Pauline Lofthouse was a friend of Gail Tilsley's who in November 1986 arranged a firework display with her children and Gail and Nicky. Pauline occasionally babysat Sarah Louise and in 1988 helped Gail organise Sarah's first birthday party. Pauline was also privy to the fact that Brian Tilsley had proposed to Gail and thought Gail was fooling herself for thinking she could turn the proposal down and keep things as they were, warning her that it would turn him sour eventually.
A year later, Pauline acted as confidante to Gail when she decided to divorce Brian a second time. Pauline allayed Gail's fear that she was turning into her mother by praising her for being strong enough to leave an unhappy marriage. She was also present later that night when the police called at 33 Hammond Road to tell Gail that Brian had been fatally injured in a stabbing. Pauline later looked after Sarah at the house during Brian's funeral and in May 1989 she went with Gail and Nicky to the swing park, where Gail admitted she was struggling to balance work and the kids, but didn't agree with Pauline's suggestion that she give up the cafe.
- Pauline was credited as "Pauline Loftus" in her first three appearances and "Pauline Lofthouse" thereafter.