Sally showed an interest in Jenny's idea for the factory to make mastectomy bras, with Sally offering to bring in some fellow breast cancer patients for their opinions.
The elder of Jenny's bosses at Underworld, Johnny Connor befriended Jenny when the other staff suspected her of stealing from them. Johnny took a dim view of bullying in the workplace and stuck up for Jenny on a number of occasions.
Attracted to Johnny, Jenny hatched a plan, based on a remark his daughter Kate had made about his last girlfriend giving him the runaround having made him keener. When Johnny gave Jenny a one-to-one lesson on the sewing machine after the other girls had gone home, he fell into her trap and tried to kiss her, but playing hard-to-get Jenny pulled back and feigned shock. Johnny took her reaction at face value and backed off, much to her disappointment. In May 2016, Jenny did Johnny a favour by keeping Tracy Barlow locked up in the factory storeroom, at least temporarily, so that she couldn't ruin Carla Connor and Nick Tilsley's wedding.
Jenny and Johnny finally got together two months later. Johnny assured Jenny that dating an employee didn't bother him but his actions said otherwise; he stood Jenny up on their first date in order to keep Kate company following her break-up from Caz Hammond, and subsequently told her that they couldn't go out as he had to focus on Kate for a while. Only after seeing her dining with factory client Matthew Singh did Johnny (through jealousy) change his mind.
When Jenny accepted Johnny's invitation to move in with him at the New Year, her dreams of a jet-set lifestyle were immediately shattered when he announced that he was retiring and leaving Underworld in Aidan's hands. Shortly thereafter, Jenny interrupted Johnny and Aidan discussing an affair Aidan was having behind Eva Price's back. Jenny was appalled and when she learned that Alya Nazir was meeting Aidan at his flat for a "business meeting", she alerted Eva who went over to catch them in the act. However, Aidan's affair wasn't with Alya, causing Jenny's good deed to backfire; calling her vicious, Johnny ordered her to move out and sacked her for good measure. Realising how uncertain the future was, Johnny decided not to retire after all. He subsequently made up with Jenny and asked her to marry him, but Aidan remained hostile.
Jenny picked up friends wherever she went but few, if any, of her friendships stood the test of time. In her days as a Kabin papergirl, she got on with the other children Craig Russell and Wendy Lowry. Jenny's best friend at Weatherfield Comprehensive was Joanne Cresswell, who celebrated her eighteenth with a joint party with Jenny in March 1989. Joanne was loyal enough to Jenny to tell her when she saw Alan kissing Carole Burns in October 1988.
On her first day at Manchester Polytechnic, Jenny got chatting to Kate Winterton and Stuart Haley. She later brought Stuart along as her plus one at Kevin and Sally's third wedding anniversary party at 13 Coronation Street. When Jenny moved into the student halls immediately after Alan's death, Felicity "Flick" Khan looked out for her and sought out Rita's help when Jenny locked herself away in her dorm. Their time living together at No.7 passed without any major rows between the pair, with the only disagreement occurring when Flick let her friend Rodney Whitworth doss there against Jenny's wishes. The pair ended up joining forces to dislodge the lazy Rodney. Flick's sudden decision to move out and work in France inspired Jenny to re-evaluate her own future.
Jenny was known to hold a grudge but when the roles were reversed loyalty mattered little to her. In 1988, Jenny and her school friend Lisa Woods fell out after Lisa's boyfriend Gary Grimshaw dumped her and went off with Jenny, who was engaged to Patrice Podevin at the time.
Hobbies and interestsEdit
Jenny liked to sing in her school days and in 1986 Gloria Todd set her up with talent agent Alec Gilroy for an audition. Jenny sang "What I Did for Love" for Alec, impressing him hugely. However, Alan refused to let her sign with Alec after Rita told him some horror stories from when she was on his books as Rita Littlewood in the 1970s.
Creation and castingEdit
Jenny Bradley was Sally Ann Matthews's first television role. She learned her craft at the Oldham Theatre Workshop, appearing in many productions as a child and it was because of the links of the theatre that she successfully auditioned to play the part of Kabin papergirl Jenny Bradley in Coronation Street in 1985. Matthews auditioned without knowing what the part was: "They gave me a script to read, and I looked through it and saw I was in a scene with Mavis Riley and I nearly fell through the floor. I cried!" (The Coronation Street Story, Boxtree Limited, 1995)
Jenny made her debut in Episode 2584 on 6th January 1986, with her father Alan (Mark Eden) following three episodes later. As she was only fifteen when cast, Matthews initially combined her acting work with her studies at the Blue Coat School in Oldham and had a tutor at the studios while sitting her O-levels.
Jenny's early storylines included being fostered by Rita Fairclough and her engagement to Frenchman Patrice Podevin. Speaking to The Mirror in 2015, Matthews recalled a critic's comment during the airing of the latter story and its effect on her: "“What would a handsome Frenchman boy like Patric see in a little pudding like Jenny Bradley?” For me that was then eight months of active bulimia and then recovery." .
Jenny was also paired romantically with Martin Platt, though producer Bill Podmore felt that she was destined for someone with "a little more substance" than Martin (Coronation Street: The Inside Story, Macdonald & Co, 1990). Matthews believed Jenny to be "independent and career minded, and supposed to be a woman of the 1990s." (Coronation Street: Celebrating 30 Years, Boxtree Ltd, 1990) Outside of the studios, Matthews found that people assumed she was like her character: "Everybody felt they knew you, and because you played a certain character that you were like that. That was hard." .
Jenny then played a part in Alan's torment of Rita Fairclough, becoming her father's biggest champion and turning her back on Rita. Matthews received feedback both positive and negative for Jenny's role in the storyline: "There was a lot of sympathy but there were also a lot of people who wanted to slap Jenny and shake her up a bit. She was never really nasty, although she and Rita had fights, and there was always a lot of love there as well." (The Coronation Street Story) Jenny remained in the programme after Alan was killed off in December 1989 with her later storylines focusing on her life as a student.
Departure and 1993 returnEdit
Sally Ann Matthews decided to leave the programme in late 1990 and made her last appearance in Episode 3194 on 1st March 1991, in which Jenny moved in with married dentist Robert Weston. Now 21, Matthews wanted to prove herself as an actress: "I hadn't been to drama school, I am northern and I had been in a soap. People used to say 'she's just a soap actress' and I would think 'no, she's an actress'. I thought I would go and do lots of regional theatre to earn my stripes and gain respect as a result." 
In 1993, Matthews accepted an offer to return as Jenny in ten episodes. The actress hoped that by showcasing an older Jenny she could change casting directors' perceptions of her. Matthews: "I was still getting offered rebellious teenage roles and I was 23. I thought I would go back so people could see I was older now and it worked."  Jenny's last appearance for 22 years aired on 8th October. Matthews was subsequently asked to return, but declined due to fear of typecasting.
Matthews' feelings towards returning to Coronation Street changed four years before the next invitation came. Matthews: "It was only in 2010 when the 50th celebrations started and I was asked to do a couple of things. Normally my initial reaction would be to say no but I thought I'm never going to get away from it and people still recognise me from it. I am very proud I was in it, it's amazing it had reached the 50-year milestone and I should embrace it. So, that is when I started to feel differently about it and when they rang and asked me this time I said yes." 
On 20th October 2014 at a press event producer Stuart Blackburn announced that Sally Ann Matthews would be returning as Jenny . No timescale was given until Matthews clarified in a February 2015 interview that she would be leaving again once the storyline had concluded . With a gap of 21 years and four months, Matthews holds the record for the longest break from Coronation Street of an actress in one part.
Jenny returned to screens with Episode 8579 on 18th February 2015, where she met with Kevin Webster for a date after meeting online. Jenny's storyline involved a tragic backstory where her four-year-old son was drowned in a paddling pool two years previously. This was hinted at before being revealed to the audience after Jenny had snatched Jack Webster, thinking she was protecting him. Matthews played Jenny as confused rather than calculating: "I've not played it as premeditated at all. I don't believe that Jenny has planned any of it. You've got to remember that she really didn't want to get involved... But there is a genuine reason why Jenny is behaving the way she is." Blackburn: "I think why the story is working is the way Sally Ann is playing it. I've never considered that character a 'nutter'. She's a terribly damaged woman whose life stopped the day her child died. She's just been unable, however hard she tries, to move away from that." .
The denouement went down well with viewers, in a reversal from previous weeks when Jenny seemed to be being built up as a villain. Matthews, who was active on Twitter, noticed the change herself: "Basically people thought Jenny was weird and then they blamed her for Maddie’s death. But the episode when I slapped Maria Connor was when it all really kicked off on Twitter... But then I always knew they would change their minds when they knew the real story behind Jenny’s actions and thankfully they did... I worked my backside off for this story and it was nice to see people were watching it and enjoying it. " 
Jenny's comeback was deemed a success and Matthews signed a new contract in 2015. Her return was announced in August  and broadcast on 27th January 2016. Blackburn: "There's a period of healing for Jenny, but bit by bit, as we reboot and rebuild, the Jenny of old, who was manipulative and ambitious, is going to return." 
First and last linesEdit
"Yeah, I don't mind. We've only got rotten cookery fifth period anyhow. We're making fish pie - eww." (To Mavis Riley when asked if she'll work Roger's round)
|Unknown||Sweet factory||May or June 1990 to July 1990|
|Perfume demonstrator||Ashcroft Department Store||22nd October 1990 to March 1991|
|Promotions girl||Newton & Ridley||28th November 1990 to March 1991|
|Barmaid||Rovers Return Inn||24th September 1993 to October 1993|
|Unknown||Unknown||Unknown to 24th April 2015|
|Cleaner||Underworld||3rd February 2016 to 22nd July 2016|
|Machinist||Underworld||22nd July 2016 to present|