29 Jun 2022, 17:48
Toyah Battersby in Coronation Street has gone from being a teenage activist, to a heartbroken widow, desperate for a child of her own during her years on the cobbles.
She’s had a stint as landlady of the Rovers, been involved in some of Corrie’s most talked-about stories and become part of Street history.
And she did all that with a 13-year break away from Weatherfield in the middle.
So who is Toyah Battersby and is she leaving Coronation Street?
Toyah’s part of Corrie history (Credit: ITV)
Toyah Battersby’s dad in Coronation Street
Toyah is the daughter of Janice Battersby, stepdaughter of Les Battersby, and stepsister to Leanne Battersby. She arrived in the Street with her family in 1997.
Corrie bosses got permission from singer Toyah Wilcox to use her name, as her soap namesake was said to have been born when her fame was at its height (a tactic that continued with Chesney Brown, and Kylie Platt!).
The Battersbys were dubbed the ‘family from hell’ with their loud music and disregard for their neighbours. But they soon settled into life in Weatherfield.
Toyah’s biological dad is a man named Ronnie Clegg.
She left Weatherfield to find him, but was tricked by a man named Neil Flynn. He pretended to be Ronnie, abducted Toyah and took her to some woods.
She managed to escape and Les and Janice found her bringing her to safety.
Meanwhile, Ronnie wasn’t interested in a relationship with Toyah as he had a new wife and didn’t want her to find out about his past.
Toyah and sister Leanne weren’t popular when they first arrived in Weatherfield (Credit: ITV/YouTube)
Toyah and Spider
And Toyah really found herself when she met the love of her life, Spider Nugent.
Spider Nugent was the nephew of Corrie legend Emily Bishop. He and Toyah hit it off despite the ten-year age gap between them.
At first, Toyah was devoted to Spider, while he was uncomfortable with her attention and tried to make it clear he wasn’t interested in her romantically.
But Toyah’s passion for the issues Spider was dedicated to – battling to save the environment – impressed the older man. He and Toyah became friends and soon their friendship turned to something more.
When they watched the solar eclipse together in 1999, the pair became a couple.
Spider, though, was so determined to make their relationship work in the long term, that he shrugged off his former ‘crusty’ lifestyle and decided it was time for he and Toyah to get a mortgage. Toyah wasn’t keen, and Spider went totally the other way, buying them both tickets to travel round India instead.
Not surprisingly, Toyah didn’t go and Spider left alone.
Spider and Toyah were very much in love (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock)
In April 2001, Toyah was raped and beaten after a night out.
It was the first time Coronation Street had screened a rape and it was criticised at the time. Some viewers thought the soap was trying to match EastEnders in its gritty stories.
But the storyline – in which her rapist was eventually revealed to be her friend Phil Simmonds – won actress Georgia Taylor several awards and was very well received.
Toyah was left terrified, but eventually faced her attacker (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock)
In 2003 Toyah left the Street after she had a passionate affair with her college tutor John Arnley – who was also sleeping with Toyah’s flatmate Maria Sutherland at the same time.
Who plays Toyah Battersby?
Toyah is played by actress Georgia Taylor.
Her role in Corrie was her first professional acting job, so when she left in 2003, she was keen to try other things.
Georgia went on to play Ruth Winters in Casualty, and Kate Barker in Law and Order: UK.
She’s also appeared on stage and in films, including in the movie version of the hit play The History Boys.
Georgia lives with her partner, the actor Mark Letheren, who she met on the set of Casualty.
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Return to Coronation Street
In December 2016, Toyah came back to the Street after 13 years away. It was revealed her off-screen marriage to husband Toby had broken up and she was having an affair with none other than Peter Barlow! Her one-time brother-in-law.
Their romance was a shock to the Street’s residents, but they were determined to make it work. They even became licensees of the Rovers.
But Toyah’s desperation for a baby threw a spanner in the works.
Eva left with Susie, breaking Toyah’s heart (Credit: ITV/YouTube)
What happened with Toyah, Eva, and baby Susie?
Toyah and Peter had found a surrogate to carry a baby for them. But when she lost the pregnancy, Toyah didn’t want to tell Peter.
Instead, she and Eva Price – Leanne’s half-sister – hatched a plan.
Eva was pregnant with her ex-boyfriend Aidan Connor‘s baby and she hadn’t told anyone the truth, keeping her pregnancy a secret.
She and Toyah decided Eva would give her baby to Toyah and Peter and leave Weatherfield forever.
Toyah was left without the baby and without Peter, as their relationship broke down too.
Toyah is in a lot of trouble (Credit: ITV)
Did Toyah kill Imran Habeeb? Is she leaving Coronation Street?
And now Imran’s dead, Toyah’s accused of his murder and the little lad’s back with his biological mum.
Toyah crashed the car into a wall, which resulted in internal injuries for Imran, who died.
The police believe she was trying to kill him, but she denies it as it would also suggest she was suicidal, which she claims she wasn’t.
So what really happened?
Toyah is facing a lengthy time inside if she is convicted – is this set to be the end of her time on the cobbles?
Or will she run off with a returning Spider, who is set to cause her more trouble when he drags her into his environmental protests?
Coronation Street usually airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV.
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