Played by: Eileen Derbyshire
First appeared: 27 January 1961
Emily Nugent was first spotted on the Street in episode No15 and was quickly established as a woman who retreated nervously in the face of conflict and contention. She lived at the Rovers Return as a paying lodger for a number of years. Emily Nugent ran her own shop on Rosamund Street, selling linens and helping out in her spare time at the Mission of Glad Tidings. By the end of 1961, Emily had united her shop with Leonard Swindley a draper and had then been taken over by a chain store "Gamma Garments". Emily's working life was important to her and this helped her emerge as one of the strong women around Coronation Street. She believed that Leonard Swindley would one day ask for her hand in marriage. He never did so she proposed to him. However, the wedding never occurred. Emily opted to back out of the ceremony at the last minute deciding that perhaps Leonard wasnt the man for her after all.
Emily met photographer Ernest Bishop at his mother's funeral in 1969 he was a gentle and caring man a kindred spirit. They were perfectly suited, became engaged and married a year later. They lived happily together at No3 Coronation Street from 1972 to 1980. Ernest became the first house-husband on the street after his business folded. He found another as the wages clerk at baldwins Casuals. On the morning of January 11, 1978 two gunmen burst into Ernest's office at baldwins and demanded the wages. As he handed over the money a shot was heard and Ernest was hit in the chest. After 5 years of marriage, Ernest was dead and Emily was shattered. She never got over losing Ernest and refers to him on a regular basis, even today; his inheritance of £14,000 paltry compensation for he loss of her soulmate. Her biggest regret was that she and Ernest did not have a family.
After another proposal from Arnold Swain, Emily decided she would try marriage again. Unfortunately Arnold turned out to be a bigamist. He had a wife (Margaret) living in Bournemouth. Emily much stronger in middle age, sent Arnold packing and after swallowing her pride, contacted the police. Unfortunately a few months later Arnold returned with a mission. It was to try to get Emily to take some pills along with him so that they could be "together in eternity". Emily fled to the Street and Arnold was sent to an institution where he died 10 months later.
When Mike Baldwin needed a new wages clerk, it was to Emily he turned, and so, in May 1982, Emily started working in the same job her hsband was killed in.
Emily has had many lodgers staying with her, including Curly Watts who breathed new life into No3. "Norman" as she insists on calling him, became a surrogate son to her. She cared for him through many of his ups and downs. He did some housekeeping including polishing the silver and Emily cared deeply for him. This relationship appealed to her nurturing nature. Curly has remained a good friend to Emily over the years - each looking after the other when necessary.
But no lodger was quite as popular or stayed quite as long - as Percy Sugden. Sergeant Percy Sugden, late of the Catering Corps moved in a month after Curly had left and No3 was never the same. The two were often at loggerheads over Percy's interfering nature. He tended to poke his nose into the lives of her neighbours, which addled Emily and her sagacious and discreet nature. Percy, on the other hand, held a torch for Emily during his entire tenure as a lodger. It was completely unrequited. He liked to think that he looked after Mrs. Bishop and in one particularly frightening circumstance, he did. In 1992 Emily had a mental breakdown. She couldn't remember appointments, would become confused and her appearance suffered. Percy, protecting her good name, would cover up for these very unusual actions. He became increasingly concerned about her behavior and alerted Emily's friends and neighbours. One day Emily disappeared from home without a word. When friends and neighbours ignored Percy's call for assistance, he raised the bells and went to the police who found Emily wandering aimlessly, clearly having suffered a medical depressive breakdown. When Emily had recovered enough to come home from hospital, she told Percy that he was a good friend, and thanked him for all he had done. Percy left No3 in 1997 and moved into Mayfield Court - sheltered accommodation for the elderly. It was the end to an enjoyable, poignant and comfortable partnership.
With many difficult life experiences behind her, Emily Bishop has emerged as a matriarch on the Street. In 1998 when her nephew Geoffrey "Spider" Nugent arrived on the scene, Emily took him in and they became fast friends as well as partners in saving the Red Rec from Alf Roberts proposed "Millenium Bowl". Emily spent a night up in a tree standing by her convictions that the Red Rec was the last green space in Weatherfield and it deserved preservation. As is typical of Emily's nature, she passively "allowed" Spider to smoke his "herbal" cigarettes in the house. Spider believing he was "putting one over on her" and Emily knowing exactly what was on the cards. She continues to amaze Spider with hidden talents, including play the diggerydo!
Emily's twin sets and sensible shoes disguise her strength
of character and quiet dignity. She has no enemies on Coronation
Street, maintains a good continuing health and is loved dearly
by all. She continues to live at No3 with her nephew Spider Nugent who later moved to London. Emily invested in Spider's Juice bar with a home ownership loan brokered through Richard Hillman whose company would then own her house when she eventually passed on.
In 2003, Emily almost met the same end as deceased husband Ernie when she was smashed on the head with a crowbar by killer Tricky Dicky Hillman who was after the capital from Emily's house, but he failed to kill her, instead he killed Maxine Peacock who walked in on the scene. On the same year, she prevented a murder when grief-crazed Brenda Fearns almost jumped off a forty-three foot church tower with Bethany Platt.
2005: Ray Langton returns to the Street. When she finds out he's terminally ill with stomach cancer, Emily being Emily took him in to her home to care for him. After Ray died, Emily took in another guest: author Mel Hutchwright AKA con artist Lionel Hipkiss.
After Mel left after being exposed as a fraud, it wasn’t long before Emily befriended someone else. This time it was Ed Jackson. Ed helps Emily out around her house. Their friendship is tested however when he reveals he has spent time in Jail. Emily is even more shocked when Ed reveals he spent time inside because he was the man who shot her husband Ernest all those years previously. She throws him out and questions her Christianity, but manages to forgive him after he contemplates suicide.
In 2008, old friend Jed Stone returns to the street. As he has nowhere to live, Emily invites Jed to live with her. She is upset when he goes missing shortly after. Emily thinks Tony Gordon has killed him, because Jed was aware of Tony’s evil plans. In fact Tony had only attempted to strangle Jed and Jed turns up unharmed but with marks on his neck. Later on though, Jed gets another visit from Tony’s crony Jimmy which caused him to have a another heart attack. The last we hear, he is in intensive care.
The next year, Emily gets a love interest when Norris’s brother Ramsey appears out of the blue. Emily tried to encourage Norris to make peace with his brother but Norris refuses. Ramsey returns to Australia, sadly dying on the trip back. Ramsey had terminal cancer, but hadn’t told anybody.
2010 was a quieter year for Emily. She struggled to accept Sophie Webster’s lesbianism, despite the fact they both went to the same church. She was also the person who gave Ken Barlow a forty year old letter that revealed he had a child he had previously known nothing about. She had found it in her floorboards.
Profile udpated by Rachel Boothroyd.