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Janice Battersby (née Lee) is a fictional character in the UK television ITV soap opera, Coronation Streetmarker. Portrayed by actress Vicky Entwistle, the character first appeared onscreen during the episode airing on 4 July 1997.

Character creation

Background

The mid 1990s were a time of big change behind-the-scenes at Coronation Street. The long-running serial was being regularly beaten in the ratings by rival soap EastEnders. A new producer, Brian Park, was brought in to revitalise the soap in 1997. Dubbed "the axeman", Park was responsible for culling 8 long-running and established characters, as well as giving the go-ahead for more controversial and sensationalist storylines, aimed at attracting a younger audience. He also introduced various new characters, among them were the Battersby family. Dubbed the "family from hell", the Battersbys were comprised of Janice along with her husband Les, living with him and his daughter Leanne and a daughter of her own, Toyah, who was the result of a fling Janice had with Ronnie Clegg when she was 16. Although not above occasional law-breaking, Janice was nowhere near as anti-social as Les.

Casting

Auditions were held for the part of Janice Battersby with actress Vicky Entwistle going on to secure the role. In 2005 after 8 years in the show the character of Janice was axed by producer Tony Wood along with characters Sunita Alahan and Jesse Jackson however a few weeks after the axing a last minute decision was made and the character was given a reprieve by the newly drafted producer Steve Frost, of this decision the soaps spokesperson said: "The new producer has talked to Vicky Entwistle and asked if she would like to stay with the programme. Janice is a very popular character, but ultimately it was the producer's own decision to keep her on, prompted by the great new storylines the character can play out." Vicky is still contracted with the show to this day.

Character development

Janice is a very larger than life character and isn't afraid of confrontation with other people. ITV publicity describes the character along with her former husband as 'Weatherfield's answer to Wayne and Waynetta Slob' but did stress that her character has shown her softer side in certain storylines such as Toyah's rape and proved she actually does have morals when she tried to stop Leanne's prostitiution. Scripwriters came up with a nicknme for the character in the 00's with her Underworld manager from 2004 to 2006, Danny Baldwin, having his own nickname for her: "Lippy" because of her loud mouth and answering back. A inside spokesperson for Coronation Street said of Janice's character in 2005 that: "She is well loved for being such a feisty character who can get quite nasty at times.".

Storylines

1997-2005

Janice soon got a job as a machinist in the Underworld garment factory, where she was consistently rude to her various managers. She broke up with Les after having an affair with Dennis Stringer in 2001, who was seeing Eileen Grimshaw at the time. Les was so upset that he attempted suicide, and while driving him to hospital, Dennis was killed in a car crash; Les survived. Janice was devastated by Dennis's death.

In 2003, she sneaked into the storeroom for a crafty cigarette but when she dropped the cigarette and caretaker Harry Flagg accidentally locked her in, a fire started. Just before the room burnt down, Nick Tilsley came to her rescue - and as a result of the fire, she ended up in hospital and Nick was sacked.

Janice later became involved with police officer, Mick Hopwood. When Mick and Les got into a fight, Les was unfairly imprisoned, and Janice split up with Mick. A later attempt at reconciliation with Les failed as a result of interference from Cilla Brown.

In the summer of 2005, Janice discovered, to her horror, that she had nits. Drunkenly, she asked friend Sean Tully to shave her head. When she saw her bald head in the mirror, she was appalled. A couple of weeks later, she had a mud fight with resident Claire Peacock on the Red Rec after Claire called her a "pug faced scumbag".

In a storyline in early 2006, Janice and Leanne were involved in a car accident, when Danny didn't ask Kevin Webster to perform a full service on the car. They crashed into Gail Platt's front wall. Since then, Janice became increasingly angry at the Websters, leading to a rivalry with Kevin's wife Sally, Janice's co-worker at Underworld. The rivalry came to a head on February 27, 2006, when Janice was sacked by her employer Danny Baldwin, and shortly after, she was punched by nemesis Sally, in the middle of the Rovers Return Inn. She left the street in shame.

However, it was reported in December 2005, that despite original plans for her to be written out of the series, Vicky Entwistle's contract was renewed. She left to stay with Toyah in London in March 2006, but returned by April 2006, telling Leanne that life in London wasn't any better than life in Weatherfield. She then helped Leanne as she discovered Mike Baldwin's original will, that Leanne's boyfriend Danny didn't know about.

2006—

In January 2007, Janice's heating broke down and she called plumber Roger Stiles to fix it, who turned up late. After socialising a bit, Roger asked Janice to go with him to Francemarker for a few months, which she accepted. She returned in March and Roger returned in June. She subsequently found out that her step daughter Leanne was a prostitute; after everyone found out, Janice got into a brawl with Kelly Crabtree. Janice pleaded with her to give up her work, but Leanne initially refused as it was too lucrative. Eventually she admitted that she couldn't go on with it and Leanne moved in with her. Janice and Roger reconciled, and Roger gave Leanne a loan for the restaurant she planned to open with Paul Clayton. His lack of money meant he struggled to pay his rent, so he moved in with Janice. Leanne's restaurant burnt down in April 2008. A few weeks later, Paul told the police he and Leanne had set the place on fire for insurance money. Janice was furious with Leanne for lying to her.

In September 2008, Janice and Leanne discovered that one of the Lottery syndicate tickets for Underworld was a winner, to the tune of nearly 25,000 pounds. Initially willing to tell the other girls of the win, Janice decided to keep quiet after some persuasion from Leanne. They claimed the winnings by setting up a bogus bank account in Rosie Webster's name. In the meanwhile, Rosie vanished, worrying Kevin and Sally. When they found out about Rosie's win, they began to wonder if she had absconded with the cash. Unable to live with her guilty conscience, Janice eventually came clean to Sally and Kevin on 8 October 2008. She was arrested while at work in the factory. Roger later found out about the scam from the factory girls. This led to Roger's departure. He had a row with her over the scam and left the Street on the same day. Janice was left on the street in tears as Roger drove away. Leanne saw her from her upstairs window and callously just shut the blind.

In November 2008, Janice went on trial for the scam alone, she had agreed to keep Leanne's name out of it. She received community service, much to the annoyance of the colleagues she had betrayed. The following month, she started her work placement at the canteen at Weatherfield General Hospital and was initially delighted to discover that her supervisor was Emily Bishop whom she saw as a pushover. However, she was proven wrong as Emily was very strict. On 29 December 2008, she went for a smoke break outside the hospital and met Mike Scott. He told her he was in for a chest infection, downgraded from pneumonia. She told him about her community service, and they laughed over their shared misfortune. Janice then went back to work, but that night her friends told her she'd been beaming the whole time she'd been out with them, which suggested that she still had Mike on her mind.
Janice Battersby, spoofed in 2DTV.


Mike reappeared on 30 January 2009, when he and Janice chatted. However, he keeled over and collapsed. Janice alerted people in the hospital car park of what was happening. Nurses later told her that Mike had died, following an operation one week earlier. Mike's wife Laura was grateful that Janice had been with him when he died. After this, Janice decided she wanted to become a nurse but was met with ridicule by her friends which made her more determined. She was delighted when new factory boss Luke Strong offered to send her on a first-aid course in March 2009.

In other media

Janice's recognisable appearance and loud mouth tendencies led to her being spoofed on ITV TV show 2DTV.

References

  1. Digital Spy
  2. Kris Green (October 2008) Digital Spy - Soaplands Movers and LeaversDigitalspy. Retrieved on 2008-10-08


External links




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