Coronation Street has officially reintroduced gangster Rick Neelan (Greg Wood) almost seven years after his last appearance.
The Weatherfield bad boy made his on-screen comeback on Friday 29 March when he was revealed as the loan shark builder Gary Windass (Mikey North) was in debt to having been forced to borrow cash when Carla Connor (Alison King) refused to pay him to repair the Underworld roof shortly before it caved in, killing Rana Habeeb (Bhavna Limbachia).
Keen to get his cash back, impatient Rick stole Gary’s tools and trashed his van demonstrating he means business… It was 2012 when recurring villain Rick was last in Corrie, but it’s nearly a decade since we first met him – here’s a handy reminder of who he is and what he got up to…
When did Rick Neelan first appear?
Wrong’un Rick was introduced in November 2009 as part of Gail’s ex-husband Joe McIntyre’s spiralling debt storyline. Demanding his money back with interest, unscrupulous Rick threatened Joe’s daughter Tina (Michelle Keegan) if he didn’t pay up. To escape his financial fix Joe planned to fake his death as part of life insurance scam on a boating accident, only to end up ironically drowning for real in February 2010. Rick was questioned by the police over his loan to the deceased and though charged over other debt collecting offences, he was cleared of any involvement in Joe’s tragic demise.
What other storylines was he involved with?
When bad penny Terry Duckworth turned up on the cobbles in May 2012 it turned out he too was embroiled with our old friend Rick and owed him thousands. Cruel Terry did a runner and left son Tommy Duckworth with the debt, who was then forced into drug smuggling by nasty Rick. Tina, who had beef with Rick from his history with her dad, stood up to the baddie by stealing his stash of drugs, but Rick countered by kidnapping T’s BFF Rita Tanner on her wedding day to Dennis and threatening to throw her in the canal if he didn’t get his narcotics back. Thankfully the police showed up and arrested Rick, saving Rita from a watery grave.
When did he leave?
Rick was carted off by the cops after the showdown with Tina and Rita in June 2012, and the last we heard he was looking at eight years inside. It’s 2019 and it appears he’s done his time and is back in Weatherfield, terrorising unsuspecting residents of Britain’s most famous street once again…
What else as actor Greg Wood been in?
Wood’s first major role was as scoundrel Terry Gibson in the dying days of axed Channel 4 soap Brookside from 2002 (credited as Greg Milburn), but he is best known for playing Hollyoaks tropical fish-loving crime boss Trevor Royle between 2013-2016, the father of Grace Black’s son Curtis who was memorably stabbed to death by Sienna Blake’s serial killer daughter Nico on his wedding day. The actor appeared in an episode of Casualty in 2018. Wood’s personal life was also the subject of tabloid news when he was romantically linked to actress Sheridan Smith a few years back.