Coronation Street fans have been suspicious of Jade Rowan (Lottie Henshall) since she arrived on the cobbles, not buying the sickly sweet Mary Poppins act for one second, and now her big secret has been revealed – she is the secret daughter of dastardly John Stape, deceased husband of Fiz Stape (Jennie McAlpine), and is on a clandestine mission to destroy her life.
It was apparent something sinister lurked beneath the babysitter’s bubbly exterior the more she meddled in Fiz’s relationship with partner Tyrone Dobbs (Alan Halsall), and the surreptitious ways she made her employer look like the world’s worst mother.
Sneaking out at the end of Wednesday 27th November’s second episode after causing a big ding-dong between Fiz and unruly daughter Hope, a tearful Jade laid flowers at the grave of John Stape and murmured: “I love you, Dad…” Hope is John’s biological daughter, which makes her and Jade half-sisters.
You remember John, right? The misguided white collar criminal of the cobbles? No? Here’s a handy reminder:
When was John Stape in Coronation Street?
We first met unassuming, geeky teacher John in 2007 when he was introduced as Fiz’s love interest. The pair were old flames and rekindled their romance, but Mr Stape was seduced by teenage temptress Rosie Webster and his cheating was sensationally exposed on Christmas Day that year.
Fired from teaching for cavorting with a pupil, bitter John blamed Rosie for ruining his career and held her hostage for weeks in his granny’s house. Rosie was eventually found and John was sent to jail.
Him and Fiz reconnected through prison visits and ended up getting married in 2009 while he was still behind bars. They lived together as man and wife when he was released, but their happiness didn’t last long due to a case of mistaken identity…
Who did John Stape kill?
This is far from straightforward, and it’s more a case of implication in several deaths than cold-blooded murder, so bear with us: desperate to be a teacher again, in 2010 John stole the identity of ex-colleague Colin Fishwick when he moved to Canada, who he then posed as to get a job in his old profession. Colin returned to the UK, got wind of the scam and confronted John, along with another teacher pal, Charlotte Hoyle, who was in love with Mr Stape and had promised to keep his fraudulent secret.
Mid-argument Colin collapsed and died of a brain haemorrhage – not wanting to admit his identity theft, John (with Charlotte’s help) buried the body beneath the Underworld factory floor. Charlotte turned proper bunny boiler but when John refused to leave his pregnant wife she flipped and attacked him with a hammer, only for John to knock her unconscious in retaliation.
Fate intervened and the great tram crash of 2010 was occurring right outside the door at that very moment, so John sneakily dumped Charlotte’s body in the wreckage and pretended she’d been a victim of the disaster. Fiz gave birth to Hope and John thought he’d got away with everything, only to learn Charlotte had survived and was in a coma. Eventually her family agreed to switch the life support machine off and John’s secrets were buried with her… until the guilt got too much and he told Colin’s elderly mum the truth about what really happened to her son. She then dropped dead of shock.
Unsurprisingly John suffered a breakdown as the walls closed in and the factory floor was dug up in 2011, forcing him to move Colin’s corpse. Suspicious Fiz caught him in the act and he confessed everything, insisting it was all just a misunderstanding because he wanted to carry on teaching…
Meanwhile, Charlotte’s parents still believed John was ‘Colin’ and when Fiz’s brother Chesney found out about his brother-in-law’s double life, John tied all three of them up in the basement to keep them quiet. Fiz rumbled the hostage situation and called the cops, refusing to run away with her homicidal husband who snatched baby Hope and fled the scene.
Fiz ended up in hospital after a car accident and John visited her, returning Hope and disappearing into the night after avoiding police capture once more.
How did John Stape die?
When Fiz was arrested for John’s string of crimes he resurfaced as she faced a trial, kidnapping Rosie (again!) and priming her to recite his version of events in court in the hope it would help his wife’s case. Yet another of John’s bright ideas ended badly when Rosie’s dad Kevin Webster tracked his daughter down and a car chase ensued seriously injuring the deluded fella. Fiz forgave dying John on his deathbed…
That was in 2011, and no mention was ever made about John having another daughter. We can assume Jade has deliberately tracked down her stepmum to avenge her dad’s death, but there are still many questions – who is Jade’s mother? How long has she been planning to infiltrate Fiz’s life? How well, if at all, did she know her dad? And is she really John’s daughter, or just a very strange, disturbed young lady who read his story in the press and got a bit obsessed…?
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