Michelle had Ali in 1992 when she was fifteen years old. His father was Michelle's long-term partner Dean, who was killed in a car accident in 2002. Due to a mishap at Weatherfield General when Ali was born, she came home with a different baby who she named Ryan. The mix-up wasn't discovered until 2007 and thereafter Michelle treated both Ryan and Ali as her natural sons, though she lost touch with Ali until 2018.
Originally pursuing a singing career, Michelle turned to bar work in 2006 when she was taken on at the Rovers Return. Michelle and Ryan moved into the Rovers when she entered into a relationship with the landlord, Steve McDonald. After initially finishing with him following his affair with Becky Granger, Michelle reconciled with Steve in 2012 and a year later she became the Rovers' joint licensee. The couple were married in 2015. In 2017, Michelle gave birth to a son, Ruairi, at only 23 weeks into her pregnancy, however the baby was too underdeveloped to survive. In the wake of the stillbirth, Michelle discovered that Steve was the father of Leanne Battersby's son Oliver, and ended their marriage.
Michelle came from a close-knit family, with two protective older brothers in Paul and Liam, a sisterly relationship with sister-in-law Carla, and strong links with her cousins Aidan and Kate. The late 2000s were a time of sorrow for Michelle as Paul and Liam were killed a year apart. Remaining close to Carla, Michelle worked as her PA at Underworld between 2010 and 2013.
Since leaving Steve, Michelle has got engaged to Robert Preston and become manageress of his restaurant, the Viaduct Bistro. She currently lives at 9 Victoria Court with Robert and her "sons" Ryan and Ali.
1976-2006: Birth and upbringing
On the 21st April 1976, Michelle Connor was born to Barry and Helen Connor. Michelle was brought up in Manchester alongside her two brothers Paul and Liam. Growing up, the siblings were close friends of Carla and Rob Donovan. They were also second cousins (once removed) of Johnny Connor and third cousins of Johnny's children Aidan and Kate.
Michelle later became involved with Dean, the man of her dreams, and on 14th January 1992, Michelle gave birth to their son. Unbeknownst to the pair their son was accidentally swapped as result of an error at Weatherfield General and they took home a baby belonging to another couple, Nick and Wendy Neeson, whom they later named Ryan Connor while their biological son was named Alex Neeson. Neither of the couples would become aware of the misunderstanding until many years later.
On 18th December 1993, Aidan and Kate's mother, Louisa Connor, discovered the truth about her husband Johnny's affair with Carla's mother, Sharon, and was accidentally struck and killed by a car after stepping out into the road without looking as she tried to abandon Johnny. Terrified that Aidan and Kate would learn the truth and blame him for their mother's death Johnny attempted to convince Barry that he should return to Ireland, where he was born and raised, in the hope that he would take his three children and Carla with him, as Carla had begun a serious relationship with Paul Connor and the pair couldn't be separated. As a result of this Barry and Helen decided to return to Ireland but none of their children followed suit. Johnny later moved to another part of Manchester with his children.
Her brothers continued to work in the business industry without their father's guidance. Paul moved away with Carla and the pair married in 1999, Liam began working locally as he wanted to stay close to his sister and nephew, while Michelle sought out a singing career for herself. However, in 2002 tragedy struck as Dean was killed in a car accident caused by Paul, but with the help of his brother Liam they were able to cover the truth from Michelle. Liam stood by Michelle, allowing her to move in with him as she couldn't afford her own rent, and as a result of this her singing career took a massive hit.
2006: Fresh start in Weatherfield
In 2006, Michelle and her son Ryan moved to Coronation Street, Weatherfield for a fresh start along with her brother Liam. Not long after arriving Liam became interested in taking over Underworld, the local factory, which had been left vulnerable after the death of boss Mike Baldwin and departure of his son Danny Baldwin. After enlisting his brother Paul's help the pair were able to convince Mike's other son Adam Barlow, who was young and naïve, to sell the factory over to them.
After being hired as a barmaid at the Rovers Return by Steve McDonald Michelle realised that Steve had grown feelings towards her. Despite her son's feelings, landlady Liz McDonald immediately disliked Michelle due to the fact that her current boyfriend, Vernon Tomlin who met Michelle when she auditioned for a part in his band, began flirting with Michelle behind her back. After being propositioned for sex by Vernon, Michelle came up with a plan to publically humiliate him and to win over Liz. However, as Michelle outed Vernon he was able to twist the truth and make it appear that Michelle was the guilty party.
Liz furiously fired Michelle from her job as a barmaid and banned her from setting foot back in the pub. However, when the truth was finally exposed Liz kicked Vernon out, although she later took him back, and feeling guilty she offered Michelle her job back to which Michelle accepted.
Now believing that Steve no longer fancied her, Michelle begins dating the manipulative Sonny Dhillon. Steve, however, did still harbor feelings for her and became jealous by the budding relationship and attempted to split the pair up. Much to Steve's disappointment the pair got engaged, however Steve discovered that Sonny was actually bisexual after having witnessed a kiss between him and Sean Tully. Using this information Steve revealed all to Michelle whom at first refused to believe the accusations after both Sonny and Sean denied the allegations. When Michelle eventually uncovered their lies, she was devastated and after confronting her fiancé the pair called off their engagement.
When Carla hinted that Michelle's brothers Paul and Liam were hiding something from her, Michelle confronted them and discovered the truth that Paul had been responsible for the car crash that had claimed Dean's life. Michelle was horrified and cut all contact with her brothers.
2007: Death of her first brother
After her brother Paul was seriously injured in a car crash, caused after he kidnapped Leanne Battersby due to the fact that she'd led him to believe that their meetings were more than just part of her job as a prostitute. Michelle didn't know how to react, as she was unable to forgive him for the death of Dean. She initially refused to visit Paul in hospital, but after much persuasion from Steve, Michelle had a change of heart and decided to visit. However, by the time she arrived at the hospital, Paul was already dead, leaving Michelle hysterical. Michelle later reconciled with her brother Liam, fearing that she'd never get a chance to do so like with Paul.
In an attempt to comfort her an infatuated Steve attempted to kiss Michelle, but she rejected him due to the fact that she'd only just confided in him about the true circumstances of Dean's death. Steve accepted Michelle's decision, and after giving her a period of time to come to terms with the revelations the pair finally became a couple and both her and Ryan moved out of their flat and into the Rovers alongside Liz and Steve's daughter, Amy Barlow.
2007-2008: Return of her biological son
In December 2007, Ryan discovered that he had been being stalked on multiple occasions. Worried about who the man may be, Ryan informed his mother who informed Steve and Liam. At first the trio were dismissive, putting it down to Ryan's imagination. However, after the stalker made contact with Ryan - pulling up alongside him in a vehicle and using his name - they paid more attention. After another reappearance, Michelle was able to follow the stalker home and after knocking on the door discovered another 15-year-old, Alex.
Michelle realized, much to her horror, that Alex was the spitting image of her late partner, Dean. Her worst fears were confirmed when Alex revealed that he was her biological son who was accidentally swapped at birth for Ryan. Alex had learnt the truth after he became seriously ill. His apparent father Nick planned to donate blood but their differing blood groups made it impossible for him to be Alex's father. Having initially believed that his wife Wendy had been involved in an affair, she proclaimed her innocence and took a DNA test herself and discovered that she wasn't Ryan's mother either.
Despite Michelle rejecting Alex and insisting that Ryan was her legal son, Alex began to cause trouble for her by spreading the truth about their relationship. Michelle was terrified that Ryan would discover the truth and so did her best to refute the claims however, when Alex turned up at the Rovers along with the police to discuss his shoplifting, Michelle was forced to tell the truth. Deciding that Nick and Wendy were unfit to raise a child properly Michelle announceed that she wanted Alex to stay with her and Steve at the Rovers.
Alex's presence caused tension between him and Michelle's true son Ryan, driving Ryan to move in with Liam. Michelle found it hard to look after Alex as he began to cause more and more trouble including barricading himself inside the pub. Eventually Michelle was forced to send Alex home to his parents, however she continued to have contact with him as she took him to visit his grandparents in Ireland.
Out of retaliation Ryan refused to return home to Michelle from Liam's house and began to visit Nick and Wendy. However, as Ryan's presence at the Neeson home caused trouble Michelle, Nick and Wendy agree to keep the son that they brought up and to have no contact with the other.
2008: Death of her second brother
Liam later passed away.
2008: Desolation of her relationship with Steve
Michelle's relationship with Steve began to crumble when Steve locked Dan Mason down the cellar resulting in Dan receiving a ruptured spleen. Steve had a drunken one-night stand with Becky Granger and when Steve did not tell Michelle about the incident, she began to get suspicious when Steve and best friend Lloyd acted nervous several times in front of Michelle. When Liz told Michelle that Steve got on very well with new barmaid and prostitute Leanne Battersby, she blamed her when she suspected Steve had slept with someone. After confronting Lloyd when Steve went to visit twin brother Andy, Michelle 'fired' Leanne despite having no authority to do so, after spotting her talking with Lloyd. Dan went to confront Michelle and stood up for Leanne, claiming that she was with him and worrying when Dan was in hospital. Leanne then refused to co-operate when Michelle tried to resume their friendship.
Lloyd lied that Steve had planned a surprise proposal to Michelle and that Andy would be best man, and that he wanted to get married in a Spanish castle, so Steve subsequently went to see Andy because of this. Upon Steve's returned to Weatherfield, Lloyd persuaded Michelle to keep quiet, but when Lloyd and Steve argued, Steve actually proposed. Eileen Grimshaw objected to Lloyd when he told her all about the situation and Eileen persuaded him to tell Michelle the truth. Unaware that Steve had already proposed, he told Michelle the truth although Michelle still kept quiet.
On 16th July, Michelle chose her engagement ring, choosing the most expensive one in the shop, and when Steve proposed with the ring, Michelle snapped, telling him that she would never marry him. She smacked him in the mouth, and left to go back with Carla to her flat, leaving Steve with a bleeding lip. The following day Michelle confessed to Carla that she didn't even love Steve anyway, but confronted him and demanded to know what happened on the night he was out, Steve confessed that he had stayed at a girls house, whom he claimed he met at a disco, and that he'd slept on her sofa and nothing happened. Michelle threw the expensive engagement ring in a skip, leaving Steve to rummage through to get it back. When Steve returned, Michelle threw him out. Steve told Michelle the next day act normal in front of Amy, in an attempt to weasel his way back into Michelle's affections. Becky tried to get Michelle and Steve back together in an attempt to make less chance of her one-night stand being revealed, but Michelle did not listen and told Steve to leave once he'd put Amy to bed.
On 13th August, Michelle, Sean, Becky and Marcus Dent went out to a karaoke bar. While there Michelle met an old friend named JD. In a bid to wind up Steve over his infidelity she brought him back to the Rovers, leaving a bemused Steve outside. Steve and Michelle shared a bottle of champagne, before she told Steve she was going on tour with JD and his band to Belgium.
In November 2010 Michelle became Carla's assistant trainee manager when she gave Carla a brilliant business idea after Nick Tilsley left Carla in high need of money. She continued to work there and noticed Carla was acting suspiciously and phoning 'the mystery man' frequently. When she caught Carla 'flirting' on the phone again she waited until Carla left the office and redialed 'the mystery man' who turned out to be Peter Barlow. She told her boyfriend and Peter's friend Ciaran McCarthy, who confronted Peter. She then herself confronted Peter outside Barlow's Bookies, who asked her: 'Have you been speaking to your boyfriend?' after she saw Carla and Peter having a cozy chat. Later that night she watched as Peter and Carla head into Carla's flat. Michelle, reading all the wrong signals, this time confronted Carla and Peter. Peter told Carla to tell Michelle about her alcoholism, so Carla gave Michelle the court case newspaper and Michelle was shocked to find out that Carla was in fact an alcoholic. Upset, Carla then revealed to Michelle that her drinking was a result of a late grieving process for her lover, and Michelle's brother Liam.
2016-2017: Second pregnancy and loss of Ruairi
In 2016 Michelle found out that she was pregnant with a baby boy, but she went into premature labour at only 23 weeks. On 11th January 2017, Michelle gave birth to Ruairi, but he was too underdeveloped to survive.
It later transpired that her friend Leanne's son Oliver was actually Steve's child, a result of a one night stand between the pair during the time when Michelle and Steve took a short break from each other. Angered, Michelle left Steve once again and she later moved onto Robert Preston, who had supported her when she secretly contemplated suicide after Ruairi's demise.
2017-: Robert Preston and further problems
Michelle began working at the bistro alongside Robert, however her life wouldn't be any easier. Michelle's ex-boyfriend Will Chatterton had returned to the area and began stalking Michelle, in which he drugged her at a bar and bound and gagged her in the trunk of a car. However Michelle and Robert didn't suspect Will, instead they believed it was Robert's former colleague and friend Rich Collis, who prior to the incident had stabbed Chesney Brown in the bistro following a fight in which Robert refused to help him smuggle drugs. The pair believed that Rich was out for revenge when Robert handed him over to the police, however he denied the allegation. Regardless, Robert lost his temper and beat Rich up, which resulted in Robert being charged and handed a two month sentence to be served at Highfield Prison, which left Michelle on her own.
Will lured Michelle to his flat, where she found out that he was actually the stalker. During a chase through the property, Michelle locked herself into the bedroom, but Will managed to kick down the door. Steve came to Michelle's rescue and knocked Will out, and he was subsequently arrested by the police and charged after confessing to his crime.
After Robert was released from prison the pair reconciled and hoped to move on, however he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Robert took to gambling and as a result put them in debt. Desperate, a masked Michelle robbed the bistro as part of an insurance fraud scheme, however was attacked by her cousin Kate who was secretly hanging out there with her lover Rana Nazir. Following the incident, Michelle and Robert successfully received the insurance money to clear the debt, and Michelle promised Kate and Rana that she would keep their affair a secret, on the condition Kate didn't go to the police over the bistro incident.
In January 2018, Michelle was reunited with her biological son Alex Neeson, now going by "Ali", who was working a trainee general practitioner at Rosamund Street Medical Centre, although he seemingly wasn't interested in a reunion. With the help of Robert however, Ali was slowly persuaded and began talking to his mother.
Michelle wasn't pleased when she discovered that Carla had slept with Ali despise being blood related and the pair had a falling out. Michelle told Carla she wouldn't be welcome at her and Robert's wedding. However following the suicide of Michelle's cousin Aidan Connor, they healed the rift as the Connor family needed to stick together. Michelle and Robert contemplated delaying the wedding, however decided to go ahead sooner but have a much smaller affair, as they believed some happiness would balance out the grief sustained from Aidan's death.
But even the wedding wouldn't be a happy event, as Robert nearly walked out on Michelle when he witnessed Steve trying to kiss her, and even though he agreed to marry her, local killer Pat Phelan led a siege at the bistro in a desperate attempt to get medical attention for his daughter Nicola, who he had accidentally shot. Phelan threatened to kill Michelle unless Ali administered first aid, although he said that Nicola would need to go to hospital and get surgery for the gunshot wound. Phelan grabbed Michelle and dragged her into the kitchen, warning the guests not to follow or he would kill her. In the kitchen, Phelan was confronted by his enemy Anna Windass, who had recently been released from prison. During a struggle in which Michelle got free, she was shot by Phelan and wounded. In retaliation, Anna stabbed Phelan in the heart with a knife. Ali tended to Michelle while Phelan lay bleeding. Phelan pulled the knife out in a plan to kill himself and frame Anna for murder, however Michelle informed Phelan that she would vouch for Anna and that she acted in self defence. Phelan passed away from his injuries, and Michelle and Nicola were taken to hospital to recover.
Hobbies and interests
Kym Marsh originally appeared initially in the role for four episodes in April 2006, before appearing as a regular in August that year. The character's full-time return also paved way for the introduction of the Connor family, with characters Ryan, Liam, Paul and Carla Connor being introduced over the following months.
Michelle was absent between January and November 2011 as Kym Marsh took maternity leave. She was originally going to be involved in a storyline where she would be sexually assaulted by Frank Foster (Andrew Lancel) but was told to take an early maternity leave by her doctor for the safety of the baby. The storyline was rewritten so Maria Connor was quickly drafted into the storyline and escaped a near sexual assault from Frank. Upon Michelle's return that year she resumed involvement in the storyline in which she helped to support Carla, who had recently been raped by Frank.
In 2007 she won Newcomer Awards at the British Soap Awards and the National Television Awards following her introduction to the series. In 2017, she won Best Dramatic Performance at the British Soap Awards for the stillbirth storyline.
First and last lines
"Follow that as they say. Michelle... I'm not too late am I?" (First line, to Vernon Tomlin)