Brian Tilsley



Full name: Brian John Tilsley
Parents: Bert and Ivy Tilsley
Born: 15 October 1958


  1. Gail Potter (28 November 1979)
  2. Gail Tilsley (24 February 1988)

Died: 15 February 1989


  1. Nicky Tilsley (b: 31 December 1980; m: Gail Tilsley)
  2. Sarah Louise Tilsley (b: 28 January 1987; m: Gail Tilsley)

Played by: Christopher Quinten
Appeared: 27 December 1978 - 15 February 1989

Brian was the son of Ivy and Bert Tilsley and was a rather self absorbed mechanic who worked for garage owner Ron Sykes when first we met him. He first appeared at a local party in December 1978 where he met Gail Potter. He asked her out but stood her up because he got drunk and forgot - an inauspicious start which should have rang warning bells. Indeed, at first Gail wasn't too keen but her interest was soon sparked. Brian's mother, the very Catholic and conservative Ivy wasn't too keen either, about Gail. But then not too many girls would be good enough for "Her Brian", especially if they aren't Catholic. But in spite of Ivy's attempts to interfere in their relationship, and in spite of Gail's friend Suzie Birchall's bold flirting which Brian lapped up, Brian and Gail married in November 1979 and moved into No5 Coronation Street with Bert and Ivy so they could save money for a deposit on a house.

Things ticked along fairly well after the wedding, with Brian and his father only needing to play peacekeeper between Ivy and Gail occasionally. Brian sulked when Gail began working long hours at Dawson's bread shop was bought by Jim Sedgewick and turned into a proper cafe. He complained at the spending restrictions Gail put on him which took away from their savings for their deposit, but it was mostly that first-year married adjustment kind of thing.

Finally, with a last minute loan of £300, surprisingly from Ivy, they were able to put a deposit on a mortgage on a new house being built in a new estate at Whirlow Crescent. Unfortunately, Ivy had taken the money from her and Bert's holiday fund which caused a lot of trouble. When Brian realised this, he and Gail give the money back. Shortly after, Brian was chuffed to discover that he was going to be a father. They end up buying a much smaller house and finally got their own independence, moving out of No5 Coronation Street, away from interfering Ivy and into No5 Buxton Close. Nicky Tilsley is born on 31 December 1980.

Money problems and in-law contentions continued to plague the young couple. This not only covered the Ivy-Gail relationship but also Brian-Audrey. Brian was not pleased when his flighty mother-in-law landed on their doorstep. Brian became disillusioned with married life though he adored his little son.

In 1982, Ron Sykes decided to sell the garage and go to the Middle East and invited Brian along. Dazzled by promises of high paying contract jobs, he went, leaving Gail and Nicky behind. Gail started doubting their marriage when Brian stayed in Egypt when he had a holiday break instead of coming home. He eventually returned in July 1982 and decided to stay in Weatherfield rather than work out his contract. Ron couldn't persuade him to return and so they decided to go into a 60/40 partnership in S & T Garage in Bridge Street, using the money they had earned in Qatar.

In autumn 1982 Brian was flattered but embarrased when the teenage Sharon Gaskell, foster daughter to Len and Rita Fairclough, developed a crush on him but she became obsessed and had to be harsh with her in order to stop her getting out of control. He and Len fell out because of Len's perception of Brian's handling of the whole situation. He felt that Brian led Sharon on and then dumped her in a more cruel manner than was necessary.

Around that same time, Gail's old friend Suzie turned up again and Brian got in hot water with Gail when she caught Suzie chatting him up and he not objecting to it overly much. Brian had a history of this sort of thing, from neighbourhood girls to garage customers. That summer, Brian's father, helping out in the garage, was injured when a tyre explodes. Bert recovered from his injuries but subsequently suffered severe depression, was hospitalised and died of a stroke whilst in the hospital. Brian was devastated. He and Gail decided to sell their house and move back in with Ivy for a time to help out. He became protective of his mother especially when she got involved with George Wardle who was caught making passes at Gail at the same time. Brian soon fell back into the habit of allowing his mother to spoil him and expecting his wife to be a stay at home mother instead of a cafe manageress and the fighting and arguing increased.

Succumbing to the pressure, Brian and Gail's marriage crumbled and they separated for a short time. Brian falls back into "single" ways but at his mother's badgering, agreed to reconcile after a month or so and they moved into a council house. But things would never be the same.

In 1986, Brian was devastated when he discovered that Gail had an affair with his Australian cousin, Ian Latimer - someone whom Brian had encouraged Gail to spend time with at first as he was family. Brian was horrified when Gail became pregnant and didn't know who the father was. He forgave her for the affair however insisted she have an abortion. Since she refused, he divorced her, dragging her name through the mud in the process of a nasty custody fight over Nicky. Sarah Louise was born in 1987 and blood tests proved that Brian was indeed the father. It took Brian some time to accept Sarah Louise as his own but eventually the Tilsley's reconciled for the sake of the kids more than actual love.

The reconciliation lasted about a year and both were soon leading separate lives, Brian having bought the garage outright now and spending plenty of nights out with his mates and chatting up women. Gail raised her children and ran the cafe and finally asked for another divorce. She didn't love him. Brian, liking the way things were and not wanting to lose contact with his children, especially his son, resisted. But after a row, he left the house one night and went to a club. Later in the wee hours, he defended a woman who was being bothered by a couple of young thugs and was stabbed in the fight. Brian died the same night on 15 February 1989.







Back to
Characters index


Back to
Profiles index


Back to