Lewis Archer was a male escort who was in a relationship with Audrey Roberts, before stealing from Barlow's Bookies and fleeing. However, he later returned to pay his debts and make up with Audrey, much to the dismay of her daughter Gail. They later resumed their relationship when Lewis convinced her that he was a changed man.
Lewis met Audrey at the Weatherfield Council Christmas lunch on 18th December 2009 when he was escorting Claudia Colby. Audrey, a friend of Claudia's, fell for Lewis and he remained in her thoughts afterwards despite her shock at finding out he was a paid escort. In the New Year, Audrey called on Lewis to have dinner with her, but got cold feet at the last minute and pretended to be ill when he arrived at her door. Lewis, who was used to nervous first-time customers, sat with Audrey as she shared her memories of her late-husband Alf before they left for dinner as planned.
A month later, a bored Audrey called on Lewis again. This time they visited Audrey's regular pub, the Rovers, and pretended in front of Audrey's friends that they had never met before. Norris Cole, who had attended the Christmas lunch with Audrey, recognised Lewis and jumped to the conclusion that Lewis and Audrey were having an affair.
Rita Sullivan called on Lewis's services after seeing his advert in a magazine. On his second rendezvous with Rita, Lewis was surprised to encounter Audrey and Claudia and to find out that Audrey knew Rita. When he suspected that Audrey wasn't pleased about their meeting, he ushered Rita away. Rita's perceived interest in Lewis only encouraged Audrey to see even more of Lewis, although on a visit to Audrey's salon in Coronation Street, Lewis misplaced his notebook which contained details he had written about his thoughts on his clients. When Lewis went to retrieve it, he found that it had been a wake-up call for Audrey that she was a client and nothing more, but Lewis surprised Audrey with a kiss and told her he had developed real feelings for her. They immediately started dating.
For a time, Lewis saw Audrey while continuing with his escort work but after noticing that she was put out by him constantly being engaged with escort work, Lewis quit, telling Audrey that he was beginning to feel too old for the job anyway. Audrey decided to invest £100,000 to pursue Lewis's dream with him to run a hotel in Greece and they planned to leave for a new life.
Lewis began flirting with Deirdre Barlow at the bookies, and while her back was turned, he stamped the betting slips and later filled in the names of the winning horses to make it look like he had won. He managed to con £4,000 from the bookies. On Lewis and Audrey's "leaving" day for Greece, Lewis arrived at Manchester Airport in order to flee the country by himself. He left Audrey's money alone, cancelled the transfer, and booked a flight to Barbados. Before boarding, he met a woman called Lydia Radcliffe, and after discovering the pair were on the same flight, offered to sit with her to ease her nervousness. Back in Weatherfield, Peter Barlow discovered Lewis's con on the CCTV footage at the bookies, and Deirdre got sacked. A broken Audrey was shown the footage at the Platts' house where she was waiting for him, and back at home she found a letter from Lewis saying "I tried".
As of February 2012, Lewis was back in England. When he and a friend entered a country pub, he bumped into Audrey and Gail who were there after they got lost while out power walking. Lewis pretended to be his "twin" brother Hugh, but when the Barman referred to him by name, Lewis paid for their drinks and made a quick departure. However later in the day he returned to Weatherfield and repaid Peter Barlow the £4,000 he owed him, plus an extra £1,000. He then went to see Audrey, and asked her to escort him to the police station to hand himself in. He was let out on bail and turned up in the Rovers where he was punched by Deirdre. Audrey later met Lewis in Nick's Bistro for a drink where he made out he was a changed man and gave her his phone number. He turned up at the salon the next day where Audrey's grandson David threatened to hit him. He sent flowers to the salon, and Audrey tracked him down and found out he was living in a grubby bedsit after having money issues. Lewis attended Weatherfield Magistrates Court, and was ordered to serve forty hours' community service. He was given a job at the bistro by Nick Tilsley after impressing restaurant critic Greg.
While on holiday with Audrey in October 2012, he spotted Penny Thornley, a woman he had conned five years previously. While at a train station he vanished - leaving a confused Audrey abandoned, and she made her own way home. Lewis once again returned to Weatherfield shortly afterwards, and revealed the reasons for his departure. He then suggested they leave town and start afresh, but Audrey's family arrived while they were packing - along with Penny - who Audrey contacted. Penny planned to turn Lewis into the police, but Audrey stopped her and offered her the £10,000 that Lewis had conned from her. Even though Lewis didn't want Audrey to bail him out, she persisted. Penny then left - very disappointed in Audrey for being foolish enough for falling for him again.
Lewis began working at the Rovers and was supportive of Gloria Price, who claimed to have an illness and not long to live - although it was just a scam. She later got Gail involved to see if Lewis would agree to run off with Gloria and betray Audrey. Lewis was angry to discover what happened and told Audrey, and was annoyed to discover that she was aware of the situation and dumped her, devastating Audrey. Lewis then began plotting revenge on both Gloria and Gail for ruining his happiness, and later exposed Gloria when she cheated in order to win Lancashire Leisure's "Pub of the Year" competition, which caused a shame-faced Gloria to leave the Weatherfield, but not before Lewis told her and gloated about his success.
Lewis got his job back at the bistro, and then began planning his revenge on Gail. Despite her distrust in Lewis, Gail began to have a softer approach to him and felt guilty about what she had done. Lewis "staged" an accident in the bistro blaming the wet floors Gail was working on and then faked an injured back. A guilty Gail invited him to stay with her, and Lewis used the opportunity to get access to Gail's bank details and find out her worth. Lewis began giving advice to Gail and acted like he cared for her, winning her trust and she developed feelings for him. Lewis also let his old friend Patrick Woodson in on the con who was happy to see that Lewis hadn't gone soft and returned to his old ways. While sharing a bottle of wine with Gail in the bistro, Patrick arrived, pretending to bump into Lewis on the "off chance", and offered him a job running a hotel in Italy. However, Lewis turned down the offer as he didn't want to leave Weatherfield behind again, making Gail believe he was staying for her.
Lewis and Gail begin dating in secret but Lewis didn't want to take it further - not wanting to hurt Audrey's feelings. When the family found out about what Gail was up to, Lewis decided to drive a wedge between Gail and her family by saying that he would take up Patrick's offer for them to move to Italy together. Gail took a loan against her house for £40,000. Lewis then plotted to take the money, transferring it into separate accounts. Blackmailing Kylie after finding out that she slept with Nick on Christmas Day, he instructed her to get Gail's username and password. Once he obtained the information, he told Gail to get the family together at No.8 to announce the plans to move, having left a DVD recording of his confession, Lewis then vanished. The Platt family played the recording of Lewis telling Gail that he could never love her, and blaming her for his break up with Audrey. Lewis told Audrey he was sorry for causing her pain and would always love her and he sent a courier to the house with £9,000 for Audrey - settling his debt for bailing him out with Penny.
When Audrey arrived back at her house later that night, she found flowers left by Lewis with a card reading: "You were always the one. All my love, all my life, Lewis."
Despite a full police investigation, Gail was disappointed to find that Lewis had evaded capture and had settled in Belize where he was unable to be extradited even if caught.
- Actor Nigel Havers joined the cast of Coronation Street in October 2009, and Lewis' scenes were first aired in December 2009. This was a one-off appearance, and the character returned in the New Year to continue on the role. In March 2010, Nigel revealed he would like his contract renewed as he was enjoying his time on the show.
- Lewis was written out at the end of his storyline in August, eight months after his debut.
- In February 2011, Nigel revealed while on Loose Women that he was in talks with the Coronation Street producers about making a comeback. Later that year, it was revealed he would be returning to the show, and in January 2012, Nigel resumed filming with his return airing the following month.
- It was rumoured that Lewis would be killed off in the summer of 2012 in a car accident. However Nigel Havers later renewed his contract up to 2013, and Phil Collinson stated in an interview that the rumour was false.
- Lewis departed at the end of his second stint in February 2013 after being involved in a storyline conning Gail McIntyre.
First and last lines
"Charmed" (First line, to Audrey Roberts)
"I hope, by now, Gail has acquainted you with our little scheme... to cut you adrift and start a new life in Italy. I'd like to say she took a lot of persuading to abandon her family but alas, no! As with my seduction... she didn't need asking twice. You made it easy, Gail... far easier than I dared hope. But did you seriously think I could ever love you? and after what you did to Audrey and myself... you destroyed my best hope of happiness, so let me return the compliment. There is no new life in Italy, no job in Tuscany and no money left in your bank account... because by the time you've watched this, I'll have taken it - as compensation for what you stole from me.
Which brings me to you, Audrey. You did what no other woman ever could, you made me happy and content. I truly was a changed man until Gail meddled and forced me to revert to type. We could've been so happy, Audrey... but I'm afraid this is our last goodbye. And that really, truly breaks my heart. I'm sorry for any pain this may cause you and I mean you no harm. Ti amo, my darling.
Kylie... I like you very much, you've got something about you and you could do a good deal better than that weasel of a husband. And you deserve happiness too, Nick. I hope you both manage to find it one day. Hey look at that, the perfect cocktail. It just requires a toast, and this one's especially for you Gail... 'Chi cento ne fa, una ne aspetti'... Or as we say in this country, 'What goes around comes around'. Ciao!" (Final line)