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Jenny Bradley

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Jenny Bradley 2016
Jenny Bradley
Occupation Machinist at Underworld
Born 4th March 1971
Residence 12 Victoria Court
Father Alan Bradley
Mother Pat Bradley
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 423 (as of Episode 9153)
Played by Sally Ann Matthews

Jenny Bradley (formerly Midgeley) was Rita Fairclough's foster daughter and daughter of Alan Bradley.

Jenny came to live with Rita in 1986, just after her mother Pat died in a road accident. Alan had left Pat and Jenny six years earlier but he was traced and re-entered her life.

Jenny lived most of her teenage years in the 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 for his death in Blackpool. In 1989, she started studying Biology at Manchester Polytechnic but in 1991 she dropped out of her course and left Weatherfield with a married man, Robert Weston.

Having last visited the area in the autumn of 1993, Jenny returned again in February 2015 after meeting Kevin Webster through a dating website. She departed again in June 2015 after attempting to abduct Kevin's son Jack. She returned again in January 2016 after she was released from hospital and made contact with Rita wanting forgiveness.

BiographyEdit

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1971-1986: ChildhoodEdit

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.

1986-1988: Jenny's new familyEdit

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 ask 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 her 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 serious 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.

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 it off.

1989-91Edit

In 1989 Rita and Alan's relationship stating going downhill. First due to Alan selling the deeds to her house to buy Weatherfield Security Systems on Curzon Street. Soon after the opening of his shop he hired Dawn Prescott as a receptionist and a few months later he tried rape the young women. Dawn told Rita about the attack and about the letters that arrived in Len's name to the workplace. Rita discovered the fraud and on the night of Jenny's 18th birthday party, she confronted Alan at No.7. She told him that she had informed the building society about him and that he was about to go under. Alan went mad, hit her and tried to murder her by suffocating her with a cushion. She was saved by the return of Jenny and Martin Platt, who were concerned when she wasn't answering the phone. Despite the attempted murder Jenny stood by her father even after he went on the run from the police. Alan was captured and sentenced to two years in prison but was released as he had already served time in prison, and he walked out of the courtroom a free man.

Rita decided to go to Blackpool to hide out for a while but Alan eventually tracked her down and attempted to stuff her into his car but as Alan got into the car Rita got out and ran for her life.
Alanbradley tram
Alan gave chase but accidentally ran in front of a tram, killing him. On the day of her fathers funeral, Jenny was the only attendee with Martin, Sally and Kevin Webster providing her support.

Following her fathers death, Jenny began studying biology at Weatherfield Polytechnic. In April 1990 Rita moved out of 7 Coronation Street and Jenny's college mates Felicity Khan and her sister Joanne Khan moved in.

Later that year, Jenny started dating Mark Casey. Mark considered asking her to marry him. He wanted to live with her and planned to oust Angie Freeman from No.7 so they could have the house to themselves. The following year in January Jenny and her mate Steph Barnes did a promo at the Adelphi Hotel. While there, Jenny met a man called Robert Weston. Later on, Mark turned up to the promo and assumed that Robert was Steph's boyfriend. Following the evening, Steph told Jenny to tell Mark about Robert. Eventually Mark and Jenny broke up and she continued her relationship with Robert, despite him being married. In February Robert told Jenny that he was going to break up with his wife, after that Jenny moved into a flat with Robert and left the street.

1993: Brief Return to WeatherfieldEdit

In 1993, Jenny came back to Weatherfield, now without Robert but with a rare breed of dog named Mitzi. Jenny was welcomed back warmly by her foster parent, Rita. A few days later Jenny broke down when she found out that Robert had cleared out their joint bank account. Rita felt sorry for her and offered her a small loan. Later on Derek Wilton looked after Mitzi for a day but while out walking her she was snatched. Upon being told by Derek, Jenny knew immediately that it would have been Robert who had taken her. In October Jenny asked why Rita didn't live in her house in Oakhill that she had inherited from her dead husband Ted Sullivan. Her question was answered by Mavis Wilton who said she didn't live there for legal reasons. Jenny suggested to Rita that she sell her flat. Rita saw right through her, telling her it was obvious that she was counting on the house as inheritance herself. The following night Jenny, who was desperate for money, begged Rita for £30,000 so she could open her own salon but Rita instantly refused her request. She told Rita that it wasn't fair as she always seems to profit from her tragedies but Jenny didn't. Rita was furious and told her that she'd never see a penny of her money when she died. She wrote Jenny a cheque for a thousand pounds and told her to be gone by morning.

1993-2013: Away from the StreetEdit

After leaving Weatherfield Jenny married at some point and gave birth in June 2008 to their son Tom Midgeley. The four-year-old child however tragically drowned after Jenny momentarily left him playing in a paddling pool during April 2013.

2015: Reunion with Kevin WebsterEdit

Following a messy divorce, Jenny had taken up internet dating and in February 2015 made contact with former neighbour Kevin Webster. They had agreed to meet up and went to a bar together and caught up over the goings on in the past twenty-two years. Jenny hesitantly asked after Rita, and pondered whether or not to see her again especially as they hadn't parted on good terms the last time.
Episode8579

Jenny returns to the street after almost 22 years.

The day following their date, Jenny went for meal with Kevin at Nick's Bistro and later the Rovers, where she ended up in a confrontation with Rita's friend Norris Cole, who'd heard about Jenny and berated her for her treatment of Rita in the past. Despite the incident, Jenny was still keen to see Kevin.

In June, while everyone else was at the funeral of Maddie Heath, Jenny abducted Kevin's son Jack. She took him to an apartment in Hull that she'd rented under the alias of "Melanie Davis". While there Jenny celebrated her deceased son's birthday with Jack, but when she noticed that he wasn't participating she lashed out at the child and ordered him to go to his room. Jenny then phoned a worried Rita and asked her to come and meet her alone. Rita told Kevin and Sophie that she was going to see Jenny, but Kevin and Sophie insisted on going with her. When Rita arrived, Jenny quickly discovered that Kevin and Sophie had tagged along. Jenny shortly contemplated jumping off the balcony claiming she had nothing to live for but instead broke down in tears and was brought down and arrested by the police.

2016-: Reunion with Rita and Blackpool TripEdit

Jenny was released from hospital and moved into rundown accommodation. She used Wi-Fi to contact Rita on social media and they met in the park. Having second thoughts Jenny ran off, but Rita managed to track her down as she had left her purse behind containing her address to her bedsit where she was surprised by her living conditions and offered her refuge at her home. Jenny accepted but dreaded seeing Kevin and Sophie again after what had happened. Upon her return, Jenny was met with a frosty reception from the Websters but later met with Kevin and told him that she'd received psychological help and would stay away from Jack. Later she managed to secure a job at Underworld as a cleaner. Shortly after her arrival things began to go missing from the factory and Sally and Beth Sutherland were suspicious of Jenny although Marta Zarek later proved to be the culprit.

In May 2016, Jenny and her boss, Johnny Connor, went to visit Blackpool to properly lay her long deceased father to rest. 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.

PersonalityEdit

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Background informationEdit

Creation and castingEdit

Jenny publicity 1980s

1980s publicity shot of Sally Ann Matthews as Jenny

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.

StorylinesEdit

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." [1].

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." [2].

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." [3]

Jenny publicity 1993

Jenny returns in 1993 with "Mitzi"

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." [4] Jenny's last appearance for 22 years aired on 8th October. Matthews was subsequently asked to return, but declined due to fear of typecasting.

ComebackEdit

2015 jenny returns

2015: Jenny re-appears after 22 years

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." [5]

On 20th October 2014 at a press event producer Stuart Blackburn announced that Sally Ann Matthews would be returning as Jenny [6]. No timescale was given until Matthews clarified in a February 2015 interview that she would be leaving again once the storyline had concluded [7]. 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." [8].

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. " [9]

Jenny's comeback was deemed a success and Matthews signed a new contract in 2015. Her return was announced in August [10] 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." [11]

QuotesEdit

"Who were you expecting?" (First line)

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


Current characters
Ken Barlow | Emily Bishop | Rita Tanner | Peter Barlow | Gail Rodwell | Tracy Barlow | Audrey Roberts | Nick Tilsley | Kevin Webster | Jenny Bradley | Sally Metcalfe | Sarah Platt | Liz McDonald | Steve McDonald | Rosie Webster | David Platt | Norris Cole | Sophie Webster | Daniel Osbourne | Roy Cropper | Robert Preston | Leanne Battersby | Toyah Battersby | Tyrone Dobbs | Dev Alahan | Eileen Phelan | Maria Connor | Kirk Sutherland | Bethany Platt | Adam Barlow | Todd Grimshaw | Fiz Stape | Simon Barlow | Sean Tully | Chesney Brown | Amy Barlow | Aadi Alahan | Asha Alahan | Michelle Connor | Anna Windass | Gary Windass | Mary Taylor | Liam Connor Jr. | Brian Packham | Izzy Armstrong | Max Turner | Jack Webster | Hope Stape | Faye Windass | Eva Price | Beth Sutherland | Craig Tinker | Ruby Dobbs | Tim Metcalfe | Sinead Tinker | Jake Windass | Lily Platt | Pat Phelan | Luke Britton | Alya Nazir | Yasmeen Nazir | Zeedan Nazir | Gemma Winter | Billy Mayhew | Erica Holroyd | Cathy Matthews | Aidan Connor | Alex Warner | Johnny Connor | Kate Connor | Rana Nazir | Harry Platt | Shona Ramsey | Oliver Battersby

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