William "Billy" Walker was a character in Coronation Street intermittently from Episode 15 (27 Jan 1961) to Ep 2471 - 5 Dec 1984. Originally the cheerful son of Jack and Annie Walker, when Billy returned in 1984 to take over the tenancy of the Rovers Return, he turned bad, blackmailing Emily Bishop and goading Rovers cellarman Fred Gee into thumping him so he could sack him. Carpeted by the brewery for cutting corners Billy returned to Jersey in December 1984 and has not been seen or heard from since. Billy was played by actor Ken Farrington.
William Walker was born on the 8th September 1938 at The Rovers Return, Coronation Street, Weatherfield. He was the eldest child of Jack Walker and Annie Walker (Nee Beaumont). His parents were not from Weatherfield originally, his dad was from Accrington in Lancashire and his mum from Clitheroe in Lancashire. Billy grew up in Coronation Street. Billy joined a local football team. He was an ambitious young man but also was a bit of a crook. In the late 1950s Billy did his National Service in the army.
1961-1984EditBilly Walker flitted between Weatherfield and London in the 1960s. In 1970 upon the death of his father Jack, Billy moved back to Weatherfield to help his mum run the pub. He was a bit of a crook and into dodgy deals. In 1974 he sold Stuart Draper a car for £1000 when it was valued at just £400. Billy refused to take responsibility, saying the car was roadworthy. A police involvement after a fight between Billy and Draper made Draper unable to take any further action against Billy. Billy fought with Ray Langton over Deirdre Hunt. In 1975, Deirdre married Ray. Billy left Weatherfield in 1975 to run a pub in Jersey.
Billy made sporadic returns in 1977 and 1979. Annie Walker took an extended break in early 1984 and left Betty in charge. In March 1984, Billy was advised to take over the pub. Billy spread vicious rumours about Deirdre and Mike Baldwin as he found out about their affair. Billy then blackmailed Emily Bishop into lending him £6000. Mike Baldwin called his bluff when he chatted up a lady from Jersey who visited Billy who said he was cooking the books and watering down spirits plus illegally respraying his car. Billy was beaten and laid off Emily, Mike and Deirdre. In August 1984, Billy was appointed landlord once his mother Annie decided to retire altogether.
Billy's first ploy was to get rid of Fred Gee. He claimed he could not afford to employ him anymore and claimed he was a potman and a casual labourer, so not entitled to any compensation. Fred was actually legally entitled to compensation. Billy tried to fob him off with a few extra weeks pay but Fred wanted full compensation for the 8 years he had been there. Ken Barlow said to Billy that Fred has a good case. A disgruntled but crooked Billy wanted to do something quick to get rid of Fred without paying him anything. Billy found out how another landlord in the area had got rid of a cellarman without paying him compensation by goading him into thumping him so he could sack him. Billy thought that would be a good idea to use for Fred Gee, bait him into thumping him so he can sack him.
Billy then insulted Fred and worked him into the ground. He called Fred a berk and a skiver, and even grabbed his arm once. Jack Duckworth advised Fred to not take the bait so he could get about £2000. Fred had enough of Billy and thumped him in front of all the customers. Billy sacked Fred. He then began running late night lock ins and buying cheap alcohol off the supermarket instead of the brewery.
In December 1984 he was forced out by mutual agreement and decided there was nothing left for him in Weatherfield and wanted to return to Jersey. That night he said to Bet and Betty he was going. Billy left the following night. He said goodbye to Deirdre, Alf, Ken and Bet and Betty before getting into his car and driving off into the night, leaving Weatherfield, this time for good. He was never seen or heard from in Weatherfield again.
Life after Final Departure from Weatherfield in 1984Edit
Billy returned to Jersey after severing all ties with his native Weatherfield, 250 miles away.
In 2002, Ken Barlow tried to trace Billy to invite him to a 100th anniversary of The Rovers but Billy was untraceable. He may have left Jersey and moved on or even died by then.
Billy was mentioned in past tense on several occasions in 2012 and 2014 by Ken and Deirdre.
As of 2016, exactly what became of Billy remains uncertain.
Appearances: 27 January–2 August 1961, 14–30 May 1962, 25 December 1963, 7–9 December 1964, 1–22 January 1969, 26 August 1970–7 July 1971, 3 January 1972–28 May 1973, 21 January 1974–12 May 1975, 19–26 October 1977, 15–24 May 1978, 28 May–20 June 1979, 5 March–5 December 1984
Born: 8th September 1938
Full Name: William Walker
Siblings: Joan Davies