19 retro soap characters we want back on our screens

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  • We’ll admit it, our guilty pleasure is soaps. There is nothing we like better than a night in on the sofa when the kids have gone to bed, with a bit of chocolate (okay, a whole bar of chocolate), a glass of wine and our favourite soap on the box.

    Over the years we’ve seen so many of our favourite characters killed off. With everything from dramatic car crashes to mystery murders (not forgetting those who leave in the middle of the night to go and live in Portugal for five years), we’re not sure we can take it anymore!

    Some of these characters were meant to be killed off forever, but we all know that death isn’t sacred to soap-writers and if anyone is able to rise from beyond the grave it’s a soap star – let’s not forget Nick Cotton and Mercedes McQueen!

    We’ve gone through all the retro characters we wish the producers would find the heart to bring back one last time, even if they were meant to be gone for good…


    Barry Evans – Shaun Williamson

    In one of the most iconic moments in soap history, we saw Janine Butcher push car salesman Barry off a cliff in Scotland. But it seems Barry’s fall might not have been fatal… Shaun Williamson admitted that he would love to return to Albert Square but agreed; ‘I just think it’s pushing it that Barry’s been hiding in Scotland for 12 years.’ Never say never Barry!

    Dennis Rickman – Nigel Harman

    Den Watt’s son Dennis Rickman appeared in the show between 4th April 2003 and made his last appearance in the episode broadcast on 30th December 2005. Dennis was fatally stabbed at a New Year fireworks display but we’d absolutely compromise realistic integrity just to see those cheekbones one more time.

    Angie Watts – Anita Dobson

    Angie Watts may have left our screens all the way back in 1988, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still think about her amazing perm and her loud and fiesty attitude – we like to think she reminds us of ourselves. Although Barbara Windsor is a legendary landlady, Angie will always pull the best pints in the Queen Vic.

    Bradley Branning – Charlie Clements

    Bradley was one of our favourite characters from day one (back in 2006) till his tragic departure in 2010. His calm and patient personality was a rare occurence in a square which is full of drama. We also loved his relationship with Stacey, and these days we think she could really do with a loving shoulder to cry on. If you don’t do it for us Bradley, do it for Stacey?

    Heather Trott – Cheryl Fergison

    WHO could forget Heather Trott? Best friend to Shirley, wearer of outlandish headbands, singer of karaoke and lover of all-things George Michael, we really could never get enough of Heather. Especially when she named her new baby George after her pop idol – a girl after our own hearts. So when merciless Ben Mitchell killed her off with a photo frame in 2012, we hoped it wouldn’t be for good. If we had to pick one person to come back, we know it would be Heather.

    Jamie Mitchell – Jack Ryder

    If you wanted a real retro throwback, Jamie Mitchell is it. His long blonde locks and leather jackets set our world on fire back in 1998, and since his departure in 2002 we feel a real absence of any guilty teenage crushes. Since his on-off relationship with Sonia is probably done for good (Sonia is now in a lesbain relationship and happily shacked up) maybe we actually have a chance… ? In fact, while you’re at it, bring back Zoe Slater too.

    Cindy Beale – Michelle Collins

    Cindy Beale was undoubtedly nothing but trouble in her decade stint on EastEnders between 1988 and 1998. With her endless list of heartbreaks and affairs, most memorably cheating on Ian Beale, no one was sad to see the back of Cindy. However, as her ‘death’ occured off-screen – she supposedly died during childbirth in Italy – we have high hopes that it wasn’t the last we would hear of her. Afterall, if anyone is capable of being selfish and sly enough to fake her own death, it’s Cindy Beale!

    Coronation Street

    Fiona Middleton – Angela Griffin

    We all felt for Fiona when she was left jilted at the altar by her fiancee Alan McKenna and then decided to leave Weatherfield in 1998 after more turbulence in her love life. But actress Angela Griffin has strongly hinted that Fiona could make a comeback – but of course she would get the last laugh. Saying she would love to return with all of Steve McDonald’s former love interests at the same time; ‘We should all turn up one day in a stretch limo. I just thought it would be good to see them all step out one by one.’

    Natalie Horrocks – Denise Welch

    The last time Natalie graced our screens (apart from hosting the panel show Loose Women of course!) was back on New Years Eve in 2000. Landlady of the Rover’s Return, the cobbles haven’t been the same without our Natalie. But it seems the Corrie writers feel as nostalgic about Natalie as we do, with frequent mentions of her in the script, the door is definitley still open for a return.

    Maureen Naylor – Sherrie Hewson

    We all remember Maureen in an apron running the corner shop with Reg Holdsworth, then for her disastrous (and numerous) affairs with Curly Watts. Although Maureen fled to start a new life in Germany, she has already made a come back once – on Christmas Day 2006. But it wasn’t meant to be and she returned to Germany. We’re holding out for a longer comeback.

    Karen McDonald – Suranne Jones

    Karen was always one of our favourite factory girls and had quite the reputation on the street for being popular with the men. But Suranne Jones wanted to move on to other acting opportunities (you’ll remember her as the BBC’s Doctor Foster!) but she has always said she is interested in making a return – we only hope it’s dramatic and involves Steve McDonald!

    Les Battersby – Bruce Jones

    For so many of us, Corrie just isn’t the same without Les Battersby – love him or hate him, he was an iconic character. Sadly Bruce Jones had to leave after allegations of drunkeness and inappropriate behaviour and he was quickly written out of the show. So far his absence has been covered by a storyline of him going away on tour as a roadie for tribute band Top O’ The Morning. We only hope his comeback is a little more plausible.


    Mandy Dingle – Lisa Riley

    Can you believe it’s been over 15 years since we last saw Mandy Dingle pulling pints in the Woolpack? Although she was only in the show for six years between 1995 and 2001, she made quite an impact. Always unlucky in love, all we ever wanted was for Mandy to get back with Paddy! Come on guys, make it happen?

    Albert Dingle – Bobby Knutt

    Every time we feel like Emmerdale is having a boring week, we wish for the return of mechanic Albert Dingle – there was never a dull moment with him around! He might have been a villain, during his stint on the show from 1994-2005, but he certainly made for great entertainment – not to mention a great selection of hats.

    Eli Dingle – Joseph Gilgun

    Eli was undoubtedly a troublemaker – from day one in the Dales he was hardly a typical farmer’s boy. 2006-2010 saw Eli do everything from petty stealing to armed robbery, he was hardly a character you wanted living on your doorstep. But we saw a softer side to Eli and just wanted him to pull his socks up and get on the right track. Oh, and maybe get a haircut.

    Jasmine Thomas – Jenna Louise Coleman

    Jasmine was never a real country girl – sent from the city to live with her uncle in Emmerdale. But her friendship with Debbie Dingle, that later develops into a relationship, was one of our favourite on-screen romances of the noughties. Although Jasmine is banged up in prison for Shane’s murder, we’re pretty sure we haven’t seen the last of her yet.

    Hazel Rhodes – Pauline Quirke

    Hazel Rhodes, famous for propping up the bar in the Woolpack, was only in the soap for a total of 24 months – but didn’t she make a lasting impression?! We know that Hazel would fit right in where she left off.


    Luke Morgan – Gary Lucy

    When you think of the Hollyoaks hearthrobs, Luke Morgan is undoubtedly the poster boy. Although he allegedly is now married to a Canadian girl and living in North America, we bet if Luke came back to Chester, we could convince him to stay… if you ever want our number Luke, we’re up for a drink at The Dog.

    Jude Cunningham – Davinia Taylor

    Jude was the typical soap bad girl with a traumtic backstory – all she needed was a bit of TLC and instead she fell in with the wrong crowd. After agreeing to do one last job for Benny, she was forced to flee the country in a dark wig with Dawn’s passport. With no news since her departure, we’re holding out for a victorious return with a happier future!

    Kurt Benson – Jeremy Edwards

    Kurt was another off-screen death in a tragic jet ski accident, so we’re optimistic that the scriptwriters could find a way to bring him back. Ever since Kurt left we have missed his cheeky charm and good looks – our weekday evenings just aren’t the same!

    Which retro soap stars do you wish they would bring back to your screen?

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