Brian John Tilsey was a character in Coronation Street from Ep 1872 - 27 Dec 1978 to Ep 2910 - 15 Feb 1989. He was the first husband of Gail Platt. Brian was a mechanic who could be unlikeable, but he died a hero as he was defending a young woman from thugs, who stabbed Brian to death. Brian's mother Ivy Brennan, who had recently remarried, became fixated on Brian's memory and this lead to her 2nd marriage to Don collapsing. Brian also seemed to be the only man from Salford with a Geordie accent. Brian was played by actor Chris Quinten.
Originally Ivy said in 1975 that she was never blessed with children, but when the shows producers decided to make her a regular character in 1979, this "never been able to have children" remark was overlooked when they decided to give her a 21 year old son.
Brian John Tilsley was born on the 15th October 1958, the only child of Bert Tilsley and Ivy Tilsley (Nee Nelson). Ivy had a difficult birth and could not have any more children after Brian but was happy that Brian was born.
Brian first met Gail in December 1978, and his family moved into Number 5 Coronation Street in 1979. Gail's friend Suzie Birchall was not sure that Brian was right for Gail when they got engaged in April 1979. Brian and Gail married in November 1979, and a year later the pair of them had a son together named Nick. But the marriage was far from a blissful one. In June 1983, Suzie Birchall made up lies to say she slept with Brian but Brian and Elsie Tanner proved Suzie was lying. Gail finished her friendship with Suzie and Suzie left town. Brian had a few dealings with Fred Gee over car business. At one point in 1986, Brian didn't know if Sarah Louise was his as Gail had a fling with his cousin Ian Latimer, son of Brian's aunt Ethel Latimer nee Tilsley. Turned out later on that Brian was the father. Sarah Louise Tilsley was born in February 1987. Brian and Gail divorced in 1987. In February 1988, Brian and Gail married a second time for the kid's sake, but it proved to be a fatal error as they weren't happy with each other. In June 1988 Ivy Tilsley married Don Brennan and Brian gained a stepfather. In February 1989 Brian and Gail had another argument and he stormed off intending to go into town and pull a girl. When trying to defend a girl outside a night club from yobs, he was subsequently stabbed. An ambulance was called, however Brian died that night. He was buried at North Cross Cemetery.
Gail was distraught at the death of Brian. Also Ivy Brennan was devastated at her son's death and this started to affect her marriage to Don Brennan. Ivy became obsessed with the memory of her deceased son. Several months after Brian died, Gail started to become romantically involved with Martin Platt and this was met with sheer dissension from Ivy and Ivy even slapped Martin round the face in the Rovers for trying to muscle in on her family, especially her grandchildren. Ivy became more and more engrossed in religion. Gail and Martin had a son David Platt in December 1990. In 1991, Gail finally married Martin, who had lived in the street the same time as Brian did. Ivy hated it. Nick saw Martin as a father and called him "dad" in front of Ivy. Ivy said "Martin you mean. Martin is not your real dad. Your real dad is in heaven".
Ivy's obsession over her dead son made Don and Ivy drift apart and they split up. Don had affairs, and he even said living with Ivy was like living with "God's Hitman". Don stayed with Ivy, probably for convenience. Ivy left the street in mid 1994 for a Catholic retreat, and died in August 1995. At least she was reunited with her precious son in heaven.
In April 1998, almost 10 years after Brian's death, his son Nick was at college and attended a class where a convicted killer called Darren Whateley said about how bad prison was. Darren then mentioned how almost 10 years earlier he stabbed a man outside a nightclub. Darren then said the man was about 30, a car mechanic and had 2 kids. Darren then said that him and his mates were tanked up, and started annoying this woman, and the man he stabbed came to help the woman and that is when Darren stabbed him. Nick then realised that he was attending a class headed by his father's killer. Nick thought of ways to get back at Darren.
Nick set Darren up and used his own wife Leanne Tilsley as a pawn in his game. He put Leanne's life in danger when Darren was released. Darren broke his license and was sent back to prison for another 5 years.
In July 2016 Brian was mentioned by Gail after her daughter-in-law Kylie Platt was stabbed and died. When supporting her son David, she revealed how tough it was telling Nick about Brian's death and urged him to tell him and Kylie's two children Max and Lily the truth what happened and make sure they understand.
In March 2018, 29 years after Brian died, a psychic claimed to be receiving messages from dead people whom Audrey Roberts was connected with, including her husband Alf and son in law Brian.
In April 2019, 2 months after the 30th anniversary of Brian's death, Nick showed Imran Habeeb a photo of Brian, who had been dead for 30 years. Nick said how Brian died defending a young woman from thugs. Brian was mentioned again in November 2021 when Nick said ow his dad died when he was 8 years old.
In May 2022, Gail mentioned Brain to Eileen, saying how he and later, Martin, were like in the bedroom department.
Behind the Scenes
- Brian's existence is a major retcon in Ivy Brennan's original early to mid 1970s history, which had mentioned she was childless and unable to have them. In 1975 Ivy actually said she "had no children as she was unable to have them" yet in 1979 her 21 year old son Brian arrived with her husband.
List of addresses
Appearances: 27 December 1978–27 January 1982, 12 July 1982-15 February 1989
Born: 15th October 1958
Died: 15th February 1989
Grandfathers: Jim Nelson
Grandmothers: Alice Nelson
Spouses: Gail Potter (1978–1987, 1988–1989)
Cousins: Ian Latimer