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Rebecca "Becky" McDonald (née Granger) is a fictional character in the British television soap opera Coronation Streetmarker, broadcast on the ITV network. Portrayed by actress Katherine Kelly, the character first appeared onscreen during the episode airing on 5 February 2006.

Since the characters inception she has been involved in key storylines which have drawn praise and after only three years within the serial she was referred to as a 'Coronation Street icon' and as one of the show's most popular characters. Both actress and character have also won several different awards for the portrayal of Becky.

Character creation

Background

Becky first appeared in the series as the obsessive former friend of Kelly Crabtree, whom she framed for theft at Underworld. Kelly encountered her out on the streets living rough while she was out to dinner with Lloyd Mullaney in early 2006. Following her betrayal of Kelly she fled the street leaving Kelly to face the consequences. Becky returned in November 2006, when she met Hayley Cropper, her former workmate, who was teaching at an ex-offenders literacy class. After being reconciled with Hayley, she promised Hayley that she'd cleaned up her act, and was offered employment at Roy's Rolls Cafe on a trial period. However, it was not long before she soon began breaking objects, threatening customers and stealing money from the till.It was later revealed that a police man had once attempted to molest Becky at a young age but she didn't take to kindly to the policeman's advances.

Casting

Auditions were held for the role of Becky which required the auditionee to look scruffy for the role of Becky. Actress Katherine revealed that for her audition she made herself look scruffy as possible as it was a requirement saying: "I was told to turn up looking as crap as possible, with no make-up. But that morning I'd also been for an audition where I had to look really glamorous. So I sat on the Tube putting grease in my hair and wiping my make-up off with everyone looking at me. By the time I got there I looked a right state!". Katherine had auditioned for a role in a Leerdammer cheese advert that morning and was successful. She went on to get the part and the part in Coronation Street.On 17 June 2008 the actress and character impressed bosses and signed her for a further 12 months. In 2009 producers offered Kelly a special deal, a contract which would see her with the show until at least 2011 which she signed.

Character development and impact

Personality and identity

ITV Publicity describe Becky as a real bad girl and an ex-con that's done time along with being a rough sleeper, that she can bring trouble to anyone who crosses her path. The actress also said that her character finds it hard to rely on other because she is "Very out of sorts, because she’s a very independent, feisty sort of character". The character has been noticed for her brash trashy appearance on the show, with Actress Katherine Kelly stated in an interview with female first that she loves her character's 'trailer trash' appearance.
Becky Granger as she appeared in 2006.
Becky became the 50th barmaid at the Rovers Return at the end of June 2008 and the actress revealed she had already had real life experience as a barmaid. She also stated that her ex-con personality would give her an advantage behind the bar saying: "The previous producer, Steve Frost, loved the idea of a barmaid who could lose her temper and throw a punch. Becky's an ex-con so she can fight dirty like nobody else." The character's chain smoking tendencies often play out onscreen when she is stressed, this subsequently drew off-screen critism for her disregard of littering the streets with her cigarette butts.

Relationships

Becky's earlier relationships with characters were far and few between; in her early days viewers got to see her on-screen with best friend Kelly Crabtree, until she kissed her boyfriend Lloyd Mullaney. When Becky returned to the show after a brief period out of the show she struck up a good friendship with Roy and Hayley Cropper. After becoming a more permanent fixture on the street she began a relationship with Jason Grimshaw. Kat Kelly stated that she felt Becky believed she was 100% in love with Jason but that it was just a teenage crush type of relationship because of the on and off status they held. Fans also approached the actress in the streets and claimed they were jealous of her because of her on-screen romance with Jason. The character later dumped Becky after believing he had a chance of reconciliation with his wife Sarah Grimshaw. Following their break up and the aftermath which was highly publicised by the media

Becky embarked on an affair with fellow resident Steve McDonald. After he helped Becky get off with a charge of criminal damage and assault they both embarked on a long-term affair, the actress revealed that she felt Steve was the best man for her over her previous lover Jason stating: "Both boys bring out different things in Becky. With Jason, they liked going clubbing, and it was no strings attached, I think Becky needs more than that, even though she wouldn't admit it. I think, long-term, Steve's better for her." After her reconciled relationship failed for the second time she agreed to marry Steve after he proposed again. On the day of her wedding to Steve nerves got the better of Becky ahead of the event and after drinking plenty of champagne to calm herself. She gets so drunk that at the altar she passes out and the Priest refuses to marry them. Steve later lies to Becky about the wedding, leaving her under the illusion she was married. Michelle later revealed to Becky she never got married. The broke up a couple of times over the wedding, Amy's mother but both times reconciled. Steve and Becky later set a new date for their wedding. When the actor who plays Steve was interviewed by Digital Spy he was asked if he thought that his character has had a positive impact on Becky's life. In his reply he stated "I think he's turned it around. She was all over the place getting into trouble all the time but he's made her grow up. And having a little girl there in Amy, that's made her grow a bit, too. She's got responsibilities now. She's besotted with him. She's still a total pisshead, though!" Evident on-screen that their relationship had made the character of Becky develop and face up to her new found responsibilities.

Storylines

2006-2008

In January 2007, a prison acquaintance of Becky's, who went by the name of "Slug" (Marshall Lancaster) came to the street, much to the discomfort of Becky initially. After drinking at The Rovers some days later, she agreed to joyride Roy and Hayley's newly acquired vintage Morris Minor with him. After appearing late for work the next day and Roy hearing from the police that the car had been recovered with her coat on the back seat, she ended up taking the blame for the crime, consequently losing their trust and subsequently her job.

After begging Hayley for forgiveness by gift offering, Hayley adamantly refused. Not long after that, Roy's cafe caught fire whilst Roy and Hayley were in The Rovers. Cab driver Lloyd went in to see if anyone was trapped inside and carried Becky out of the flames. With Becky being the only person to appeared to have been in there at the time, incorrect assumptions were made that she was responsible. The next day Becky showed up at the Rovers to once again beg for forgiveness to Hayley because she was innocent, but Hayley told her what she thought of her and assumed that everything that came out of her mouth was a lie. Later on, Hayley was assured that arson was not the reason for the fire, and that it was merely an electrical fault in the deep fryer, proving Becky's innocence. Hayley apologised for doubting Becky. After a small heart-to-heart, Hayley and Becky decided to remain friends and Hayley offered Becky her job back at Roy's Rolls, to which Becky accepted.

When Hayley found out she had a son, instead of confiding in her husband Roy, she confided in Becky. Becky suggested that Hayley hired a private detective who ended up tracking down Hayley's son Christian Gately and found out that he owned a music shop. On 1 October Becky went round to the music shop, where she confronted and then attacked Christian, getting her revenge on him for rejecting Hayley. Once Becky calmed down she pointed out to Christian what a nice person Hayley was, and that Hayley would never have set out to hurt him on purpose.

Romance with Jason

Becky, on numerous occasions, flirted with Jason Grimshaw. When New Year's Eve came, on the stroke of midnight Becky and Jason shared a lingering kiss in the back of the pub. On February 4, 2008, Becky and Jason slept with each other. On March 24 she moved in with Roy as lodger. She also began a full time relationship with Jason. On June 11 Becky cheated on Jason with Steve McDonald after Jason kept on avoiding her and Steve had a row with his girlfriend Michelle Connor. The following morning Roy caught them, so Steve claimed that he'd lost the keys to the Rover's and Becky had offered to put him up for the night.

Becky lived as a lodger at Jason's after Roy had thrown her out, and Becky and Jason went on a holiday together as soon as moving in. They returned to the news that Steve and Michelle had broken up. Becky then tried to get them back together but failed. However, the couple reconciled some time later.

Rampage and aftermath

In October 2008 Becky featured in one of her more highly publicised storylines, covered in plenty of media. The build up saw Jason and Becky finding an apartment together, however, Jason was secretly back in contact with estranged wife Sarah. When he heard that Sarah was thinking of coming home to Weatherfield he swiftly dumped a heartbroken Becky. This then resulted in her attacking Jason when she later in the Rovers. The scenes were so dramatic and dangerous that a stunt coordinator had to install safety fittings on the set. After the scenes in the pub she embarked on a rampage of violence. She stole a girl's purse in a nightclub, flashed her breasts at a group of passing lads and vandalised a travel agents window and a police car.
The aftermath of Becky's break up with Jason and alcohol binge which was a highly publicised storyline for the character.
(2008)
later found her and brought her back to Roy's where she poured her heart out. She moved out of Jason's and back in with Roy. The rampage part of the storyline also drew comparisons to scenes aired earlier that year during a storyline which saw fellow character David Platt go on a rampage in Coronation Street itself.

Later that week when Becky was brought in for questioning by the police, she encountered an adversary from her past called DC Hooch who had arrested her for a criminal offence some years previously. Not knowing what else to do, she told him that she was having an affair with Steve McDonald and that she was with him on the night in question. She went to Steve after she was released from the station and told him that he had to provide her with an alibi or else she would tell Michelle about their one-night-stand. She was later released without charge to the indignation of DC Hooch. However, the corrupt cop returned on 31 October 2008 to Roy's Rolls and arrested Becky for assault. Becky revealed to Steve that Hooch had arrested her for shoplifting when she was fifteen and had made a pass at her to which she responded by giving him a black eye. He was determined to get even with her as Becky had filed a complaint against him, which didn't lead to anything, but he was continually passed over for promotion ever since the incident. When Becky snogged Steve in sight of the police Dan Mason spotted this who was adamant that they were having an affair. When Steve turned up for the trial, Blanche Hunt was in the audience and heard Steve's lie about the affair, and is blackmailing him. However, after the trial, Steve kissed Becky and told her than he wasn't pretending, and they ending up spending the afternoon in bed together. She told him later than "if you ever get bored of Michelle, come and find me." They later entered a full on affair, with Steve promising to leave Michelle for Becky.

2009—

The storyline later took a different turn. Producers re-introduced Jason Grimshaw in the storyline. On screen viewers saw Becky back together with Jason on the same night that Steve split with Michelle. She continued seeing Jason although still having feelings for Steve and on later the storyline took another turn when Jason proposed. Becky accepted but reconsidered when Steve proposed as well. She broke up with Jason and moved in with Steve. Amy didn't warm to her and asked for Michelle instead and Becky took some time away and put the wedding on halt. Steve then set a date for the wedding and they got back together.

Becky and Steve's wedding was highly advertised with special advertisements going out on ITV. The storyline was a billed as a 'will they or won't they' scenario. When the episode aired Becky got extremely drunk on champagne, ripping her dress and declaring her love for Steve on the top of Underworld. When Roy and Hayley finally got her to the church, she was so drunk that she couldn't perform the ceremony and Steve took her home disappointed. The next morning, Becky woke up, convinced she was married to Steve. After a week of rejecting Steve and a confrontation at a local Chinese restaurant with Lloyd and Liz, Becky agreed to go with Steve on what would have been their honeymoon.

A later storyline for Becky was the lead up to her second wedding. Producers brought Becky's ex-boyfriend and drug dealer 'Slug' back into the series. The storyline also drew critism when it saw Becky going through stressful phases she began smoking more and disregarding her cigarette butts in the middle of the street, these scenes were slammed by environmental agencies in the UK. When he reappeared on-screen he seemed a reformed man, but was secretly working for DC Hooch, Becky's enemy who tried to get her framed for theft the year previously. Slug was ordered to plant drugs on Becky in order to frame her, however Slug later opted out and told Hooch to do his own dirty work. Later the storyline emulated scenes from the film Pretty Woman where Steve handed Becky his credit card and gave her permission to buy the dress of her dreams. Critics and Becky alike also spoke of the comparisons.

After Becky and Steve's second wedding took place at a registry office their wedding reception was interrupted by the police on a drug-raid. Several bags of the drug cocaine were found in Becky's handbag. These had been planted in the handbag earlier that day by Slug. She was arrested for drug possession and pulled away from her reception. Steve didn't believe she was innocent of the charges. Steve later went to the police station where he was confronted by DC Hooch and realised that Becky was innocent and vowed to get the best lawyers possible and fight against DC Hooch.

Reception

Popularity

Both the character and actress have received acclaim from the charity Nacro, the organisation which aims to tackle social exclusion and reintegrate offenders, stating they were happy to see that a character with such a background was portrayed so positively. In mid 2009 media website Digital Spy began referring to the character as an icon after the Radio Time recreated Becky as Manet's famous painting, A Bar at the Folies-Bergère. They also called Becky an icon of Coronation Street. She has also been talked about and viewed as one of the most popular characters in the soap. Actress Katherine Kelly was nominated for Outstanding Serial Drama Performance at the National Television Awards in 2008 for her portrayal of Becky. Katherine Kelly won "Best Female Soap Star" in April 2009, at the TV Now Awards hosted in Dublinmarker, Irelandmarker. In March 2009 Kelly won the title of 'TV Soap Personality of the Year' as Becky Granger, which was awarded by Television and Radio Industries Club. In May 2009, Kelly won the 'Best Actress' award at the British Soap Awards. Kelly was later nominated for best actress in 2009 at the TV Quick and TV Choice Awards, for her portrayal. On 9th September 2009 the popular Manchester United internet forum "Red Issue" launched a campaign to free Becky and ensure that all charges against her are dropped. Kelly later credited procuders decisions to pair the character with Roy and Hayley Cropper citing it as the moment public support for Becky rose, staing: "The Croppers were the making of Becky, and without them I actually don't think Becky would still be in the show. The Croppers, especially Roy, were the thing that really turned public opinion [about Becky] around to being positive."

Criticism

During the storyline which featured the character's old nemesis DC Hooch exacting revenge, the scenes in which the critism was drawn for the character's excessive littering of her cigarette butts, the two leading enrivronmental agencies 'Keep Britian Tidy' and 'CleanupUK' said of her actions and Coronation Street's irresponsibilities: "It is disappointing that Coronation Street chooses to allow one of its characters to throw a butt on the floor and suggest that it is okay to treat our streets like a giant ashtray. We understand the writers are concerned with realism but Becky is a role model to many viewers. We all have a responsibility to keep our local area clean and we would hope that producers of programmes such as Coronation Street would support our call to encourage the public to keep our country tidy." Although a spokesperson for the show defended the character's actions stating they were portraying the character's high levels of stress realistically.

References



External links




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