Coronation Street: Jim and Liz’s daughter isn’t dead after all – and other crazy soap retcons

The McDonalds' big surprise isn't the first time soap has rewritten history


Soaps may be renowned for their outrageous cliffhangers, but they don’t come much more ridiculous than Coronation Street’s Liz McDonald discovering that her premature baby daughter Katie (who died in 1992) is actually alive and well. The Sun is today reporting that Weatherfield returnee Jim McDonald will return alongside and his and Liz’s offspring, who is now 26 and has been living all this time in Australia.


Corrie isn’t yet confirming the leak, but if it proves to be correct, then this is surely the most unpalatable of story twists? What the ITV soap is effectively doing is waving a magic wand and wiping away a brilliantly performed plotline that defined the Liz we know today. In fact, the best we can hope for is that Katie turns out to be a fake and that Coronation Street is doing its own version of the Neighbours Fake Dee saga.


But, of course, this isn’t the first time that soap operas have rewritten the past. Presented below are just some of the more blatant retcons we’ve had to endure over the years:

Kathy Beale lives! (EastEnders)
The miraculous resurrection of Kathy Beale for EastEnders’s 30th anniversary in 2015 flew in the face of a 2000 plotline that saw Ian receive word that Kathy had been killed in a traffic collision. After travelling to South Africa (where, presumably, he identified the body) for the funeral, Ian returned home with Ben in tow. Fifteen years later, it was revealed that Kathy had, in fact, faked her own death.


Bobby’s shower scene (Dallas)
Dallas never really recovered its credibility after the bonkers end of 1985-86 season cliffhanger that saw Bobby (killed off the previous year) get caught alive and well in the shower by wife Pam. The whole of that year’s events were then wiped out, having all been part of Pam’s elaborate dream. Designed as a way to reignite popularity in Dallas, the move was critically derided for stretching credulity to breaking point.

‘Ello Princess (EastEnders)
History was tinkered with again on EastEnders when it transpired that Den’s trademark greeting to Sharon originated not with him but with her biological father Gavin Sullivan. Said actor Leslie Grantham at the time: “I do find it strange that the show gave Den’s catchphrase to someone else. Den is still remembered and people still ask me to say, ‘Ello princess, because it was one of those bits that made him so popular! You do feel like you own it when you’ve made such an impact.”


Sarah slept with Karl (Neighbours)
Dr Karl Kennedy was tempted away from wife Susan in 1998 when he kissed his sexy secretary and famously got a slap from his betrayed wife. At the time – and perhaps due to Neighbours’ wholesome image and tame teatime slot – the show went to great lengths to assure us things never went further than a smooch. Yet when Sarah reappeared in 2013 Karl begged her to keep quiet about the fact they had actually slept together all those years before. Did we miss something?


Nico is alive! (Hollyoaks)
Killer Nico Blake was back from the dead recently in Hollyoaks, despite having perished in a fire 18 months ago. Stunned mother Sienna spoke for the audience when she questioned who’s body it was the police found at the time. “Well it wasn’t me – obvs,” came Nico’s reply, casually dismissing the rewriting of history. And don’t get us started on Nico’s dad being revealed as her mum’s twin brother Dodger, unpicking the original story that saw the siblings never having met until Nico was a teenager…

C4 TX 15th May