Created 15th October 2004
Updated 12th August 2005
Deirdre 1st Appeared: .20 November 1972 -
Born: 8 July 1955
Daughter of Donald & Blanche Hunt.
Married 1st: 7 July 1975 Ray Langton Divorced circa 1979
Children: Tracy Barlow
Grandchildren: Amy Barlow
The Following Profile was submitted by Patricia Dempsey and is ©2004 to Patricia Dempsey & emmerdale.org
Deirdre first arrived in 1972, hired by a colleague of Alan Howard to entertain him. Then she was taken on by Ray Langton as secretary at the yard much to Jerry Booth's disapproval but she managed to win him round. She met and fell in love with Billy Walker in 1974 and announced their forthcoming wedding a few months later. However, Billy lent Bet the money he had saved to buy a ring so she could get home from the trip to Majorca. During this time Ray Langton enjoyed goading Billy about Deirdre about the age difference and ended up with a black eye.
As 1975 unfolded Deirdre began to get restless after hearing about Gail Potter's plans to be an air hostess and breaks off her engagement to Billy. The following month she decided to resign from the yard after a row with Ray but they fell in love and decided to marry much to Blanche's disapproval. They married in July at Weatherfied Registry Office after a joint stag and hen party at the Rovers. Len threw them a surprise champagne reception but they missed their train and had to stay at Blanche's house. She and Ray moved in with Blanche until they had enough money to buy their own place. Deirdre was furious with Tricia Hopkins that Christmas and gave her a black eye after she had spread rumours Ray was having an affair with a housewife called Pauline Jarvis. Deirdre played the part of Dandini in the panto, while Tricia had to be Cinderella with a black eye visible. Blanche moved away to run Dave Smith's country club in January 1976 leaving the newly-weds in peace. Later that year, Ray planned to thrown an anniversary party and gave Annie Walker a deposit. Deirdre wasn't happy about it as she wanted to use that money to buy a house and demanded he cancelled it. But July proved to be a good month for the Langtons when Deirdre discovered she was pregnant. Impending motherhood didn't stop her being bossy though and furious with Ray for not getting in and buying number 5 before Mike Baldwin.
By January 1977, Deirdre was fed up. Having been taken to hospital with a false alarm, she was too ashamed to let everyone know about it so got Ray to pretend she was still in hospital. She even insisted he go to the dance at the Community Centre, saying she could phone him if anything happened. He reluctantly did which started the gossips, but he didn't have a good time. Every time he tried to call his wife, someone was using the phone. As he went home he spotted an ambulance and ran but he was too late and watched lamely as it pulled away. Deirdre eventually gave birth to a girl on the 24th who she wanted to name Lynette but Ray preferred Tracy, which she hated. When he registered the birth, he got his way and the child was named Tracy Lynette. Blanche turned up with her new fianc\'e9, a vet called Steve Bassett, and started bossing Ray around, much to his chagrin. Deirdre decided she wanted Tracy christened, but the vicar refused as neither parent were church-goers. Eventually she was, with Ken Barlow, Betty Turpin and Emily Bishop as her godparents. While away for the weekend in London that June, Ena Sharples was taking care of the baby after Deirdre put her foot down about Emily and Ernest doing it, but had a nasty fall, resulting in a hospital stay. The Bishops took in young Tracy until her parents returned. Everything was going fine. She even caused trouble for Len and Rita by demanding Ray have an equal share in the partnership instead of the 60-40 he was currently getting. Ray and Len sorted things out between them but didn't tell their wives, who had fallen out, what it was. They had a new house and baby and things were looking up for the Langtons. But that October, Deirdre was walking home from a keep-fit class when she was molested under the viaduct and wasn't the same again. She refused to report the attack to the police, or let Ray anywhere near her, much to his frustration. Then the following month, in a bout of severe depression, she walked out on him and the baby and decided to end it all by jumping off a motorway bridge. A lorry driver stopped to ask directions which brought her to her senses and she returned home and made it up with Ray. They held a New Year party but Fred Gee, thinking Len was two-timing Rita, punched his rival which sent Len flying and breaking Deirdre's coffee table on landing.
1978 was the herald major changes in the Langtons lives. September Ray was seeing Janice Stubbs, the waitress at Dawson's Cafe. Emily had discovered this and was forced to tell Deirdre who confronted him about it. Then he suggested taking a job in Holland which would be a frsh start for them all. Initially, she and the baby were going with him, which made Blanche lose her temper and hit him for being so selfish. But at the last moment she backed out, leaving him going alone and her facing an uncertain future. By December she received a letter from him with an ultimatum to join him or sell the house.
Life was never easy for Deirdre. Rita vetoed Len's plans of taking Deirdre back at the yard, so she was forced to take Tracy's savings to get by until the house was sold to the Tilsleys and she moved in with Emily in January 1979. In March she was visited by Sally Norton, who had been in the maternity ward with her and offered to take Tracy out. Sally's child had been taken into care and she made a fuss of Tracy. In March, she left Tracy in her pushchair outside the Rovers while she popped in briefly to talk to Annie. Meanwhile, a lorry driver had a heart attack at the wheel and the lorry crashed into the pub. The doorway and windows were blocked by the timber. Deirdre became hysterical as Tracy was under it all and began to dig her out, shouting her name until she was hoarse. She was taken to Emily's house but a severe depression hit her, convinced Tracy was dead and it was all her fault. As Emily burst in with the news Tracy had been found, she discovered Deirdre had disappeared. A frantic search was laid on for her. When she was found by the canal, she refused to believe Tracy was really alive but her despair turned to joy when she saw her. She was angry with Sally for taking Tracy away without permission but relieved her daughter wasn't dead after all. She told Sally not to go near her again. Romance was in the air with Ken Barlow. He had been a great support to her while Tracy was missing and afterwards and it was only at a dance at the Community Centre she realised how he felt. A couple of months later, he invited her out but the cat was put among the pigeons when Billy Walker arrived home and promptly started pursuing her. Billy asked her to marry him and go back with him to Jersey, much to his mother Annie's annoyance. She had agreed to give him the £2,500 he needed for his bar but withdrew the offer when she found out he was seeing Deridre again. After a lot of soul searching, she declined the offer of a new life, never sure Billy would accept Tracy as his daughter and telling him he never excited her the way Ray had. Ken and Deirdre went away for a short break to the Lake District. On their return, she receives a letter from Ray asking for a divorce and naming Ken as co-respondant. When she told him of the situation, he said he wants nothing to do with it and the romance fizzled out.
Deirdre was forced to move out of Emily's after her friend married Arnold Swain. Homeless and jobless, she struck lucky when Alf Roberts hired her to work in the corner shop and she and Tracy moved in to the flat above.
After a year of ups and downs, Ken and Deirdre made up in 1981 and became friends, but that didn't stop Mike Baldwin asking her out. Deirdre had been seeing a Dutch colleague of Ray's, but he wasn't in the country long so returned to Ken. They arranged a date and, thinking she'd been stood up, went out with Mike instead. Ken was not happy, especially since his car had broken down. Deirdre told Ken he was too unreliable and stayed with Mike. At Mike's flatwarming, Ken arrived with Sonia Price. Mike, ever the perfect host, took a shine to Sonia and they went off to a club, leaving Ken and Deirdre. They eventually got engaged. Albert Tatlock naturally expected them to move in with him after the wedding and was upset to learn they may move away. The date was set for the 27th July, just two days before the Royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, and they asked a delighted Albert if they could live with him after all. The wedding went off without a hitch and Ray even sent a telegram wishing them well and they honeymooned in Corfu. But trouble lay ahead as Tracy was confused as to why she was not called Barlow. Deirdre wrote to Ray asking if Ken could adopt her and he refused.
Towards the end of 1982, Deirdre was miserable and rowed a lot with Ken. He'd already told her he didn't want any more children which upset her. But as December arrived he refused to go with her to her mother's and was too wrapped up in himself and getting a job. When his application was turned down, he sank into depression, leaving the younger Deirdre fed up and she got closer to Mike. They began an affair, which Emily discovered, and he asked her to leave Ken. She and Ken had a major row and she confessed. Mike phoned. Ken told her to leave it but she didn't. Ken grabbed the receiver and slammed the phone down. Mike went across the road to find out what was going on. Deirdre answered the door and as soon as Ken heard Mike's voice he flew into a rage. As Deirdre was telling Mike
she's told Ken everything, Ken dragged her away before slamming the door. He held her round the throat and pushed her against it but she managed to break free and ran to the back room in tears. Ken told her to pack her things. She did but before she went, tried to give him one last chance. He told her if she walked through the door she was never coming back. She furiously said she won't be and went. On hearing the front door, Ken broke down in tears. He didn't hear the door open and went Deirdre tearfully told him she couldn't go and begged him not to make her, they made up. He went to see Mike and told him gleefully Deirdre was staying with him. Mike didn't believe him and said he wanted to hear it from Deirdre. Ken told him firmly to stay away from her but he didn't listen and went over only for Deirdre to confirm it.
Up until 1986, Deirdre continued working in the corner shop and the Barlow/Baldwin feud stayed the same. That all changed when Ken's daughter Susan reappeared and fell for Mike. Deirdre was caught in the middle and begged Ken not to tell Susan about the affair with Mike but he did which made Susan angry and she accused her step-mother or being jealous. Things went on hold when Susan married Mike.
1987 and Deirdre decided to challenge her boss, Alf Roberts, for the council seat which she won. Audrey blamed her for causing Alf's heart attack but Alf was more forgiving and didn't blame her. Their lives were disrupted the following year when Bob Statham, main partner in The Weatherfield Recorder, decided to sell his 60% and retire to Spain. He offered Ken first refusal but before he could accept or decline, The Clarion Group bought the shares. Nick Cavanagh, Clarion's owner, offered to buy Ken's remaining shares but Ken wouldn't sell and instead settled for being part of a large newspaper group. Nick's daughter Fiona joined him as assistant but Ken didn't trust her reasons for being there, convinced Nick had sent her to spy on him. Even his company car proved to be an embarrassment as it was emblazoned with the company logo. Suddenly all financial hell broke loose when it was reported in the paper the Clarion Group were in difficulties and Nick had disappeared. Ken was convinced Fiona knew something about it but she swore she didn't. Ken and Deirdre were surprised when Bob Latham reappeared and announced he had not received a penny for his shares. Fiona hatched a plan to break into the offices and take what was theirs. Ken was wary but went along with it and The Weatherfield Recorder was up and running again from number 1 Coronation Street until they found new premises. Deirdre agreed to let Ken mortgage everything to buy out Bob. For the next few years she mainly enjoyed her work as a councilor, though Ken was furious with her for not being there was Tracy was taken ill at school and send home. She was diagnosed with appendicitis and again, instead of staying at home to look after her as she recovered from surgery, Ken told her what he thought. But when she was unable to solve Brian Roscoe's problems, foolishly she went to visit him on Christmas Day 1988 offering presents for his children, only to discover his wife had taken them and left so he held her hostage. She managed to get away by threatening to throw the television through the window, but Ken wasn't happy he put her job before her family.
There was an uneasy truce between them until leaks from the council appeared in Ken's paper, The Weatherfield Recorder. She got the
blame and she was devastated to learn in 1989 that
Ken had been getting them from secretary Wendy Crozier who he was
having an affair with. When he eventually got home late at New Year,
she told him to go. He moved in with Wendy and, having mortgaged
the house to buy The Weatherfield Recorder, was forced to sell it
to pay off the mortgage. Deirdre and Tracy stayed there while Ken
moved in with Wendy.
Disaster struck in 1995 when Tracy lay in a coma after
taking a ecstasy tablet at a rave. Deirdre and Samir flew over to
be told Tracy had kidney damage and would need a transplant or spend
her life on dialysis. No one was a match until Samir volunteered
to be tested and found he was. Deirdre was so proud of him but he
was nervous. He went for a walk hours before the operation but was
attacked by the canal and left for dead. He was taken to hospital
but died. Deirdre decided to let the operation go ahead, as it was
what he wanted. Tracy's initial hostility towards Samir melted away
at the gesture but Deirdre was distraught with grief while Tracy
went back to London. Homeless and jobless after Samir's death, she
was asked by Mike to look after his small block of flats in Crimea
Street. She became very nervous of one tenant, Roy Cropper, who was
creepy and seemed to be stalking her and Tricia Armstrong but he
turned out to be harmless, albeit odd.
The day of her trial arrived and Jon's lawyer was worth every penny since he got off while Deirdre was sentenced to 18 months and called a manipulative woman by he judge, and accused of masterminding the whole thing. Deirdre was stunned but protested her innocence constantly.
Prison life was a shock as her cellmate, Jackie Dobbs,
made sure she understood what it was like. Deirdre was scared and
eventually had to be sedated as her constant protests of innocence
annoyed everyone, including the warders. After three weeks, Deirdre
finally got her freedom after another woman Jon had conned came forward.
As she walked out of the prison, she was delighted to see Jon handcuffed.
Ken, thrilled she had been set free at last and justice had finally
prevailed, offered her a home at number 1 with him but she chose
to return to the flat above the bookies with Liz. Mike hired her
at Underworld to replace Angie Freeman. But that wasn't the end of
her troubles. Jackie Dobbs appeared with her son Tyrone looking for
somewhere to stay after she got out. Deirdre was compelled into taking
her in as payback for Jackie looking after her inside. She not only
took over the flat, but also Deirdre got her a job at Underworld,
where she was sacked for stealing. She was relieved when Jackie broke
into number 7 while Curly was absent and claimed squatter's rights,
but even more so when Jackie left for good.
Deirdre went to work in the corner shop again, now owned by Dev Alahan. A fly in the Barlow/Rachid ointment happened at the end of 2000 as Ken was leading a blockade to prevent the cobbles being replaced by tarmac at the behest of Audrey Roberts. His son Peter surprised them by arriving unannounced. Ken was delighted but Deirdre wasn't that keen. Throughtout 2001 there was friction between them, especially when it transpired Susan hadn't aborted Mike's baby after all. Deirdre thought Mike had a right to know but Peter was adamant he shouldn't. But Mike was told by Dev (who was told by Deirdre) and Peter blamed him for driving Susan to her death in a car crash.
A year later, Ken and Deirdre held a surprise party at their house for Mike's birthday. She had a heart to heart with Mike out the back and admitted to him she loved Ken. Meanwhile her crush on Dev grew. When Dev accidentally set a box down on her glasses and broke then, he insisted on buying her a new pair. She was desperately unhappy Christmas Day and went round there. Dev, also unhappy since his fiancee Geena had left him, let her in and they talked over a few drinks. Typically when drunk, they ended up in bed. Deirdre was on cloud nine but Dev regretted it at once. She went home, convinced this was the start of an affair but back at work, he told her straight it was a mistake, especially since Geena had come back. She was heartbroken.
Things got worse the following Christmas Day when Tracy walked in as they sat down to dinner, announcing she had left Robert for good because he'd had an affair. Behind her back, they got him up there and were shocked to discover it was Tracy who had had the affair and Robert caught them in bed together. Tracy continued to cause more heartache during 2003. She had an affair with Dev and told Ken about her mother's fling at the hearing for assaulting schoolboy Aidan Critchley. Ken was really angry but said nothing until they got home then let rip at Deirdre, and upturning the dining table sending everything flying. Deirdre told him it was him she loved and Dev was just a silly crush. He eventually forgave her but she ended up leaving her job. They thought they had seen everything until Tracy stole Blanche's boyfriend Wally while her grandmother was away looking after her sister. Deirdre and Archie Shuttleworth went to Wally's home and saw Tracy, who had stayed overnight, lounging in a bikini. A fight ensued and Deirdre ended up in the pool. Tracy was appalled to find out Wally wasn't a millionaire at all but just a gardener, and one with a wife to boot. Then as they sat down to breakfast the day after Peter and Shelley's wedding, they were shocked when Roy Cropper crept down the stairs. Ken sensed his embarrassment as Tracy taunted him from the top of the stairs. Worse was to come when she said she was pregnant with Roy's baby but was selling the child to Roy and Hayley. None of them could believe she could be so callous. But Blanche had something up her sleeve. That Christmas she announced she had bought number 7 for Tracy and the baby. Deirdre was humiliated and they had numerous arguments until she ordered her mother to leave.
When Tracy went into premature labour, they were shocked
when Roy was there because he was the father. Tracy handed over the
baby as planned in February 2004 but then wanted her back. By now
her birth had been registered by Roy and his name as father but Tracy
hated the name Patience. Roy had promised Ken and Deirdre they could
have a hand in her upbringing. But Tracy had her sights set on Steve
McDonald and went to the church he was remarrying Karen and blurted
out Steve was really the father. Ken and Deirdre were more disgusted
that she could trick Roy and Hayley like that. But they helped her
get the baby, who she had the name changed by deed poll to Amy, back.
Deirdre also fell out with her old friend Liz McDonald, recently
returned for a while but they made up since they shared a grandchild.
They arranged to have her christened but an irate Karen, convinced
Steve was attending when he only dropped his mother off, turned up
and hit Tracy in the face. But Tracy, though seemingly wanting her
child, dumped her on anyone all the time.
Romance was in mind in October 2004 when she booked a surprise trip to Dublin to celebrate Ken's 65th birthday. But no sooner had they returned than they were roped into babysitting duties once again. Later that night at the Rovers, Ken read out a poem he'd written about Deirdre and how he felt in the hope of winning the trip to the Paris Hotel, Bridlington and be the most romantic. They didn't but seemed happy enough. That is until Tracy was arrested and spent the night in the cells for fraud after faking Penny King's signature when she persuaded on/off boyfriend Ciaran McCarthy to sell his restaurant and pocket £40,000 out of the £60,000 it sold for. Mike called the police and Deirdre did her best to persaude him to drop the charges.
2005 heralded a whole new life. Though she hadn't been expecting Ken's proposal in February to be quite so clinical about money and legalities so she changed her mind about accepting. However, on Valentine's Day, in the pouring rain on Maxine's bench outside the salon, he proposed again and she accepted. Their plans to marry in Tenerife were thwarted by lack of money so they booked a registry office instead for the beginning of March. Then things took an unexpected turn when Ray Langton appeared after having bumped his car in Amy's buggy. Tracy had demanded she be taken to the hospital to be checked out and Deirdre was shocked when she saw who had caused her wedding to be cancelled.
After Ray collapsed outside the hospital, she decided to stay until she'd found out how he was. She wasn't expecting him to announce he was dying of stomach cancer. Her feelings were mixed to say the least. She didn't entirely trust him and wished he'd leave them alone, but on the other hand clearly still cared about him despite the hostility from her family who didn't believe a word about his illness. Ken was anxious to set a new date for the wedding but she wasn't in a hurry which frustrated him. She had a heart to heart with Rita over a drink, reminiscing about some of the past. Ken meanwhile was still very hostile and giving her the cold-shoulder. She talked to her mother about how her life would have been with Ray as opposed to Ken if things had been different, convinced they would still be together with several more kids, which Ken didn't want. After Tracy returned after talking with Ray and announced she'd slapped him, Deirdre went round to make sure he was okay much to Ken's chagrin. Typically, Ray and Deirdre argued, with him blaming her for ending the marriage. She explained it wasn't all her fault but after he slept with Janice Stubbs, it destroyed her and the marriage. Later the had a cigarette in Emily's yard and talked emotionally about old times, him saying he'd never loved anyone the way he had her and he had to come home. They broke down and hugged just as Ken walked through the gate warning Ray to stay away from his family. Ken continued to be hostile towards her ex-husband, blaming him for Deirdre's reluctance to get married and was even less amused when Ray moved in. After a heart to heart with Ray, she told Ken she would marry him which was a relief to him since he'd already re-booked it for the 8th April.
Unbeknown to her, Ken began to get on amicable terms with Ray and even invited him to the wedding. But tragedy struck when, at the reception in the Rovers, Ray was discovered dead by Blanche.Tracy insisted though they still went on their honeymoon because it's what Ray would have wanted. On their arrival back, Deirdre announced she'd decided to give up smoking as a wedding present to Ken and showed off her nicotine patch.
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