Monday, 25 April 2011

Percy Sugden - A Groundbreaking Character...

1987 - Percy pokes his nose into Deirdre's business.

It just occurred to me, toying with me rubber duck in the bath this morning, that Percy Sugden, who arrived at the Coronation Street community centre in 1983, was actually quite a groundbreaking character.

Percy, played by Bill Waddington, is often written off as simply being a replacement for the dearly loved Albert Tatlock (although the two characters overlapped) and he definitely continued the "old soldier" role, although he was Second rather than First World War.

But as we've pointed out elsewhere, Percy wasn't Albert. Whilst Albert was chiefly known for moaning and miserliness, Percy was a man of action - he saw himself as a righter of wrongs, and was constantly sticking his nose in where it wasn't wanted.

Percy was, I believe, Corrie's first male "sticky beak" character, forming something of a bridge in older male characterisations between grumpy Albert and nosey Norris.

Can you think of any other habitually nosey male Corrie character before our Mr Sugden?

If not, caps off to Percy!


  1. Albert Tatlock still often had his nose to the gossip grindstone as well, though mostly it was left to the old women or Hilda Ogden. Albert wasn't as much of an interferer as Percy, though.

  2. I disagree. Albert did not gossip with Hilda or anybody else. I have hundreds of Corrie episodes, and can't find a single example.

  3. No, Albert liked cadging - a rum - or anything else. And moaning. I used to love to hear him grousing.

  4. Albert certainly wasn't an habitual gossip or nosey parker. He was tetchy and mean but lovable underneath. Percy was nosy because he thought he knew it all and could cope with any situation, but he wouldn't gossip for gossip's sake. Norris can be tetchy and nosy and gossipy - so I think he's got a bit of Albert AND Percy there, as well as being his own character!

  5. I think Percy was Corrie's 1st male snouty character, but he was always masculine about it. Norris is more feminine in a way.

  6. Percy was pretty ground breaking. He interfered because he thought he was always right, but he was really a daft old twit.

  7. Percy was brilliant, Brian Park's comments on the actor were quite insulting. No love lost between him and Bill Waddington! Did Percy even get a proper exit? Or Phyllis? Didn't they both just get shoved off to Mayfield Court (which is never mentioned now, alas).

  8. AnonymousJuly 27, 2011

    You're right - I don't think the Street had a nosy male before Percy. Good post.