Philip Barrett and his wife Jill were friends of Janet Barlow's from before her marriage to Ken. Soon after moving into 11 Coronation Street, Janet invited the Barretts for a meal. The evening got off to a fine start when they turned up with a lamp as a housewarming present. Albert Tatlock popped in briefly and while Janet was keen for him to go, the Barretts commented on him as a right character however things turned sour when Jill boasted of the new extension to their house which now had four bedrooms and study. Making an obvious comparison to the Barlows' house, Jill called it a townhouse, saying they were fashionable in London. This annoyed Ken who said a townhouse was simply a snobbish euphemism for a terrace. The conversation then turned to the aspirations of the working and middle classes. Ken opined that people shouldn't aspire to wealth, which Philip agreed with in the sense that money couldn't buy love.

Later, Ken took Philip for a drink at the Rovers, where they discussed the subject of children. Philip wanted to have kids, but Jill didn't and Philip had let Jill have her way as she would be the one most affected by them.