Percy Sugden

Full name:

8 April 1922

Mary (d: 1978)

Played by: Bill Waddington
22 August 1983 - 20 October 1997

Percy is a local lad who trained as a commis chef at the Grand Hotel, and then served in WWII as an NCO in the Royal Army Catering Corps, driving a mobile canteen across the Western Desert. Seen by many as a pompous and interfering, Percy is simply one of those people who takes pride in any job he is given, and someone who isn't afraid to let anyone know what his opinion is.

Percy first came onto The Street to become caretaker of the Community Centre. After about a year, his neice, Elaine Prior stayed with him until she married Bill Webster. Percy was also a school crossing warden, and it was here he became Phyllis Pearce's hero. Phyllis had long-admired Percy and he was injured protecting her on a crossing. Phyllis then became full-time wheelchair-pusher, much to her delight and Percy's annoyance.

In 1988, Percy was 66, and was retired from the Community Centre. Emily Bishop offered to put him up, together with his budgie Randy, in Nș3 until his council flat was ready. Within a week, Emily could bear Percy's interfering no longer, and was glad when he was moved to the flat. However, when she visited him, she saw how unhappy he was, and soft-hearted Emily let him return to Nș3.

Percy led a reasonably quiet life, but the strain of sharing a house with Percy, together with ill-fated dalliances with Arnold Swain and Arthur Dabner drove Emily to a nervous breakdown in 1992.

In 1993, two females came into Percy's life - Olive Clark and Maud Grimes. Olive was the widow of Percy's closest friend from the war days, and he felt obliged to offer his hand in marriage. It was her fluffy white cat (who Percy was allergic to) that ensured the relationship never went any further.

Both Percy and Maud got on well, and she was a useful foil for Phyllis, and they became so close they got engaged. In 1994, Percy wanted to return to Normandy for the 50th anniversary of the D-Day landings, and knowing how important it was to old soldier Percy, Maud asked to accompany him. It was an emotional time for Percy - remembering his fallen comrades - but he was unaware of Maud's bombshell. She asked to visit an American War Grave, and visited the grave of Leonard Kennedy, and revealed that the American serviceman was Maureen's real father. Percy saw this as a betrayal of "our lads away fighting for our country", and broke off the engagement.

Whilst Emily had the builders in, Percy billeted himself with Curly at Nș7, and despite initial reservations, Curly seemed quite happy to have someone cook and clean for him. Emily didn't invite Percy back (she was having his room secretly decorated), Percy thought he had been evicted, and it took a sweet-talking Emily to get him back to Nș3 - despite all his failings, she missed having him around her house.

In January 1996, 'Mystic Maud' held a tealeaf reading session, and gave Phyllis the impression that the man of her dreams was waiting for her (it was a leap year !). Later, it transpired that the cups had been swapped, and that was Maud's cup. The next day, Maud set her cap (or should that be handbag ?) at Percy's feet and asked to marry him. He needed to think about it and went to The Rovers - where Phyllis asked the same question. Thinking it was a joke, Percy storms out and complained to Maud. She may have been on the brink of getting her man, but now we'll never know.

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