Tricia Hopkins was the daughter of Idris and Vera Hopkins. At seventeen, Tricia moved to Coronation Street with her parents and grandmother when the family became managers of the Corner Shop, opposite the Mark Brittain Warehouse where Tricia worked as a secretary. The Hopkins' stewardship of the shop was brief, with all of the family except for Tricia leaving in a moonlight flit early in 1975.
Tricia remained in the Street for another year, living at the shop flat with her friend Gail Potter until they were forced out by new owner Renee Bradshaw. Always more interested in boys, Tricia couldn't find work and left the Street to return to her parents.
Though she was somewhat pampered, Tricia longed for independence, being in the unenviable position of being under the thumb of not only her parents, but also the family's interfering moral compass, Granny Hopkins. Fortunately, Granny's efforts were mostly focused on Vera and Idris, with Tricia escaping her watchful gaze and so she was not always disciplined for her mischief. In September 1973 at age sixteen, Tricia and her schoolfriend Lindsay Mather dressed up and lied about their ages to be served with Bacardi and Coke's at the Rovers Return. When Vera found out about this, she frogmarched Tricia to the Rovers in her school uniform to pin the blame on Annie Walker for serving under-age girls, but Annie turned the argument against her, pointing out that Tricia had been given enough money to afford to fashionable clothes and expensive drinks.
Tricia and her family re-appeared in Coronation Street in July 1974, when Granny arranged to rent the Corner Shop from Gordon Clegg. The Hopkins family then moved into the shop's accommodation. By this point, Tricia had left school and was working as a secretary at the Mark Brittain Warehouse.
Tricia spent her first few weeks in the Street throwing herself at Ray Langton, who had chatted her up in the Rovers the year before. Although he didn't mind a harmless flirtation, Ray had no intention of reciprocating Tricia's interest now that he was aware how young she was. When Tricia's friend from the warehouse Gail Potter took a polaroid of Tricia and Ray together in which they looked like a couple, Ray was embarrassed and, after being warned by Idris, made his position clear to Tricia by going after Deirdre Hunt in front of her. Tricia made a vain attempt to lay claim to Ray by showing Deirdre the polaroid, but backed down when she found out Idris had warned Ray off. The picture was then found by Granny, who locked Tricia in her room and subjected her to a moral preaching.
In late 1974, the discovery of a birth certificate in the Hopkins household belonging to Gordon Clegg, revealing his mother to be Betty Turpin rather than Maggie Clegg, and Granny Hopkins subsequently trying to use the information to her advantage, resulted in the family falling out with their landlord. In February 1975, The family did a moonlight flit; only Tricia, who had not been involved in the row, returned to the Street. While Blanche Hunt took over the running of the shop, Gordon agreed to rent the upstairs flat to Tricia and Gail. The girls held a flatwarming and invited their boyfriends Jeff Lee and Tim Russell although the lads almost didn't come as they were put off when they saw older residents like Annie Walker setting off for the event.
While living and working together, Tricia and Gail were almost never apart. They could often be found giggling together in the Rovers or The Kabin, plotting how to land themselves with boyfriends or arguing trivialities with each other, with Tricia being the more impassive of the pair. Despite their youth, they were friendly with the older Street residents and respectful of them; they distracted Albert Tatlock while the Street was prepared for his 80th birthday party, they took in Ena Sharples for a few nights when she had nowhere else to go, and went to a midnight party in the Rovers Snug where they tried to contact the late Martha Longhurst with a ouija board. In August, they borrowed the Ogdens' tandem to show off their hotpants although Jerry Booth gatecrashed the session and Tricia got bored and went home. She was livid to find out that Gail had went off with a Porsche driver and returned the next day.
In October 1975, when a discarded cigarette started a fire at the warehouse, Tricia was trapped in a toilet and rescued by Ken Barlow. The warehouse burned down and the girls lost their jobs. While the Street was evacuated, Tricia and Gail stayed with the Deirdre and Ray (against Deirdre's wishes). They then started looking for work and their first port of call was the Jet Girl modelling agency, run by David Law and Angie Dean. The girls paid half the £40 fee up-front but they found the studio lot empty later that day, and realised they'd been conned. After this, they became agents for the Weatherfield Heating Bureau, phoning people up canvassing sales. Tricia used the phone to make a date with Pete Dawson, but her hopes of passion were scuppered when he brought Brian Jones along on their date and left Tricia with him. This job was also short-lived.
In December, Tricia spread malicious rumours that Ray had another woman - referring to Pauline Jarvis, a customer at the building firm - resulting in Deirdre giving Tricia a black eye when she found out there nothing between Ray and Pauline. Around the same time, Tricia played Cinderella in the Community Centre Christmas play, and while she was touted as a rising star in the local newspaper, nothing came of it. She also showed talent at an art class at the centre a few weeks later.
In January 1976, Blanche Hunt moved to Kenilworth with Dave Smith, and the girls took over the running of the Corner Shop, overseen by Betty Turpin. Tricia found the shop hard work and went against Betty's wishes by giving out credit to men she fancied. When Elsie Howard returned to the Street, Betty let her live in the shop accommodation, which the girls were using following Blanche's departure. Elsie soon got a job as manager of Sylvia's Separates, while the girls went for the position of assistant. Elsie preferred Tricia for the job but Gail won it on a coin toss.
Tricia wasn't alone at the shop for long. Gordon was still hoping to sell the shop and in May, Renee Bradshaw took an interest. Betty let her work behind the counter to get a feel for the place, and she decided to buy it. Tricia disliked Renee right away as Renee was a hard grafter and told Tricia off for being cold to rude and impatient customers. After a few weeks, Renee realised there wasn't enough work for two and gave Tricia notice. Renee expected to keep Tricia and Gail on in the flat but a condition of her bank loan was that the flat was empty and so the girls were told to find other lodgings quickly. Tricia was daunted by the task of finding a job and flat and after a row with Renee over her skiving - with Tricia accusing Renee of getting at her because she needed a man - Tricia said goodbye to Gail and left the Street to return to her family.
Tricia first appeared in a two-episode guest spot in September 1973. She was played by Kathy Jones, who had previously appeared as an extra in several episodes. Ten months later, in July 1974, Tricia and mother Vera made a return to the programme, accompanied by father Idris Hopkins and Megan "Granny" Hopkins. The Hopkins family were intended as a vehicle for Tricia but they did not prove popular and were dropped early in 1975. Tricia alone was kept on.
In the same month as Tricia's return, Helen Worth joined the cast as Gail Potter. Worth had previously auditioned to play Tricia before winning the role of Gail, who was created so that Tricia would have someone her own age to share scenes with. Gail's role grew over time, and in February 1975 she and Tricia moved into the Corner Shop flat together. About this pairing, archivist Daran Little comments: "Putting Tricia and Gail into the Corner Shop flat finds its roots in The Liver Birds, which was very very successful at the time. Two single girls living together having adventures, and that's exactly what Tricia and Gail did." Jones: "They had lots of fun, they were hoping for lots of boyfriends which they never got." (Both quotes from The Corrie Years Series 2 Episode 4, "The Kids")
Tricia last appeared in June 1976. She was axed by new producer Bill Podmore, who wanted a more mature character in the Corner Shop, which Tricia and Gail were running when he arrived in the role. In his 1990 memoirs of his work on the Street entitled Coronation Street: The Inside Story, Podmore said of the decision to write out the character: "Youngsters have always played an important role in the Street's life, but without a more mature shop staff, the nitty gritty of conversation and tittle-tattle were never going to bounce around its walls... Lovely as she was, Tricia didn't appear to me to be a natural Street character, and at a rather tearful meeting I broke the news to Kathy that she was to be written out of the show."
Episode 1520 (11th August 1975) establishes that Gail and Tricia are a month apart in age and although Tricia's age is consistent throughout her time in the programme, Gail was later aged down a year.
First and last linesEdit
"Lindsay, come on" (First line)
"You see, Ratty Renee's always going on about decorating the place. Ta ra." (Final line)