|Coronation Street character|
|Portrayed by||Gray O'Brien|
|First appearance||Episode 6642 |
16 September 2007
|Last appearance||Episode 7356 |
9 June 2010
|Created by||Jonathan Harvey|
|Introduced by||Steve Frost|
|Book appearances||Coronation Street: The Complete Saga|
Tony Gordon is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Coronation Street , portrayed by actor Gray O'Brien. The character first appeared on-screen on 16 September 2007. He appeared as a regular character for two years before departing on 11 December 2009 after being imprisoned for the murder of Liam Connor (Rob James-Collier). He returned on 28 May 2010 after managing to break out of prison with the help of his cellmate Robbie Sloan (James Fleet), whom Tony later betrayed by shooting him dead. The character departed once again on 9 June 2010 after being killed off at the conclusion of his storyline. He was a local businessman, disliked by many of Weatherfield's residents for his ruthlessness. His storylines revolved around his business deals, his relationships with Carla Connor and Maria Connor, and the murder of Liam Connor. Tony was named "Bad Boy" of 2009 at the All About Soap Bubble awards, and "Villain of the Year" at The British Soap Awards 2009.
Prior to arriving in Weatherfield, Tony was born in Scotland in 1971, followed by his younger brother Patrick. His father had a heart attack aged 39. Tony, however, had witnessed this, but didn't phone an ambulance as he felt his mother didn't need his father. His grandfather had died aged 42 from a heart attack. In 1998, Tony married Lindsay (Susie Amy), who later had an affair with his brother, Patrick. Tony was a womaniser and only cared about money and mostly himself. He had run a business known as "Gordons Catalogues", and was also a property developer. In 2006, Tony and Lindsay divorced although she thought that he would eventually come back to her.
Tony arrives in Coronation Street in September 2007 as the owner of a clothing firm, giving a contract to Carla Connor (Alison King) and Liam Connor's (Rob James-Collier) lingerie factory Underworld.
He was unpopular with local residents for commissioning a new housing development in the area, destroying a bat roost in the process, much to the anger of bat enthusiast Roy Cropper (David Neilson). Planning to expand the Underworld factory, Tony attempts to convince shopkeeper Rita Sullivan (Barbara Knox) and mechanic Kevin Webster (Michael Le Vell) to sell their properties to him. When Kevin refuses, Tony enlists his friend Jimmy Dockerson (Robert Beck) to sabotage his business and persuades Kevin's daughter, Rosie Webster, to give him the garage accounts. He also bullies elderly resident Jed Stone (Kenneth Cope) out of his home, wanting to redevelop the site.
Tony begins a relationship with Carla, unaware she has romantic feelings for Liam. She breaks up with him in order to prove her feelings to Liam, but they later reconcile, becoming engaged. However, Rosie is aware of Carla and Liam's feelings for each other and tries to seduce Tony, but he makes it clear that he is not interested; so she shows him footage of Carla and Liam kissing the morning after their one-night stand. In revenge, he hires Jimmy as a hitman to kill Liam, running him over on Tony's stag night. A distraught Carla briefly leaves the country but marries Tony upon her return. Upon discovery of Carla's affair with Liam, his widow Maria (Samia Ghadie) begins to suspect Tony's involvement in his death. She confides in Jed Stone, who threatens to go to the police. Tony strangles Jed and initially believes him to be dead. He plans to dispose of his body, initially concealing his body inside a clothing container in Underworld, but is shocked to discover that Jed is in fact, still alive when the staff return and hear him shouting for help. He offers him a new flat in Wigan and £3,000 to leave the area and keep his secret. Maria begins a vendetta against Tony but he attempts to depict Maria as mentally unstable, raising Carla's suspicions in the process.When Carla eventually confronts Tony and demands the truth, she tells Tony that she loved Liam more than him, and Tony admits to having him killed. Carla escapes and flees to Los Angeles. Tony has a short-lived relationship with hairdresser Natasha Blakeman (Rachel Leskovac). Maria begins to soften towards Tony when she finds him at Liam's grave. They become friends, and Tony supports her during her pregnancy and delivers her son, who she names Liam Anthony; his forename in honour of his late father and middle name as a tribute to Tony. Liam's parents disapprove of the developing relationship, leading Tony to threaten that if they do not leave Maria alone, they will never see their grandson again. Eventually, the relationship becomes romantic and Maria and Tony become engaged. Carla returns to Weatherfield, and instructs Tony to sell his shares in Underworld to her and leave the country; or she will tell the police what he did. Tony hires Jimmy to kill her but changes his mind at the last moment. Carla escapes from Jimmy by knocking him unconscious but Tony makes her think she has murdered him, leading them to call a temporary truce. Carla then leaves the country again.
While Maria visits her parents in Cyprus, Tony suffers a heart attack. He is taken to hospital by Roy, with whom he had previously clashed over the new housing development and confesses Liam's murder to him. He tries to buy Roy's silence but it doesn't work so he begins threatening him. Roy and his wife Hayley (Julie Hesmondhalgh) report him to the police and Roy decides to go bat spotting at the canal. When Maria comes looking for answers, Hayley tells her everything, unaware Tony is hiding behind the café counter with a knife. This upsets Tony even more and he goes to the canal and tries to kill Roy, but Tony's phone rings alerting Roy, so he pushes Roy in the water but has a change of heart, rescues him and confesses everything to the police. On 11 December 2009, Carla visits Tony in prison where he admits that Jimmy is still alive. He asks her if she thinks Maria will forgive him and she tells him that she never would and that he would be going to hell on his own, before leaving.
Tony reappears on 28 May 2010, as he plots his escape from prison with the help of cellmate Robbie Sloan (James Fleet). Tony feigns a heart attack after initiating a riot at the prison and is quickly taken to hospital by ambulance. Robbie runs the ambulance off the road and frees Tony and they head for Weatherfield. Together, they plan to take Carla and Hayley prisoner in the factory. Robbie tricks Carla into entering the factory with him alone, holds her at gunpoint and then leaves her tied to a chair and gagged with duct tape while he lures Hayley to the factory too. Tony appears, taking the tape off Carla's mouth allowing her to speak, announces his intention to kill them, double-crosses Robbie by revealing that he never intended to pay him the full amount that he promised, and after tricking Robbie into giving him his gun; shoots him dead. Maria gets caught in the siege after she goes into the factory and Tony holds her prisoner too. However, he lets her go and she goes to the pub and tells everyone that Tony is holding Carla and Hayley hostage. Becky McDonald (Katherine Kelly), Gary Windass (Mikey North) and Steve McDonald (Simon Gregson), amongst others, arrive outside the factory to try and help. Becky attempts to break the door down with a large pole. Tony later releases Hayley after Carla pleads with him, pushing her out of the door and causing her to fall over before setting fire to Underworld, after dousing the building with petrol, determined that he and Carla would die together. However, Carla manages to untie herself and, after a violent struggle, manages to escape, shooting Tony in the process. Tony walks into view, looks out of the open factory doors at the crowd watching from the street and then deliberately walks back into the fire. The factory explodes and Tony is killed. His and Robbie's bodies are removed from the building the following day.
In August 2007, it was announced that actor Gray O'Brien had been cast as Tony, with The Mirror's Brian Roberts heralding him as the new Coronation Street "heartthrob".O'Brien stated of his casting: "I'm delighted to be joining the cast of Corrie. Tony is a great character and I hope I'll be well received by the viewers. I've had a great time [on River City ], but I'm looking forward to the new challenge."
In June 2009, it was reported O'Brien had been asked by producers to return to the show at a later date to complete Tony's storyline. Tony's initial exit aired in November 2009 and O'Brien performed in pantomime before resuming filming in Spring 2010 for the conclusion to the story, which involved the character taking several others hostage in a siege at the factory, before killing himself in an explosion.
In an interview with entertainment website Digital Spy, O'Brien described the dynamics behind his character ahead of the murder storyline, stating: "He does have boundaries - and the boundaries are that he won't be told 'no'. Anything up to that point is good enough. I don't think he's a murderous person. Tony killing Liam is just circumstances. He's come from nothing and has worked his way up. He's a respected businessman and he thinks it's all about fairness - you play with the sword, you die by the sword. He truly believes that everyone has a price. Up until this point, that's his game. His ambition is that he wants to retire in his mid 40s with several million in the bank. But now, something's come up to stop all that- Liam."When interviewed by BBC News O' Brien spoke of the feasible length that his bad-boy character could remain on the show: "Coming in to play the Coronation Street villain has a life span, so I was aware of that. I knew he was going to be villainous, but I think it was all based on audience reaction that they liked him and the writers just went with it. So it's been a really organic process, I don't think I expected this to happen, quite as it has happened. I've got great faith in the writers at Coronation Street and entrust that they'll keep the momentum with the character going. He's a great character to play and he's popular so I do trust whichever way it ends will be the correct ending." ITV publicity describe him as liking having power and making a lot of money but hating the competition that goes with it.
In March 2009, at the All About Soap Bubble awards, the character won the trophy for 'Bad Boy'.Two months later at the British Soap Awards Gray won 'Villain of the Year'.
Tony, who is a fan of Celtic, dislikes their rivals Rangers. In one episode he remarks: "I could no more fancy Rosie Webster (Helen Flanagan) than I could support Glasgow Rangers". Supporters of Rangers took offence to this remark and flooded the ITV switchboard with calls of protest as they thought the remark was a retaliation for the 2008 UEFA Cup Final riots involving Rangers fans. Ironically, it was revealed that his brother has a season ticket for the club. He also once said he was a modern Robert the Bruce - fighting for his honour in the street and the business world. The Scottish Tourist Board claimed that this remark lead to a 4% increase in the historical figure from tourists.
Gareth McLean of the Radio Times has described Tony as "the sort of man who would steal your teeth and come back for your gums" and commented that his friendship with Maria Connor softened his character.In an advance press screening of the Liam Connor murder episodes, soaps editor for Digital Spy Kris Green applauded Gray O' Brien for his portrayal of Tony by saying that both he and co-star Alison King "steal the show."
Maria Connor is a fictional character from the British television soap opera Coronation Street, portrayed by Samia Longchambon. The character made her first appearance during the episode broadcast on 19 May 2000. During her time on the show, Maria has been the centre of major storylines. In late-2009, Longchambon took maternity leave and Maria was off-screen from November 2009 until June 2010. Longchambon went on maternity leave again in 2015 and Maria was off-screen from October 2015 until April 2016. In June 2019, it was announced that Longchambon had signed a new contract keeping her with the show for at least another 12 months.
Roy Cropper is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Coronation Street, played by David Neilson. He first appeared on-screen on 19 July 1995. Originally a secondary character, he was given a more prominent role in 1997, by the executive producer of Coronation Street, Brian Park. Roy has been featured in numerous high-profile storylines, most notably marrying the first transgender character in a British soap opera, Hayley Patterson.
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Violet Wilson is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Coronation Street. She was portrayed by Jenny Platt making her first on-screen appearance on 8 October 2004 and remained until 29 February 2008. Platt returned for one episode on 24 April 2011.
Michelle Connor is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Coronation Street, portrayed by former Hear'Say singer, Kym Marsh. The character first appeared on-screen during the episode airing on 3 April 2006. Marsh took maternity leave in January 2011, and the character returned on 3 November 2011. On 24 February 2019, it was announced that Marsh would be leaving the soap after 13 years and Michelle's final episode aired on 27 December 2019.
Liam Connor is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Coronation Street, played by Rob James-Collier from 2006 to 2008.
Carla Connor is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Coronation Street, played by Alison King. She made her first appearance on screen during the episode airing on 1 December 2006 and introduced as the wife of Paul Connor. This was King's second role in the soap as she previously played Mrs. Fanshaw for one episode in 2004. King appeared in her 1,000th episode as Carla on 22 May 2015. Carla has been referred to as "the new Elsie Tanner". She is also known for her long-standing on-off relationship with Peter Barlow which has been likened to the relationship of "Taylor and Burton" by producer Iain McLeod.
Gray O'Brien is a Scottish television and film actor, best known for his portrayal of the villainous Weatherfield businessman Tony Gordon in the popular ITV soap opera Coronation Street from 2007–2010, and as Dr. Richard McCaig on the BBC medical drama Casualty from 1996–1998.
Julie Marie Carp is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Coronation Street, played by Katy Cavanagh. The character debuted on-screen during the episode airing on 25 April 2008 and was originally introduced as a new girlfriend of established character Kirk Sutherland and in a later storyline she was revealed to be Eileen Grimshaw's half-sister. On 4 February 2015, it was announced that Cavanagh had decided not to renew her contract with the show in order to go and pursue other projects. She departed on 3 July 2015.
Natasha Blakeman is a fictional character from the ITV soap opera, Coronation Street, played by Rachel Leskovac. The character first appeared onscreen during the episode airing on 12 May 2008. On 29 April 2010, it was announced that Leskovac had been axed from the show after two years and would depart in "an exciting and dramatic storyline which will be an integral part of the build-up to Coronation Street's 50th anniversary". Natasha departed on 27 September 2010.
Luke Strong is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Coronation Street. Portrayed by Craig Kelly, the character appeared throughout 2009. Luke took over Carla Connor's share of the Underworld factory with Tony Gordon. He knew Carla's deceased husband, Paul Connor.
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