Unlike most of the Street's residents, Vicky came from a wealthy family. After her parents Tim and Sandra Arden were killed in a car crash in Whitby, Vicky was placed in Alec and Bet Gilroy's care until she was eighteen, when she stood to inherit £240,000.
When she came of age, Vicky dropped out of school and enrolled in a business studies course at college and used her money to buy into Steve's T-shirt printing company, Dun 2 A T. Against Bet and Alec's wishes, she married Steve although the partnership lasted less than a year as they separated when Vicky testified against Steve in court over charges of handling stolen whisky and perverting the course of justice.
After this, Vicky made a new life in Brighton by investing in businesses including a restaurant and a wine bar which she named "Vicky's". In 1999, she married a man called Robert and as of 2002, according to Bet, she was happily married.
Vicky lived with her parents Tim and Sandra in Cheshire. She first met her grandfather Alec at the age of 13, with her mother not having seen him since she was a child. Despite an uncomfortable first encounter when she came across him in his car while horse riding, she soon warmed to him and his wife Bet. She and Tim made two visits to Coronation Street in 1990, the second to check on Alec and Bet after seeing a news report about Newton & Ridley planning to turn the Rovers into a New York bar.
The following year, Vicky's maternal grandmother Joyce died. The plan was for Alec and Bet to collect her from boarding school while Tim and Sandra attended the funeral. Instead, they met her with the news that her parents had both been killed in a car accident. Alec and Bet became her guardians and she moved into the Rovers with them. Her other regular support was the family solicitor Nick Wilding, an old friend of her parents who she addressed as "Uncle Nick". Bet and Deirdre Barlow attempted to engineer a friendship between Vicky and Deirdre's daughter Tracy, but it soon became clear the two girls had nothing in common. She got on better with Andy and Steve McDonald, helping them with their pirate radio station, but Alec disapproved of the friendship and wouldn't let her say goodbye to them before returning to boarding school.
From then on, Vicky tended to divide her time between boarding school and holidays at the Rovers. She and Bet spent Christmas alone together with Alec away, where Vicky renewed her friendship with Steve. She was suspicious of the amount of time Bet was spending with an old flame, Des Foster, and walked in on Des hitting Bet for rejecting his advances. She and Steve ran off to Cheshire for the New Year: Unfortunately, worry about where Steve was caused his mother Liz to go into premature labour with his sister Katie. Bet eventually convinced Vicky that what happened with Des had been innocent and she agreed not to tell Alec.
When Vicky next visited at Easter 1992, she and Steve began dating, despite him being nearly three years older than her. She and Alec clashed over the relationship, and the rift between them increased when she learned Alec, hard up for cash, had claimed all the money he'd spent on her from her parents' estate, including supposed presents. When she returned in the summer, Alec was planning to give up the tenancy of the Rovers and take a job on a cruise liner based in Southampton. Vicky was reluctant to leave Steve, but when she refused to sleep with him, Alec caught him with Susie Johnson. Vicky returned to school, happy to never see Steve again, but was upset to hear the news that Alec and Bet had spit up and Bet had stayed on at the Rovers as manager.
Nevertheless, with Alec often away on cruises, Vicky continued to spend much of her holidays with Bet at the Rovers. She spent New Year 1993 with her, where she and Steve smoothed things over and renewed their long-distance relationship. In March that year, they met up at a gig in Birmingham. Steve left his car lights on and the battery went dead, forcing them to spend the night in a hotel. 16-year-old Vicky was fully aware that Steve had left the lights on deliberately but happily lost her virginity with him. However, over the course of the year they began to drift apart when Vicky chose to stay on at school. When she returned at Christmas, she found Steve had been two-timing her with Alison Rathbone and they broke up.
Vicky quickly returned in February 1994 with a new boyfriend, Leo Penington, in tow. Bet insisted they have separate rooms but told Vicky to make sure Steve saw him. Despite this, Vicky never quite managed to move on from Steve. The following year, on turning eighteen and gaining her inheritance, Vicky decided to drop out of school and move into the Rovers permanently. Steve had set up a print shop on the street and Vicky ended up investing in some t-shirts he was having printed for a club opening, only for his customer to immediately go bankrupt, resulting in them losing their money.
Despite seeing the experience as a lesson in how not to do business, Vicky ended up going into partnership with Steve in the print shop. His girlfriend Fiona Middleton was unhappy about them spending time together and also about the amount of debts he had racked up. She ended up throwing him out and leaving him sleeping in the print shop. When Vicky found out, she went there during the night and seduced him. When they spent a second night together, Steve asked her to marry him. Vicky accepted and stunned everyone by announcing the engagement in the Rovers.
While Steve's family supported the engagement, Bet was against it and summoned Alec back from Southampton. They talked Vicky out of a quick registry office wedding at the last minute, convincing her to have a big white wedding. However, Alec was merely stalling and offered Steve £5,000 to leave Vicky. When Vicky found out, she and Steve eloped to St. Lucia. On their return, they settled into married life at Steve's old flat on Weatherfield Quays. In October, with the brewery selling the Rovers, Bet asked Vicky for the money to buy it but both Vicky and Steve were horrified at the idea. Vicky gave a transparent excuse about needing security, which proved the last straw for Bet, who left town without telling anyone, meaning Vicky had no family left in Weatherfield apart from the McDonalds.
Steve resented Vicky holding the purse strings in the marriage and sought other sources of income. He was investigated for buying stolen whiskey and the couple's first Christmas together was ruined when the police turned up with a search warrant. Steve convinced Vicky to pay his supplier, Malcolm Fox, £6,000 to say Steve hadn't known it was stolen. The charges against Steve were dropped and Vicky did her best to support her in-laws when Jim and Liz split up and Jim assaulted Liz.
However, three months later, Malcolm's wife Brenda told the police about the bribe and Vicky was arrested for conspiring to pervert the course of justice. She realised Steve was willing to sacrifice her to save himself, so gave the police a full statement and ended their marriage, moving into a boarding house with Alec, who had returned to support her. In court, she pleaded guilty and was given a suspended sentence, while Steve, who had continued to deny everything, was given two years. Not long after, Vicky left the area to attend a business management course in Switzerland.
Vicky returned in late 1998: The first person she encountered was ex-husband Steve when their cars were involved in a minor accident. Alec had remained in the area and bought back the Rovers but Vicky felt he had given too favourable terms to previous owners Jack and Vera Duckworth, who had been promised jobs for life and allowed to stay on in the Rovers flat. Alec decided to sell up to Natalie Barnes and move to Brighton with Vicky where she was setting up a restaurant.
In November 1999, Vicky was reunited with Steve again when he and his friend Vikram Desai turned up in Brighton just as she was about to marry her new fiance Robert. Bet also returned and Vicky admitted to her that the restaurant was failing, asking her for help. Bet reminded her that she had refused her help in similar circumstances, then admitted that she was similarly hard up: Her boyfriend Bruce had died, leaving her with nothing but possession of his boat (which she sold by having Reg Holdsworth pose as Bruce). Vicky kept Steve's presence secret from Robert and warned him that Bet had tipped Customs off about his plan to smuggle cigarettes. Vicky spent the night before she was due to get married with Steve, but when she told him her financial situation the next morning, he quickly lost interest and failed to turn up for a planned meeting. Vicky confessed to Robert and the wedding went ahead.
Vicky never quite lost the airs of her privileged background, always being well-spoken in contrast to her working class neighbours. This could give her a snobby air, although she remained essentially good-hearted and loyal, whilst also being sometimes naive. She had few if any real friends in Weatherfield, but by the same token no-one really disliked her (with the exception of Fiona) and her family were extremely fond of her. Her relationship with the McDonalds was polite but awkward; Andy and Jim both liked her, but she was never Liz's first choice for daughter-in-law. She harboured strong feelings for Steve throughout almost all her time in Weatherfield, even during their lengthy separation, and even after their divorce she was quick to fall for his charms again in Brighton.
First and last linesEdit
"Whoa boy, easy now." (First line, to Saracen)
"No 'course not.... but are you not having second thoughts? Moving away from all yer friends, places you know so well, plunging into the unknown?" (Final line, to Alec Gilroy)