Jill Barrett and her husband Philip were friends of Janet Barlow's from before her marriage to Ken. Soon after moving into 11 Coronation Street, Janet invited the Barretts for a meal. The evening got off to a fine start when they turned up with a lamp as a housewarming present. Albert Tatlock popped in briefly and while Janet was keen for him to go, the Barretts commented on him as a right character however things turned sour when Jill boasted of the new extension to their house which now had four bedrooms and study. Making an obvious comparison to the Barlows' house, Jill called it a townhouse, saying they were fashionable in London. This annoyed Ken who said a townhouse was simply a snobbish euphemism for a terrace.

Jill was also amazed that Janet taking on an instant family in Peter and Susan but then Janet's attitude made it quite clear that as far as she was concerned, she was far from happy at the thought. Later, when Ken took Philip for a drink at the Rovers, Janet became more honest with Jill on the subject, stating that she would like one of her own in a few years. Jill sympathised, telling Janet that she had no maternal feelings and had insisted on not having any children with Philip. To help her friend, Jill suggested she send the twins to Lindens Boarding School and later sent her a brochure for the establishment. When Ken happened across it, he blew his top, furious that Janet had married him with the full knowledge that he expected her to be a mother to his children.

To return the favour, Jill invited the Barlows over for dinner at the Barretts' abode. Answering the phone, Ken turned down the invitation for both of them, finding Jill hard going, but Janet subsequently rang Jill and told her that they would both be there.