|Portrayed by||Simon Gregson|
|First appearance||6 December 1989|
|Residence||Rovers Return Inn|
Steven James McDonald, is a fictional character in the UK television ITV soap opera, Coronation Street. Portrayed by actor Simon Gregson, the character first appeared onscreen during the episode airing on 6 December 1989.
Simon Gregson began his time in Coronation Street at the age of fifteen in 1989, when he and Nicholas Cochrane were selected to play the teenage twin sons of a new family in The Street. Gregson was suspended from the show in 1995 after he admitted being addicted to cocaine, but returned 18 months later. Whilst filming with the soap opera the actor along with fellow actor Craig Charles are set to being filming in comedy series Red Dwarf, whilst on the set of the show. 
At the age of 21, Steve McDonald married Vicky, granddaughter of Rovers Return Inn landlord Alec Gilroy, who had come into money when her parents died. However, his real love was hairdresser Fiona Middleton. Alec failed to convince Vicky that Steve only wanted her for her money. Not long after their marriage, Steve was caught in possession of stolen booze and perjured himself in court, trying to blame Vicky. His plan failed and he went to jail.
Vicky quickly divorced him and left town, but the two characters were briefly reunited in a spin-off two years later, with Steve attempting to seduce Vicky on the night before her marriage to another man. This time she realised that there was no future for them.
Fiona, having lost Steve to Vicky first time round, became close to him again after her fiancé left her pregnant after discovering she had had a one night stand with Steve's father, Jim. Steve, disgusted with his father, stood by Fiona and helped with her baby son Morgan, but he was unable to remain faithful and they soon split up.
Steve has been married to Karen McDonald (twice). While separated from Karen in 2003, he had a one-night stand with Tracy Barlow, consequently making her pregnant. Tracy gave birth to their daughter Amy Barlow, though she initially was named Patience by Roy Cropper when he believed Amy was his daughter.
Tracy later decided she wanted to bring up her daughter herself, and revealed that Steve was the baby's father on Steve and Karen's second wedding day. Karen was horrified but later forgave him. Tracy was persistent in causing disruption for Steve and Karen during 2004. Steve and Karen were overjoyed to discover that Karen was pregnant but she miscarried shortly afterward which drove Karen to despair. Steve eventually ended his relationship with Karen on Christmas Day, admitting it was getting too much for him.
In March 2005, he began dating single mum, Louise Hazel, but the relationship was doomed by Tracy's presence on the Street. He briefly returned to Tracy, but she realised that he wanted only his name as the father on Amy's birth certificate, and intended to seek custody. Tracy then tried to deny Steve access to Amy. A court case gave Steve the legal rights to see his daughter.
In 2005, he started dating Street Cars employee Ronnie Clayton, a local gangster's estranged wife. In 2006, she tried to frame him when she accidentally ran down a pensioner in her taxi, but she was eventually caught. Steve's alibi for the crime was that he had spent the night with his new business partner Lloyd's girlfriend Kelly Crabtree. This led to the temporary closure of Streetcars, when Lloyd refused to work with Steve. Lloyd eventually forgave Steve for his deception, and the business re-opened. Later that year, Steve bought the Rovers Return pub from Fred Elliott and installed his mother Liz as landlady and his future stepfather Vernon Tomlin as cellarman.
When Tracy was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the murder of her lover Charlie Stubbs, Steve took on Amy's care. After a long-running stop-start romance with barmaid Michelle Connor, they moved in together. In July 2007, Steve went on a sunshine holiday to Malta with Streetcars colleague Eileen Grimshaw, where he met a beautiful woman called Shania and the pair shared a kiss. However, it later transpired that Shania was in fact a transvestite which left Steve feeling humiliated. Michelle later found out about Shania when she saw the picture of the pair kissing but saw the funny side of it and was insistent that the photo be displayed behind the bar at the Rovers. In June 2008 he had a one-night stand with Becky Granger after he and Michelle had a row. Steve's friend and colleague Lloyd covered for Steve's anxiety by telling Michelle that Steve was planning to propose. This put Steve under pressure to follow through, but Michelle found out that the proposal was "false" and Steve later admitted to having "slept on a girl's couch". Michelle responded by throwing Steve out of his own home and throwing the expensive engagement ring in a skip. Michelle and Steve were reunited after he gave her an ultimatum: they got back together or else she moved out of the Rovers. However, he grew tired of Michelle and started an affair with Becky. In January 2009, his relationship with Michelle came to an end when he revealed the truth.
In October 2008, Steve's fling with Becky returned to haunt him as she blackmailed him into providing her with an alibi on the night she caused much criminal damage, following her split from Jason Grimshaw. Steve soon realised that he too may be charged, and when the police drove by she kissed Steve unaware that Dan Mason was watching, who was then adamant that Becky and Steve were having an affair. Steve managed to attend Becky's trial despite Michelle's plans when her parents came to visit from Ireland. During the court case, Blanche entered to watch, and after watching him being forced to "admit" that he'd been having an affair with Becky, Blanche began to blackmail Steve for free drinks. After Becky was found innocent she and Steve ended up in a hotel room where they had sex, and on 28 November, 2008 he told her that he loved her and not Michelle. He then told Becky that he would get Michelle to dump him by playing the bad boyfriend routine. On Christmas Day 2008, Steve lied to Michelle and sneaked off to spend the day at the cab office with Becky, however, the pair had a narrow escape when Michelle came to the office searching for Steve. On 16 January, 2009, Steve ended his relationship with Michelle. Michelle moved out and Steve went to announce the news to Becky, only to discover she had got back with Jason. Steve decided to show his love to Becky by proposing to her. He was then horrified when he witnessed Jason doing likewise. Later he proposed to Becky again, regardless of the fact she'd already said yes to Jason. Becky initially refused but soon afterwards decided that Steve was the man that she wanted to be with and broke Jason's heart by going back to him, resulting in a "Friday the 13th" wedding in March 2009.
After proposing to Becky in February 2009, he organised a quickie wedding for Friday 13 March. Many people disapproved of them marrying due to the fact that Becky had been engaged to Jason just before she accepted Steve's proposal. On 11 March 2009, Steve banned Liz and Lloyd from the wedding after they were betting on whether the ceremony would go ahead. In the end, Becky turned up late for the ceremony drunk, rendering her unable to carry out the nuptials. Steve then brought her home in disgrace. The following day, Becky woke up and believing that she had been married, hunted for her ring, however, Michelle, revealed all in the pub. she later left Steve after admitting that it would never work. They later reconciled, and began plans for another wedding.
On the 14th August, Steve and Becky had their second wedding. However their happiness was short lived when The Rovers Return was searched for drugs, which were found in Becky's bag, having been planted by Becky's ex 'Slug'. She was arrested and taken to the police cells however the charges were later dropped.
In the new year Steve revealed he wanted another child with Becky however Becky didn't want any children of her own this lead to various arguments between the pair. Becky later fell pregnant, leaving the couple without much choice in the matter.
On 29th January 2010, after Becky said that she doesn't want children whilst Steve does, resulting in them being distant towards each other, Becky revealed to Steve that she is pregnant and that she found out that she was pregnant on New Year's Eve. Sadly, she later suffered a miscarriage.
From the start, the lads were high-energy tearaways, causing aggravation for neighbour Alf Roberts. Steve's character was based on Coronation Street creator Tony Warren's childhood next-door neighbour Toby 'tin-ed' Edge (who coincidentally had twin brothers of his own), Steve's early exploits were a symptom of changing 1980s social trends. Steve and Andy got up to a lot of mischief, including a joyride in an industrial earth mover and breaking Alf's shop window, but Steve was more often in trouble than Andy.
The lads were brought up mainly by their mother because their father, Jim, was in the army and often away from home. When he was home, the hot-tempered Jim, a heavy drinker, was strict but did not have the boys' respect. Steve was loyal to his mother, but this did not stop him getting into scrapes. Schoolboy pranks turned into illegal activities. Steve was caught selling stolen car radios, and fell in with a gang which resulted in his brother, Andy, being beaten up. Steve also ran away with a teenage visitor to the Street. They were found in the Lake District, but the relationship was innocent. The McDonalds had little money and this seemed to fuel Steve's money-making ambitions.
Steve started working with Jim in a building business but Jim was drinking a lot and during an argument and scuffle on scaffolding, Jim fell into a skip and was paralyzed for a while. After Jim's recovery, things started to improve between father and son. They seemed to come to an acceptance of each other. Steve took over the building business and made a success of it, being involved in the reconstruction of Victoria Street and later, a renovation of a block of flats that Richard Hillman later bought.
Steve served two short prison sentences, but was attempting to go straight when he got involved with local gangster Jez Quigley, from whom he borrowed money to invest in a mini cab firm with friend Vikram Desai. His failure to pay up on time resulted in Jez having him beaten up by his heavies and almost killed. Jim went after Jez and beat him up; Jez, in the very act of threatening Steve, died in hospital from the injuries sustained in the attack. Jim confessed to the attack and was jailed for manslaughter, being released in late 2007.
Steve is now regarded as a rehabilitated and respected member of the community, co-owning the local taxi firm Street Cars, first with Vikram Desai, later with Dev Alahan and currently with good friend Lloyd Mullaney.
On 5 January 2009, Steve visited Lloyd at his flat, unaware that his mother Liz was hiding behind the armchair as she was secretly seeing Lloyd. Steve was immediately suspicious that Lloyd had a woman in the flat as he smelled a familiar perfume in the air. Steve then spotted Liz's keys on the coffee table but Lloyd lied saying that he had found them in the gutter outside. Just as Steve was bidding farewell, he could tell by Lloyd's facial expression that Liz was the woman in the flat. He was disgusted at the pair and had a fight with Lloyd. Steve later reluctantly accepted their relationship.
Steve McDonald has proven to be one of the most popular characters on the Street in recent years due to high profile storylines such as his dodgy dealings with Jez Quigley and his explosive relationships with Karen McDonald and Tracy Barlow. At the 2004 Inside Soap Awards, the Tracy/Steve baby secret won the 'Best Storyline' gong. The presence of the McDonald family on Coronation Street and Steve in particular have been singled out for praise. In a 2008 interview with The Sun, Simon Gregson expressed his delight with the character's "bad-boy" image, saying that the producers were of the same opinion. Critic Tony Stewart praised the episodes in which Steve discovered that Lloyd and Liz were having a fling, calling it "pure comedy gold, full of wicked laugh-out-loud one-liners..." Ian Wylie has been very impressed with Simon Gregson's performance as Steve saying, "his on screen performance remains as fresh as the day he started".
Over the years, storylines involving Steve McDonald have received some negative backlash. In 2002, the Broadcasting Standards Commission criticised Coronation Street for being "unacceptably menacing" in regard to the hospital scene where Steve was threatened by Jez Quigley, broadcast two years previously. A spokeswoman for the soap defended the controversial storyline saying; "We are a realistic drama and we did flag up the fact there was going to be violence in the Steve McDonald episode. We are mindful that Coronation Street has a large family audience and endeavour to appeal to young and old at all times." In 2008, a leading policeman blamed Coronation Street for glamorising drink driving. He pointed out that Street's cab driver McDonald was regularly seen drinking in the Rovers Return - setting a bad example to drivers.
In February 2009, Steve McDonald was voted the nation's favourite soap character in a poll conducted by The People newspaper. Talking about the victory Gregson stated; "Oh my God, I am chuffed. I'm delighted people enjoy watching Steve and the scrapes he gets into. And I'm pleased people like to watch him as much as I love playing him."
|Landlord of the Rovers Return Inn