Not many family members remembered Gail Rodwell’s latest birthday – yes, we’re looking at you David – but one person who never forgets is her father Ted Page even though he’s not been seen in Coronation Street for 10 years.
“Lovely gay Ted,” as Audrey Roberts (Sue Nicholls), nee Potter, referred to the young soldier who gave her daughter Gail back in 1958 without him realising it. Played by Michael Byrne, Ted only discovered he had a child when Audrey got in touch with him in 2008.
When Ted did finally arrive in Weatherfield after the death of his husband James he became a welcome on/off addition to the household at no.8. His grandson David, who was in Larchfield Young Offenders Institute at the time for assault, delighted in taking the Mickey out of Ted and his gran when they were first introduced.
Ted and David (Jack P Shepherd) continued to have their ups and downs, particularly when his grandfather got caught in the crossfire of one of David’s many vendettas with Gary Windass (Mikey North). When David tried to set Gary up to get caught robbing Audrey’s home he didn’t realise a vigilant Ted would be housesitting.
Later Ted returned in 2010 to give Gail (Helen Worth) away to ill-fated husband no.4 Joe McIntyre (Vinny’s dad in Emmerdale actor Reece Dinsdale). He was also the subject of extensive tittle tattle by legendary gossip Blanche Hunt (Maggie Jones) when Blanche decided that her son-in-law Ken Barlow (William Roache) was having a relationship with Ted after the pair arranged to go to an art exhibition together.
“Just because things seem alright in the bedroom department you don’t have to be Angela Lansbury to piece this together,” Blanche told daughter Deirdre (Anne Kirkbride) after clocking Ken reading Armistead Maupin’s Tale of the City.
An indignant Ken defended his friendship with Ted calling him “an interesting man who has led his life to the full. A properly rounded human being.”
“Smitten,” declared a triumphant Blanche. Ted, don’t be a stranger.