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Gail McIntyre
Gailplatt 2008.jpg
Gail in 2008
Coronation Street
Portrayed by Helen Worth
Duration 1974—
First appearance 12 July 1974
Occupation Receptionist
Residence 8 Coronation Street

Gail McIntyre (née Potter; previously Tilsley, Platt & Hillman) is a long-standing fictional character in the UK television ITV soap opera, Coronation Street.[1] Portrayed by actress Helen Worth, the character first appeared onscreen during the episode airing on 12 July 1974. She is the daughter of Audrey Roberts and Ted Page and has featured in some of the most controversial storylines known to the soap.[2]



Gail Potter enters the series in an episode on 12 July 1974 as a friend of Tricia Hopkins. The character of Gail was only intended as a 'mate' for the Hopkins character,[citation needed] but has remained in the programme since her debut.

In April 1975, she discovers that the man her mother was living with - Frank Peterson - isn't her father, as she has been led to believe. Gail walks out and moves into the shop flat to share with her co-worker and former schoolfriend Tricia. Tricia moves away from Weatherfield, and Elsie Tanner lodges briefly with Gail at the corner shop, before they move into No. 11 Coronation Street. In 1977, Elsie and Gail are joined by Suzie Birchall, and the three women become one of the programme's most popular groups.[3]

Gail as she appeared in 1978.



Marriage to Brian

Gail marries Brian Tilsley on November 28, 1979, starting a feud between Gail and her mother in law Ivy, who hates Gail. Brian and Gail have two children: son Nick and daughter Sarah.

Gail is initially unsure who Sarah's father is, because she had an affair with Brian's cousin, Ian Latimer. When Brian finds out, he asks Gail to have an abortion but she refuses. Her infidelity causes them to split up but they reconcile, after a paternity test reveals that Brian is Sarah's father. Brian and Gail remarry in 1988.

Unfortunately their marriage soon deteriorates. Brian and Gail have a massive argument just before Brian goes out. They both know their marriage is over and Brian vows to fight for custody of Nick.

Brian's death and Gail's marriage to Martin Platt

When Brian is killed in a nightclub scuffle in 1989, Gail becomes attracted to Martin Platt. The two get involved and Gail falls pregnant. She does not think it is fair for Martin to have a child at his age and is about to have an abortion when Martin stops her. Gail and Martin marry in 1991, shortly before David's first birthday. Martin adopts Nick and Sarah but Nick changes his name back in order to inherit his late grandmother's house.

Trouble with Nick

As Nick grows up, he became more difficult, so Gail sends him to Canada to live with her brother, Stephen. A more mature Nick returns in 1997 and shocks his mother by marrying Leanne Battersby. Leanne and Gail's relationship is similar to Gail and Ivy's. Gail feels that Leanne and her family aren't good enough but Nick and Leanne are happy for a while but it doesn't last and they divorce with Nick returning to Canada.

Sarah's teenage pregnancy

Shortly after Sarah's 13th birthday in January 2000, Gail becomes concerned about Sarah refusing to eat as she is worried about gaining weight. One day, Gail hears Sarah being sick and takes her to the doctor, thinking she has an eating disorder. The doctor tells Gail and Sarah that Sarah is pregnant. Sarah is five months gone so an abortion isn't possible. Sarah tells the baby's father but he wants nothing to do with either of them. Sarah gives birth to Bethany in June 2000. Sarah struggles with motherhood and Gail babysits while Sarah enjoys being a teenager.

Marriage breakdown and Richard Hillman

Martin is younger than Gail and so is tempted by other women. He has an affair with nurse Cathy Power, but Gail forgives him. However, his affair with Rebecca Hopkins leads him to end the marriage and they divorce in 2001.

The character of Gail then becomes central to one of the soap's most high profile plot lines in which episodes would go on to get viewing figures over 17 million.[4] At first, Gail grows closer to her good friend Alma Baldwin's cousin Richard Hillman. Smooth-talking Richard whisks Gail off her feet, and they marry in 2002. Little does she know that her apparently perfect husband is actually a serial killer. He murders several Weatherfield residents and tries to kill others, including Gail's mother Audrey.

After Richard drove into the canal.

The truth comes out

When Gail begins to suspect that her husband is more than he seems, she confronts him with her suspicions. Richard confesses everything to Gail in a special two-hander episode broadcast on February 24, 2003, admitting to the murders of Maxine Peacock and his ex-wife Patricia. He also reveals that he had tried to kill Emily Bishop, Gail's mother, Audrey, and left Rovers' landlord Duggie Ferguson to die. Gail also discovers that Richard is a serial con-artist.

Absolutely horrified, Gail brands him 'Norman Bates With A Briefcase' and throws him out before telling the police the identity of the street serial murderer. Gail then reconciles with her mum, Audrey.

Richard's final revenge

Just as Gail begins to get her life back on track, Richard returns to Weatherfield some weeks later in March 2003. He ties Gail and the children up, after a failed attempt at gassing them in the garage, he takes them for the ride of their lives. Richard drives them into the canal, attempting to kill them all. Gail, David, Sarah and Bethany escape unharmed, but Richard drowns. Gail later finds out that Richard has left her in debt and her money is gone as their accounts are frozen. Gail faces financial ruin and looks set to lose her house. Vera Duckworth is very critical of Gail and accuses her of being in league with Richard, as she and Jack also face financial instability due to Richard being their financial advisor. However, Audrey saves the day by using her life savings to buy the house for Gail and her family.

David's rebellion

From early 2006 until 21 May 2006, Gail receives cards signed by deceased husband Richard, unnerving her so much she becomes reliant on sleeping pills and drink. She contacts the police and thinks that new boyfriend Phil Nail is behind the cards. Her relationship with David is strained to the point of breakdown when it is finally revealed that he is sending the cards.[5] She marches him to the police to close the case, but doesn't press charges. Gail forgives David and believes that she can keep him in line, only to find out that he is playing truant from school. In October 2006, the education officer visits Gail to suggest the family have counselling for David's attitude. She also suggests that Gail attend parenting classes.

On Christmas Day 2006, David unveils Ivy Brennan's diary, which reveals Gail’s planned abortion and expose his grandmother Audrey's affair with Bill Webster. David runs away from home when Gail tells him she wants him to start paying rent, but comes home with the police, after telling them that Gail is abusing him. The final straw for Gail is when her granddaughter Bethany Platt swallows an ecstasy tablet, left in her doll's head by David in September 2007. Bethany is rushed to intensive care and following an ultimatum from Sarah, Gail makes David move out. David is distraught but Gail remains strong and orders him not to attend Sarah and Jason Grimshaw's wedding. As revenge, David writes a suicide note and leaves it on the kitchen table for Gail to find the day before the wedding ,however, Sarah finds it first and, as she believes it is yet another attention-seeking stunt by her brother, it ends up in the bin.

On Sarah's wedding day, David sees his family starting to celebrate the wedding despite the suicide note (not realising only Sarah had seen it) and decides to prove his point by driving his car into the same part of the canal that Richard had driven them into over four years previously. A distraught Gail waits for hours for news about whether he is alive or dead, and when he finally comes home, Gail swears to him she will never let the situation get so out of hand again. Her relationship with Sarah became strained when she learns that Sarah was fully aware of David's intention to attempt suicide, not realising that David hadn't intended to kill himself but to just ruin Sarah's wedding (which he had succeeded in).

In late 2007 Stephen Reid, Gail's half brother, comes to stay for Christmas. He offers David a job in Milan and he immediately accepts. However, because he spoiled her wedding day, Sarah vows revenge and plants ecstasy tablets in his drawer at the salon. Audrey finds them, and Gail refuses to let David go to Milan. Sarah is offered the job and leaves with Jason and Bethany but confesses to Jason what she did. Shocked, he returns to Weatherfield and tells Gail everything.

Plummet down the Stairs

On 3 March 2008, Tina McIntyre - David's girlfriend - reveals that she is pregnant with David's baby. Gail insists that Tina keep her pregnancy a secret from David and offers to pay for a termination, which Tina accepts. When David discovers their deception, he pushes Gail down the stairs in a fit of anger, leaving her hospitalised and suffering short term amnesia.[6][7][8] Gail eventually remembered who pushed her but forgave David nonetheless.[9]

Family revelations and tribulations

In April 2008, Ted Page, Gail's long lost father, gets in touch with her mother, Audrey. Gail finds out and is angry that she is not told. However, she arranges to meet Ted after he discovers he is a father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

On 12 May 2008, Gail meets Ted, and is shocked when Ted explains he has just lost his partner of 20 years, a man called James. On the same day, Gail reveals that she was a "Blairite" and voted for the Labour Party.

Relationship with Joe McIntyre

Gail begins to take a shine to Tina's dad, Joe McIntyre, and the couple go on several secret dates as Gail does not want their relationship to become public knowledge. In November 2008, David and Tina react badly when they discover Gail and Joe's relationship, however, they later come around to the idea and give the couple their consent.

On Christmas Day, 2008, Gail is shocked when the celebrations at the house descend into chaos with her family brawling with their neighbours, the Windasses. Joe angrily orders Eddie, Anna and Gary Windass to leave by hurling food at them. This shows a side of Joe which Gail has never seen and she tells him that she never wants him to behave like that again as it is a reminder of the bad men from her past.

In March 2009, Joe and Gail temporarily break up following the aftermath of Gary Windass's trial for assaulting David. Tina angrily tells Gail that Joe was only living with her as he had been evicted from his flat and had no where else to go. In turn, Joe finds out from David that Gail paid for Tina to have an abortion a year previously. Joe moves out but Gail eventually lets him stay as he has no where else to go. In taking pity on him, she realises that she still has deep feelings for him, especially after he injures his back and is forced to stay at the house. The couple subsequently reunite.

However, Joe soon becomes addicted to prescription drugs and later robs Gail's pharmacy for paracetamol and is arrested in August 2009. In early November 2009, Joe proposes to Gail on a boat he has renovated, calling it 'Gailforce'. However, unknown to Gail, Joe has been struggling with his debts and is frequently visited by debt collector Rick Neelan. When Joe finally can't cope with the situation and tells Gail, she is at first furious but then decides to help him by offering to sell her house.

On 8 January 2010, Gail marries Joe. Just weeks into the marriage, Gail discovers the true extent of Joe's financial woes after she catches him trying to arrange a quick, cheap sale on the house behind her back, in order to pay off Rick.

Joe's Death and Gail's ordeal

In February 2010, Joe attempts to fake his own death in order to scam monies from the insurers. He tells Gail, who is mortified at the plan, and tries to get him to go to the police before they have an argument on the boat Joe had bought and renovated in 2009. During the rucus Joe falls and sprains his wrist. Unknowingly to Gail the fight is witnesssed by another couple who are staying at the Lakes. He then throws Gail back onto the dock and sets sail.

Shortly after setting sail, Joe falls from the boat and drowns. Gail thinks that Joe has gone through with his plan when in reality he is dead. Gail calls David and tells him everything about Joe's plan to fake his own death. They hatch a plan to tell everyone that Joe is on a job thinking that he will return to the Street and Gail insists the police are not informed as she doesn't want Joe to get in trouble. They take Joe's boat in from the lake and return to the Street.

Gail is devastated when Joe's body is located, thinking that he had been alive and well, despite not having received any phone calls from him. Gail comes under suspicion for Joe's death as she is forced to reveal everything about the insurance scam to the police. When police discover Gail's signature upon Joe's life insurance policy, (which Joe had forged prior to his death, unknownst to Gail), suspicion increases. When the couple from the Lakes come forward as witnesses in the investigation and tell the police about Gail's blazing fight with Joe on the boat, more inconsistencies in her story become apparent to the police.

On 15 March 2010, Gail is arrested during Joe's wake for his murder, after an indignant Tina informs the police that Gail is planning on leaving the country to go to Milan. She also tells the police that Gail persuaded her to lie to them.


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