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Coronation Street: Peter and Carla's rocky romantic history explained

As he pops the question for a second time we look back at the cursed couple's complicated backstory.

Published: Monday, 7th December 2020 at 6:30 pm

It could be wedding bells - again - for Coronation Street couple Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne) and Carla Connor (Alison King) as the brooding bloke proposes to his partner (for a second time) as part of the big 60th anniversary week.


They're one of soap's most popular pairings with a fiercely loyal following, unfortunately they also appear to be cursed as their relationship has been dogged by infidelity, deceit, addiction and tragedy. Guilty Carla is currently hiding her one-night stand with Peter's nephew Adam Barlow (Samuel Robertson), which threatens to explode as the engagement is announced.

With so much history between them over their decade of drama (yes, it's almost 10 years since they first got together), looks back at the torrid history of the cobbles very own Taylor and Burton…

2010: fatal attraction

Smarting from murdering ex-hubby Tony Gordon trying to kill her, then being dumped by bin man boyfriend Trevor Dean for Janice Battersby (of all people), crumbling Carla hits the bottle. She finds a friend in recovering alcoholic Peter and falls for him, but Mr Barlow lets her down gently as he's engaged to Leanne Battersby, who he eventually marries. But neither can deny the spark between them…

2011: the affair begins

corrie peter carla 2011

Carla gets engaged to sleazy businessman Frank Foster, but it's a rebound romance and when she calls it off because she's in love with Peter, her fiendish fiancé rapes her. Peter saves Carla from taking her own life and the pair grow closer, starting an affair behind unsuspecting Lee's back.

2012: tug of love

The fling is exposed and Leanne stages on a bitter custody battle against Peter for their son Simon, which she wins. Si disowns his dad for cheating and he ends up back on the booze. Disgraced Peter and Carla leave Weatherfield for six months while the heat around their scandalous affair dies down, and when they return Leanne is engaged to old flame Nick Tilsley. In a moment of jealousy, Peter tells Lee he still loves her, but ultimately chooses to stay with Carla.

2013: marriage and infidelity

corrie carla peter 2013

Peter and Carla get engaged, only for that notorious Barlow roving eye to wander once more and he cheats with Simon's nanny Tina McIntyre. Their torrid fling begins on Peter's wedding day, as Carla slopes off plastered after the nuptials while her new husband has his wicked way with the pretty young brunette on the buffet table.

2014: murder and miscarriage

Tina and Peter are about to run off into the sunset when Carla announces she's pregnant. Peter confesses his affair and both him and Carla are suspected of Tina's subsequent murder (Carla's bad boy brother Rob Donovan is the actual killer). The stress causes Carla to lose the baby and her relationship with Peter (seemingly) beyond repair, and he leaves for Portsmouth with his tail between his legs.

2018: just good friends

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Carla and Peter both end up back on the cobbles after a few years away and wisely decide to stay away from each other. Carla enjoys a no-strings fling with Peter's brother Daniel Osbourne while Peter has doomed dalliances with Toyah Battersby and Abi Franklin, both of whom are threatened by the spectre of his ex. On New Year's Eve they admit they still love each other, but realise there's just too much water under the bridge…

2019: breakdown and back together

Underworld's dramatic roof collapse kills Rana Habeeb, and Carla blames herself for not repairing it properly to save money. She spirals into a full-on psychotic breakdown and runs away, and is eventually found living rough before being sectioned. Peter supports his old flame through her mental health recovery and they slowly drift back together - promising this time it's for keeps. Right.

2020: testing times

corrie carla connor peter barlow

Cracks start to show when it emerges Carla slept with men for money while she was living on the streets in the midst of her psychosis, which shocked Peter struggles to process. Tension sees their endless list of issues brought back to the surface: Carla grows paranoid as her partner helps Abi through her addiction and lies about it, while Ms Connor's attraction to Adam ends with them in bed together, a violent mugging pushes Peter back to the bottle, risking his life and pushing him and Carla to the brink of disaster. Can they survive whatever anniversary week has to throw at them?


Visit our dedicated Coronation Street page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers. If you’re looking for more to watch check out our TV guide.


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