Coronation Street‘s Amy Barlow (Elle Mulvaney) is pregnant at the age of 14, she discovered to her horror on Friday 18 January – what will parents Tracy Barlow (Kate Ford) and Steve McDonald (Simon Greyson) have to say about that when they find out next week?
Soap teenage pregnancies are one of the most popular plot ideas of the genre, with schoolgirl mums always a reliable generator of scandal and drama – iconic examples include Corrie’s own Sarah Platt and EastEnders’ Michelle Fowler.
As we embark on yet another one, it’s time for a reminder of some of the characters you’d forgotten, or never even realised, were parents in their teens. Maybe Amy should seek advice from this lot…
Faye Windass – Coronation Street
Drippy Faye was technically not even in her teens when she fell pregnant, conceiving at the age of 12. Managing to hide it from everyone bar bestie Craig Tinker the cat was out the bag once she went into labour and Dev’s shop and later gave birth to baby Miley in hospital. Mum Anna pushed for Faye to keep Miley in the family but she couldn’t cope and the little’un went to live with the tot’s dad Jackson and his parents. If Faye needs a holiday she’ll occasionally go off screen to visit, but otherwise Miley (who turns 4 in a few months) is barely mentioned.
Sonia Fowler – EastEnders
Bex Fowler is all grown up now but her arrival into the world came as a complete shock in 2000 when teenager Sonia screamed the house down in pain and started having contractions, not having a clue she was up the duff. With Big Mo as midwife, the penny eventually dropped for Son that her one-night stand with Martin nine months earlier had some major repercussions.
Michelle Connor – Coronation Street
The Connor family back story puts ‘Chelle as still being in her teens when she had her son with her late boyfriend Dean. The poor thing was so young she didn’t even twig when her baby was swapped, and she took Ryan home instead of Ali and raised him for the next 16 years. Maybe she got distracted doing her homework in the maternity ward?
Shirley Carter – EastEnders
Revealing in 2014 that her ‘little brother’ Mick was actually her son, Shirl kept the secret she had a baby in her mid-teens for almost 40 years. At the time her mother Sylvie suggested they pass the boy off as hers to husband Stan, who she reckoned was so drunk most of the time he wouldn’t suspect a thing. For other ‘It’s my child, not my sibling’ set-ups, see also EastEnders’ Kat and Zoe Slater and Hollyoaks’ Leela and Peri Lomax.
Debbie Dingle – Emmerdale
Back in 2005, terrified teen Debbie delivered baby Sarah in secret with no one but a close plutonic male friend (Daz Eden) aware she was even pregnant. Is that where Faye Windass got the idea?
Cindy Cunningham – Hollyoaks
Actually, before Faye and Debbie, Ms Cunningham did the whole ‘Hide the baby bump under a jumper for nine months’ thing, but didn’t tell a single soul. In 1997 the future village diva was the shy, frumpy and naieve kid sister of blonde bombshell Jude and found herself preggers after losing her virginity to geeky Stan – who then promptly died in a car crash. Cind even briefly abandon baby Holly at the local hospital after a traumatic secret Christmas Day birth.
Kathy Beale – EastEnders
In the early days of ‘Enders, Kathy was floored to be confronted by the grown-up daughter she gave away at 14, the product of a horrific rape ordeal. Troubled Donna Ludlow had tracked her down hoping to bond with her biological parent but Kathy wanted to put her painful past behind her and refused attempts to form a relationship. Stung by the rejection, Donna developed a drug habit and eventually died of an overdose.