Full name: Raquel Catherine Watts (née
Parents: Larry &
Born: 26 May 1966, Eccles Lancashire
Married: Norman Watts (8 December
Children: Alice Diana Watts (b: 23 July 1997, London, 6lb
4.5oz; f: Curly Watts)
Played by: Sarah
Appeared: 25 January 1991 - 15 November 1996; 1 - 2 January
Raquel was brought up in a Catholic household, ruled with a rod
of iron by her father. This
drove her mother to drink
and her younger sister Bernice into a disasterous early marriage.
Raquel however remained the apple of her father's eye until he
found some photographs of her in a semi-nude modelling session
and threw her out of the house. They were only reconciled in 1995
after she married Curly.
Raquel first appeared on the Street early in 1991 as an assistant
at the Bettabuys supermarket where Reg
Holdsworth and Curly Watts
worked. Curly turned to her for the comfort she freely offered
him after Kimberley Taylor broke off their engagement. Raquel
has always thought of herself as a model, and was delighted to
represent the Weatherfield branch in the regional Miss Bettabuys
beauty contest. When the competition was held in a large hotel
in Buxton, Raquel was at first delighted that the third and second
places went to other girls, and then distraught when she failed
to win. Area Manager Brendan Scott
attempted to offer her solice, but Curly came to her aid and comfort,
rescued her from Brendan, and they spent the night together. However,
the relationship failed to blossom as Curly was still obsessed
with Miss Taylor.
Afer a modelling session with some of Angie
Freeman's designs, she fell for a smooth-talking photographers
promises, dumped Curly (telling him they now moved in different
circles !) and in May 1991 upped sticks to London where she aimed
to become a top fashion model. Sadly, Raquel couldn't see the
truth behind the promises, ended up in Croydon and was horrified
at the work she was offered. She returned to Weatherfield at the
very end of 1991, knowing she would never be a supermodel.
She landed a job as barmaid at The Rovers, and was offered accommodation by Des
Barnes, whose wife had recently walked out on him. Within 6 weeks they were
sharing a bed, to the mutual annoyance of Curly (who fancied Raquel), and Angie
(who fancied Des). But Des wasn't looking for love, only a shoulder to cry on,
and in May, when Steph returned, albeit temporarily,
Raquel was immediately evicted. Bet Gilroy took pity
on her and let her stay at The Rovers.
Raquel soon took up with County Football Club press secretary
Gordon Blinkhorn, and through
him met and started going out with County's 'star' striker, Wayne Farrell. Everyone but Raquel
realised what Wayne was actually doing when he was 'playing away',
and it took Wayne, with his other woman, Serena Black semi-naked
on his doorstep, to spell the situation out to her. She regained
some dignity by pushing him into the canal. She went back to Gordon,
and they went as far as arranging to go to France together, so
Raquel took French lessons from Ken
Barlow. However, a combination of Gordon's first love - cricket
and his jealousy ensured the romance didn't last.
In February 1993, Des's live-in lover, Lisa
Duckworth, was killed. He took it very badly, but Raquel was
on hand to help heel the scars. By December, the friendship had
grown into mutual strong feelings for each other, and Raquel had
again moved into Nº6, but this time things seemed permanent.
Raquel started building a home around her, and was truely happy.
Little did she know that behind her back, Des was having an affair
with her workmate, the bitchy Tanya Pooley.
It all came to a climax in March 1994 with Raquel watching helplessly
as Des ordered his boss, Alex Christie (who was also having
an affair with Tanya) out of "his girl's bed". Tanya
made things even worse by then convincing the distraught and gullible
Raquel that Des was beating Tanya up and forcing her to sleep
with him - so much so that Raquel felt sorry for Tanya.
Raquel was deeply upset by the whole affair, and started to mistrust
all men. All her hopes and dreams had been smashed. She found
Bet Gilroy was the only person who truely understood how devastated
she was. By October, she had renewed her friendship with Curly
Watts, and love, of a sort, grew. In December Curly proposed to
her, and she accepted. However, at their engagement party, Des
forced Raquel to admit that, although she though he was her best
friend, she didn't love Curly and still loved Des. She fled in
tears, breaking off the engagement and Curly's heart.
In September 1995, after some persuading, Raquel went out on a
date with Curly's boss at Firman's Freezers - Leo
Firman. After dinner, Leo took her back to the shop's store
room, where he attempted to rape her. Raquel fought back and escaped.
Leo was later very disparaging about Raquel to Curly "she
has the mind of a 10 year-old", and after Raquel had recounted
her ordeal to Curly, he laid Leo out in the store. However, the
ordeal made Raquel stronger, and she agreed to give evidence of
sexual harrasment against Leo. He was sacked and came to confront
Raquel in The Rovers, calling her a "walking Wonderbra"
and mocking Curly. Rather than backing away, Raquel snapped, and
Leo retreated under a hail of ashtrays, peanuts and anything else
she could lay her hands on, venting her spleen on him, telling
him he was just like all the rest and spitting venomously "That's
for Des !, and that's for Tanya !".
After this incident, Raquel and Curly grew closer. Des Barnes
was leading a wayward life, spending some nights with Maxine
Heavey, but chasing after Liz McDonald who was working with
him at his betting shop. After being rejected by Liz with the
comment "get yourself a girl", Des turned his attention
back to Raquel. In December 1995 he invited her back to Nº6
for supper, just as a friend, but before long they were kissing
and she spent the night there. In the morning Raquel again settled
into her 'wife' role, but Des made it perfectly plain she was
just a one-night stand. The spell was broken, and Raquel realised
she would never mean as much to Des as he had meant to her.
The same day Raquel called round to Curly's with the question
"You remember when we got engaged? Do you still want to marry
me?". Of course he did - but hadn't realised she meant in
48 hours ! They had a hole-in-the-wall service at the Registry
Office, and it wasn't until halfway through an 'Alec
Gilroy Sunliners special' cruise honeymoon that Raquel confessed
to Curly what had happened with Des, and why she wanted to get
married so quickly. Curly forgave her, and on their return both
Raquel and Curly rapidly realised they had made the right choice.
The Watts have now settled down to married life, with Curly becoming
manager of Firmans and a pillar of the business community by joining
the Square Dealers, whilst Raquel has stopped working part-time
at The Rovers - Terry Duckworth
returned and convined his mother that Raquel was unreliable !,
With time on her hands she is now taking her second course in
Aromatherapy, this time in Maidenhead, and possibly still anticipating
the arrival of small Wattses. As Raquel says: "I want two
children, a boy and a girl. Blake for the boy and Tiffany for
At the turn of the Millenium, at
2am, a rather changed Raquel appeared on Curly's doostep. She
explained to Curly that he was a father - Alice Diana was born
on 23 July 1997 in the London teaching hospital where Raquel's
sister Bernice worked on a cancer ward. It was here that Raquel
was introduced to Eleday deBeaux, a French woman being treated
for cancer. Raquel agreed to return to the Loire Valley with Eleday
and her husband Armand to act as housekeeper and nanny for their
two daughters Madelaine (born in 1996) and the recently born Helene.
Eleday died in early 1998, but Raquel stayed on to look after
wine grower Armand and his daughters in their chateau. Raquel
had gradually settled into her new life, becoming more sophisticated,
learning French and eventually falling in love with Armand, even
though he was 14 years older than her.
She had returned to ask Curly for a divorce as she found she
had recently become pregnant again, and French inheritance laws
were complex to a child born out of wedlock. Curly gave his blessing
on the union.
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