Keith Burgess was an old friend of Lucille Hewitt's. When she was living temporarily at 11 Coronation Street in early 1973 and the Howards were out at the cinema, she secretly invited him round. She hadn't seen Keith for two years since a New Year Eve's party when he passed out on the floor with his mouth open looking like "a dead spaniel". Since then he had been abroad in the army but a term in Ulster had convinced him to leave the service. Lucille complained to him about the rules and regulations she lived under with Annie Walker and compared life with Alan and Elsie Howard favourably with it. He wondered where they were going to go that night and was delighted to be told they had the house to themselves until midnight.

The Howards returned early and found the two of them dancing in the back room. Elsie hit the roof, having not been told that he would be in their home. Alan interrupted their argument and sent Elsie to bed, telling Lucille the problem wasn't Keith's presence but the fact that she had pulled the wool over their eyes. He nevertheless understood that this came from years' worth of habit of having to conceal her private life from her Aunty Annie.