|Born||5th April 1965|
|Residence||1 Coronation Street|
|Sibling(s)|| Lawrence Cunningham (half-brother) |
Tracy Barlow (adoptive sister)
Daniel Osbourne (half-brother)
|Spouse(s)|| Jessica Midgeley (1990)|
Lucy Richards (2003)
Shelley Unwin (2003, bigamous)
Leanne Battersby (2010)
Carla Connor (2013)
|Children||Simon Barlow (2003)|
|First appearance||5th April 1965|
|Duration||1965-1971, 1973, 1974 1975, 1977, 1978, 1986, 2000-2003, 2007, 2008-2014, 2015, 2016 to present|
|Number of appearances||1165 (as of Episode 9013)|
|Played by|| John Heannau (1965-1970) |
Christopher Dormer (1970-1971)
Mark Duncan (1971)
Linus Roache (1973-1975)
Joseph McKenna (1977-1978)
David Lonsdale (1986)
Chris Gascoyne (2000 to present)
Peter was born in 1965. He and his twin sister Susan were raised by Ken and Val until Val's death in 1971. Ken initially tried to cope with bringing them up by himself but eventually sent them to Glasgow, into the care of Val's parents Alfred and Edith Tatlock, intending to send for the twins when he had married again. By the time Ken was ready to have his children live with him, Peter and Susan were settled in Glasgow and opted to remain there.
In 1980, Peter joined the Royal Navy and served with them until 2000. He married Jessica Midgeley in 1990 but they separated and later divorced in 2000 after she was unfaithful. After being discharged from the Navy, Peter returned to his native Weatherfield and began to build a life there, buying the Bookies in Rosamund Street and getting engaged to Shelley Unwin. While still with Shelley, Peter became involved with Lucy Richards and married her after finding out she was pregnant with his baby, but he still married an oblivious Shelley and lived a double life until his wives found out. Lucy moved to Australia with Peter's son Simon, and with his life in ruins, Peter moved to Portsmouth.
Peter returned to Weatherfield in 2008 when Lucy died and left Peter all her money in her will, on the condition that he brought up Simon. Peter again bought the Bookies but found the pressures of fatherhood overwhelming, and eventually turned to drink, but quit after burning down his flat and nearly killing Simon. He began a relationship with assistant Leanne Battersby and they got engaged in 2010. Recently, Peter had to fight for custody of Simon when Lucy's affluent father George Wilson saw Peter as a destructive influence on the boy after witnessing Peter fall off the wagon.
Peter entered a relationship with Carla Connor in 2012 after being involved in an affair, and they married the following year. Peter was accused in 2014 of murdering his mistress Tina McIntyre and was charged with the murder. However he was acquitted when his enemy Rob Donovan was exposed as the killer, and Peter left Weatherfield for Portsmouth once more.
Peter's relationship with Ken has often been difficult due to Peter's resentment of his father for never being there for him when he was a youth, and because they have little in common.
1965-1971Peter was born along with his twin sister Susan in April 1965 to parents Ken and Valerie Barlow. In 1968 they all moved to the newly Maisonettes.
In 1971, when Peter and Susan were six, Ken and Valerie planned to take them to Jamaica as Ken was offered a teaching post there, and would be a new life for them. When Peter and Susan were being babysat by Uncle Albert Tatlock, and while Ken was in the Rovers waiting for Valerie, she was electrocuted and killed in a fire.
Ken couldn't cope with the twins without Valerie, and later in the year, Valerie's mother Edith Tatlock decided to was best if the twins come up to Glasgow to stay with her and Valerie's father, Alfred Tatlock. Ken accepted as he thought it would be best. Peter and Susan spent their childhood years being raised by their grandparents and Ken came up to visit them time to time, or they would go down to visit them.
Peter visited in 1975 as he missed Ken and wanted to stay with him. Ken learned that Peter had been skipping school.
In 1977, Peter returned again to Coronation Street, presumably this time to stay with Ken. Ken later learned that Peter had failed his exams and decided that Peter should resit them again, this time in Weatherfield. Peter wanted to return to Glasgow, and phoned Edith to come and pick him up, although Ken didn't want to have any of it. Peter later signed up to join the Navy and left.
He returned on leave for his sister Susan's wedding to Mike Baldwin in 1986, and wasn't happy when his father Ken refused to go, as he hated Baldwin. After some home truths towards his father, Ken decided to go, for Susan's sake. Peter left with his girlfriend Jessica Midgeley and they married in 1990.
After serving twenty years in the Navy, Peter returned to Weatherfield in December 2000, during the time when his father Ken was protesting with other local residents to save the cobbles on Coronation Street, as the Council wanted to tarmac it. Peter revealed to his family that he and his wife Jessica had split up, as she had an affair while he was away. In 2001, Peter was the suspect of the rape of Toyah Battersby, but later managed to help catch the real culprit, Phil Simmonds.
Peter accidentally let it slip to father Ken that Susan had a teenage son Adam, fathered by Mike Baldwin, but she had claimed that she had an abortion. Mike later found out through Dev Alahan, who was told by Deirdre, who was told by Ken. Susan was visiting Ken at the time, but died in a car crash while trying to flee Weatherfield. Adam however survived, but Peter and Ken felt guilty, and blamed themselves.During 2001, Peter began a relationship with Shelley Unwin, who managed the Rovers Return. However, in September 2002 he began an affair with florist Lucy Richards. When she fell pregnant, he married her, despite still being engaged. The only person to know about his relationship with Lucy was his step-sister and her employee Tracy. When Lucy learned that he was still engaged to Shelley, she threw him out. Lucy gave birth to Simon in July 2003 and slowly began to let Peter have links with her life again. When she discovered that Peter had bigamously married Shelley in July 2003 - two weeks after his son Simon was born, she informed Shelley in September 2003 before taking Simon with her for a new life in Australia in November. Peter was thrown out by Shelley and made a hasty departure to Portsmouth following his public shaming.
He was not seen again until he returned for several months in early 2007, concerned about Tracy's volatile relationship with Charlie Stubbs. He was attacked by Charlie, who thought Peter was Tracy's lover, and within a week Tracy had murdered Charlie. In the time leading up to Tracy's trial he stayed in Weatherfield and enjoyed a short relationship with Maria Sutherland. After Tracy was given life imprisonment, he returned to his business in Portsmouth, taking Adam with him.
Peter was next seen in October 2008, returning with Simon after Lucy's death from breast cancer. He hit the bottle, claiming that he had no interest in being a father. When he discovered that he was in line to receive all of Lucy's estate to care for Simon, he had a change of heart but used the money to buy the bookmakers shop from Dan Mason, renaming it Barlow's Bookies. Father and son set up home in the flat above it.
Peter set his sights on Leanne Battersby, but as it became clearer that he had a drink problem, she was reluctant to commit to him. In early 2009, Peter entered rehab in Portsmouth to battle his demons. When he returned in March, he and Leanne started a relationship. It was short lived, as a woman arrived claiming that they had an affair while he was drying out. Leanne left him, and Weatherfield, to live in Leeds.Peter's drinking continued, resulting in him accidentally burning the flat down after passing out with a cigarette in his hand. After realising the danger that he put his young son in, Peter vowed to never drink again and began attending Alcoholics Anonymous.
After a fling with Michelle Connor, he resumed his relationship with Leanne when he persuaded her to come back to him in September. They decided to open a bar together in the joinery premises under the viaduct at the end of Coronation Street. Ken was dead set against the plan, but Peter found investment in Lucy's father George Wilson, who was attempting to build a relationship with Simon.
As work began on the bar, Peter's drink problem returned. George tried to use the alcoholism against Peter to get custody of Simon for himself. As Peter tried once more to clean up his act, he berated George and his wife Eve for losing Simon in Blackpool, and warned George to stay away. Due to Peter's ongoing rehabilitation, plans for the bar were abandoned.Despite his personal problems, Peter's relationship with Leanne survived and they became engaged. He even overcame the threat he felt from her ex-husband Nick Tilsley moving back to the Street. When Nick decided to use the premises at the end of the street to open his own bar, The Joinery, Peter encouraged Leanne to take up his offer of a Manager role.
While Leanne and Nick were working hard to get the bar open, Peter grew close to Leanne's friend Carla Connor when he realised that she had a drink problem. He offered support to her and their meetings were kept secret between the two of them. When Leanne asked where he kept going off to, Peter told her that he was supporting a man from AA named Carl. In November, The Joinery opened and Carla became drunk before driving her car home. She was pulled over by police and Peter took her home from the station after she'd been charged with drink driving. Carla made a pass at Peter that night but he told her, while he was tempted, he only wanted to be with Leanne. However, across town after hours at The Joinery, Leanne began an affair with Nick.Nick begged Leanne not to go through with the wedding as he still loved her. When Leanne told Carla what had happened she told her to choose Nick too, although this was largely down to her plan to snare Peter. Leanne chose to go ahead with the wedding and call off her affair with Nick. At Peter's stag party in The Joinery on 6th December 2010, Nick took Peter into the office to tell him the truth but they were interrupted by Ashley Peacock who had come to say his farewells. At this point a massive gas explosion ripped through The Joinery, damaging the viaduct and causing a tram to derail and crash into the Street. Peter was gravely injured but rescued by Nick and Ashley, who died for his efforts. Believing he was close to death, Peter married Leanne in the hospital that night.
Peter survived but his injuries meant that he would have to learn to walk again. He and Leanne moved into No.1 with Ken and Deirdre while he convalesced. Leanne told Peter that she now knew that "Carl" was Carla. On Christmas Day, Peter announced in the Rovers that he intended to be walking by 14th February when he planned to give Leanne the wedding that she deserved. After a week away over New Year, the pressure of his injuries was already beginning to show. He rejected Ken's help and insisted on moving back to the flat, taking a lot of his frustration out on Leanne. Encouraged by a manipulative Nick, Peter began secretly drinking again. Peter later learned of Leanne's affair with Nick from recently released sister Tracy (who overheard Leanne arguing with Carla about it), and believed she was working against him with Nick. He asked a worried Nick to be his best man, which he accepted. On the day of the wedding, Peter managed to walk down the aisle (with a little trouble) but then revealed to a shocked congregation about Leanne and Nick's deceit and wanted to divorce Leanne. He then kicked her out, and later arrived at the destroyed Joinery to confront Nick and threatened to kill him, only letting him survive due to saving him. Later on, Ken convinced Peter he should give Leanne a second chance, and Peter got a hold of her before she boarded her train and they got back together. They then went on a break to discuss and talk over it.
Later in the year Peter began to see Carla and was still attracted to her. When she got drunk and accidentally ran over Stella Price (Leanne's long lost mum who had recently returned), he helped cover it up. When Leanne found out, she wanted to go to the police but decided against it after Carla overdosed (which was only known by Peter and Leanne). When Carla was raped by her business partner and fiancé Frank Foster after calling off the wedding, Peter had beaten him up but was then charged and released. Peter began to support Carla after her ordeal, coming under suspicion of Leanne. They began an affair, and planned to get together after Frank was sent down, but he was later let off and getting photos of Peter and Carla together and convinced people they tried to set him up. Leanne was devastated and briefly left the Street much to upset of Simon, and Peter moved Carla in. When Frank managed to con the shares of Underworld out of Carla, using his new girlfriend Jenny Sumner to offer Carla a "better" opportunity, Peter got drunk and announced in Nick's Bistro that he would kill Frank. Coincidentally, Frank was later murdered, and Peter came under suspicion. He couldn't remember what happened that night, but "confessed" as the police were suspicious of Carla. However Leanne discovered he was with Howard Lee, who ran the alcoholics support group, and told the police and Peter was released. The killer turned out to be Frank's mother, Anne.
Throughout the first half of 2012, Peter got involved in a strong feud with Leanne over the custody of Simon although he finally decided to let Simon stay with Leanne. However, when he decided that he wanted to start seeing his son again, Leanne made excuses not to, and Peter wasn't happy about Simon's bond with Nick. When Leanne planned to leave Weatherfield with Simon and Nick for a new life, Peter was strongly against it. He vanished from the Street and was presumed dead, but later picked Simon up from football training and took him to a B&B. He contacted Carla to meet him at the train station and asked to bring their passports so they could flee the country. Carla turned up with a worried Leanne and Peter decided to let Simon stay with her. A broken-hearted Peter left the country with Carla and a few months later, Peter and Leanne were divorced.
In December, he arrived back in Weatherfield with Carla just as Leanne and Nick prepared to set off for their wedding in Las Vegas. Peter announced he was now off the alcohol and was back for the Christmas period. Leanne and Nick postponed the wedding as Simon wanted to remain with Peter. However, Carla wanted to return to Los Angeles as she didn't like being back in Weatherfield. Carla left on her own and Peter remained, and he attempted to worm his way back into Leanne's affections. Finding her drunk after her hen night, he tried to convince her they should give their relationship another go. Leanne left, apparently turning down Peter's offer. On that same night, Carla showed up again, seemingly fine and moved back in with him. Peter hadn't warned Leanne of Carla's return, and she went ahead and attempted to jilt Nick on their wedding day, but was shocked to find Carla had moved back in. Peter ended up denying to Carla he was going to take Leanne back.
In 2013 Peter began to struggle at the bookies. He had unwillingly taken on Rob for Carla's sake when Rob had ideas to improve the place and therefore bring in more punters. Peter also disliked Rob due to the fact he was dating his sister Tracy and felt that she was too good for him. Peter assured his father that he would deal with Rob, as Ken was also mistrustful of him.
Peter later sacked Rob from the bookies feeling he was incompetent, which caused more bad feelings between the pair. In the summer Rob offered to place high bets on certain races and, despite not having the cash to pay Rob if he did win, Peter agreed. When Rob subsequently won, Peter was embarrassed in front of the punters when he was unable to pay up. Instead of reporting Peter, Rob made him an offer to give the premises of the shop to him and Tracy rent free for the next six months instead. Peter had no option but to agree and leased the property to Rob and Tracy, the pair opened a cash converters shop and renamed the premises Barlow's Buys. Peter began working at Underworld with Carla in the office, although he felt it damaged his pride as he was relying on her for his work and upkeep.
Later in the year Peter found himself growing close to barmaid Tina McIntyre. On the day of his wedding to Carla, they kissed after everyone had left the celebrations, however they seemingly regretted their actions. Regardless, they had an on-off affair over the next few months, but Peter began to feel the pressure, especially as Carla had fallen pregnant with his child, and Tina had a pregnancy scare as well. He fell off the wagon for the first time in nearly two years, but didn't want to admit to Carla the real reason why. He was admitted to a rehab clinic for a couple of weeks but when he returned he still struggled and occasionally sneaked off to drink alone. Carla put him under house arrest but this angered him further.
In May 2014, Peter planned to run away to Portsmouth with Tina for a new life away from Weatherfield. However had chosen to remain as Carla was pregnant, although Tina threatened to expose his secrets. Distraught Peter went the Rovers and confessed to Carla about the affair. Tina was later viciously attacked by Carla's brother Rob Donovan and later died in hospital. Peter became a prime suspect. His world fell apart when Carla separated from him, and he went to move into No.1. Peter turned up at Tina's funeral drunk and whilst getting into a confrontation with Rob, blurted out that he and Tina were even as she had ruined his marriage, causing the residents of the street to now suspect Peter for her demise. Peter was arrested in July on suspicion of Tina's murder as a charm bracelet belonging to her flatmate Steph Britton was found in the backyard of No.1 with Peter's finger prints on it (he innocently moved it when retrieving a newspaper in the kitchen). Peter was subsequently charged.
Peter began to lose hope inside, believing that his family thought he was guilty and that his father wanted nothing to do with him (although in reality Ken hadn't yet been informed of events by Deirdre and he was still in Canada). Ken returned to Weatherfield and assured Peter that he didn't think he was guilty, which helped to reassure him. However Peter found himself still deprived of booze, and when Simon hadn't turned up for a visit Peter was desperate for a drink. His cellmate Eugene Clelland had let slip that a man nicknamed "The Landlord" had been smuggling booze in for prisoners, however warned that he wasn't to be messed with. Peter went to see the Landlord, and to his surprise, discovered it was Jim McDonald. He allowed Peter to have a drink as he was a friend of Steve's, however expected payment. Over the course of the coming weeks Peter found himself again alcohol dependent. Jim then began winding Peter up, and told him to contact Steve and organise a visit.
Ex-wife Liz however turned up and told Jim to back off and leave Steve alone. In a foul mood, Jim refused to give Peter anymore booze as he didn't fulfill his promise. Growing desperate, Peter sought out Jim's drink stash and began drinking a lot which caused him to collapse with alcohol poisoning. Peter was rushed to Weatherfield General in critical condition, but managed to pull through. After a visit from Carla, Peter assured her that he "knew" she killed Tina and that he would cover for her. This caused confusion with Carla, and she realised that Peter wasn't guilty. After recovering, Peter returned to prison and was visited by Jim who told him that a lot of prisoners were angry with him for drinking away most of the supply. Peter and Eugene's cell was later trashed as a warning.
Wanting revenge, Peter scuppered Jim's chances of seeing Steve and Amy again by revealing to Steve that Jim was supplying the booze. Steve once again cut off contact with his father and also reported Jim for his dodgy dealings. Peter was led away by two men hired by Jim and given a beating, however he accepted his punishment instead of reporting Jim.
Peter was put on trial for Tina's murder, however felt he was pretty much done for when Leanne gave damaging evidence about his attack on Nick, and Steve broke down in the witness box recounting how he'd advised Peter to "shut Tina up". After a tense few days in the court, the jury delivered a "guilty" verdict and a speechless Peter was later seen put in his cell. On 24th October he was sentenced to life in prison, expected to serve at least fifteen years.
Rob later confessed to Carla that he'd killed Tina and was subsequently arrested. Peter was then acquitted and released from prison on 10th November, although he received a frosty reception from some residents. He made up with Steve, and begged Carla for forgiveness but she refused to take him back.
Unable to cope with being judged by the residents, Peter decided to move down to Portsmouth once again in order to clear his head, but to the distress of Simon. With the help of Carla, Peter had a heart-to-heart with his son, who was assured that he could visit Peter whenever he wanted. Peter then said goodbye to Ken, Tracy and Leanne, and left Weatherfield in a taxi but allowed Simon to come with him to see him off on the train.
Peter pulled himself together following his departure and got himself a flat and a job at a bookmaker's shop, as revealed by Ken on 1st December.
In July 2015 he was informed by Ken that Deirdre had passed away. Peter wasn't able to make it to the funeral and turned up at No.1 afterwards just as Ken and Tracy had got into a heated argument, which escalated when Ken blamed Tracy for Deirdre staying away in her final weeks due to Tracy having an affair with Tony Stewart and humiliating Liz McDonald. Moments before Ken discovered Tracy in a compromising situation with ex-husband Robert Preston. In return Tracy let rip into both Ken and Peter, angry that Peter had missed Deirdre's funeral and didn't care for his excuses. When Ken went to lie down, Peter gave Tracy some home truths and revealed that he feared Amy would turn out like her, hated by everyone and would one day be alone and warned Tracy to change her ways before it became true. When Ken came down from his rest, Tracy apologised for her behaviour and the family made up and reminisced about the happier times with Deirdre.
The next day Peter prepared to leave again. He was visited by Simon and Leanne, and broke the news to his son that he had been offered a job with a charter boat company in Antigua for six months. Simon was upset and wanted to leave with him, but Peter said they could always keep in touch and visit. Saying goodbye to Simon again and another glance at a passing Carla, Peter got into a taxi and left Weatherfield once again.
In September that year, Leanne was unable to cope with the stress of Simon's behaviour as she had been suffering domestic abuse from him behind closed doors, so sent him to stay with Peter in Portsmouth. Simon returned in November after an eight-week stay, but claimed that Peter had no time for him as he was away most of the day, and even after work would be spending time with his girlfriend Sharon. Despite this claim though, Simon tried to hurt Leanne further by claiming Sharon was better than her and more fun. Unable to cope once more, Leanne attempted to contact Peter but he didn't answer her calls. Ken did manage to contact Peter and informed him about what was happening. He was apparently sympathetic towards Leanne's situation, blaming himself for the way Simon has turned out.
Simon went to stay with Peter again in February 2016 after Leanne called the police on him for his domestic abuse after Simon was accused of deliberately attacking his former friend Kyle during football training. After it was discovered Simon didn't attack Kyle as evidenced by video footage, he called Peter to see if he could come and stay with him. Ken then drove Simon to Portsmouth. In May Leanne and Simon went to visit him again as it was the first anniversary of the death of Leanne's boyfriend Kal Nazir in the Victoria Court fire and she wished to avoid being close to such painful memories.
- Peter and Susan were first introduced in 1965 as twins to established characters Ken and Valerie Barlow. When Anne Reid quit the role of Valerie in 1971, where the character was killed off, Peter was written out of the show along with his twin sister Susan. He continued to make recurring appearances in the show, and wasn't a regular character again until December 2000.
- Peter has been played by a total of seven actors during his time in the show. The first actor to play him was John Heannau, from 1965 to 1970. Christopher Dormer then took over for a year but left when his parents emigrated. Peter was written out with Susan after Valerie's death. When the character began making recurring appearances from 1971 to 1986, he was played by a variety of actors. Mark Duncan played the part for a single episode in 1971. Linus Roache, whose father William Roache played Peter's father Ken Barlow, played the role in 1973 and 1975 (he even returned to the series in 2010, playing the long-lost son of Ken, Lawrence Cunningham). In 1977, Joseph McKenna played the role which saw Peter wanting to join the navy (and did off-screen in 1980). When the character was written in as part of Susan's wedding to Ken's rival Mike Baldwin in 1986, he was played by another different actor David Lonsdale.
- After a fourteen year absence, Peter was once again brought back during the Coronation Street live anniversary episode in December 2000, with Chris Gascoyne now playing the part. This time Peter was brought back as a regular character, the first time since 1971. The character was involved in numerous storylines such as the death of his twin sister Susan, and a bigamy storyline in 2003. Mr Gascoyne quit the role in 2003, but returned again in 2007 briefly when involved in a storyline when Tracy Barlow was being sent down for the murder of boyfriend Charlie Stubbs.
- Peter was written back into the show in 2008 again in a regular role, with Chris Gascoyne still playing the character. The return saw Peter's battle with alcohol, and also raising his son Simon Barlow, whose mum Lucy died off-screen (and was involved in the bigamy storyline, where Peter married both her and Shelley Unwin). The character also was involved with Leanne Battersby, who became a mother figure to Simon. His storylines since his return involved getting back onto the alcohol time to time, nearly losing Simon to George Wilson and his recent involvement in Carla Connor, who began to suffer from alcoholism. Another storyline for Coronation Street 50th Anniversary saw Peter be confined to a wheelchair after a tram crash, and spent the next few months learning to walk again and also discovering Leanne's affair with Nick Tilsley.
- Chris Gascoyne was absent from the series from July to December 2012 as he, along with Alison King (who plays Carla Connor), took a break from the show.
- From 2013 to 2014 Peter was involved in a big storyline which saw him embark on an affair with barmaid Tina McIntyre (Michelle Keegan). The storyline tied with Tina's murder in May 2014. In promotions for the "Who Killed Tina?" campaign, Peter was listed as one of four main suspects, alongside Carla Connor, Rob Donovan (Marc Baylis) and Tracy Barlow (Kate Ford). Rob was revealed to be the culprit, but Peter was involved in a miscarriage of justice storyline when he was charged and remanded in custody for Tina's murder, which also tied with the return of Charles Lawson as Jim McDonald.
- Peter departed the show again in November 2014 at the end of his storyline involving being wrongfully accused for the murder of Tina McIntyre. Gascoyne reprised the role again a few months later for a couple of episodes which was part of a farewell storyline for Deirdre Barlow after the real life passing of the actress Anne Kirkbride in January 2015. Peter's final appearance is Episode 8685 (16th July 2015).
(Seeing the protests to save the cobbles in December 2000, plus Gascoyne's first dialogue)
Peter: "What's all this then?"
Rita: "It's a demonstration, local residents are trying to stop the council from tarmacking the cobbles."
Peter: "Let me guess, this demonstration wouldn't be lead by an aging left wing Kenneth Barlow?"
Rita: "He did have a part in it. You know him?"
Peter: "Yeah I know him."