Frederick Gee was a character in Coronation Street from Ep 1534 - 29 Sep 1975 to Ep 2469 - 28 Nov 1984. He was the cellarman of the The Rovers Return and often was brash and lazy and thought he was in charge. He acquired his job in March 1976 when ageing landlady Annie Walker needed a cellarman. He was sacked from his job in August 1984 by Billy Walker and left the area completely a few months later after being sacked by Mike Baldwin from his job at Baldwin's Casuals, Coronation Street for impersonating him when he was away on business. Fred was never seen or heard from in Weatherfield again. Fred was played by actor Fred Feast.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Backstory[edit | edit source]
Frederick Gee was born on the 7th October 1934 in Weatherfield. He had a sister and a brother. Fred was educated at Bessie Street School. He later met Edna and they married in about 1955 but they never had any children. Fred Gee worked as a storeman at a factory for many years.
1975-1984[edit | edit source]
In late September 1975, Fred Gee attended his wife's 40th birthday at The Rovers. However, Edna died in a warehouse fire shortly afterwards. Fred was devastated at the news. He was known to the residents of Coronation Street.
Upon the departure of her son Billy Walker in May 1975, and the fact her husband Jack Walker had been dead for 5 years by the time Billy left, Annie Walker, the landlady of The Rovers Return, Coronation Street, lived alone at the pub, and struggled to run the pub without a cellarman and no one to check everyone was out of the pub after closing, such as a robbery in November 1975 where Annie was held hostage by 2 lads who had sneaked in and hid in the gents before closing time. And after the incident where Stan Ogden and Albert Tatlock were locked in the cellar overnight, this was the last straw and Annie needed a cellarman. So in March 1976,
Fred Gee was swiftly hired as a live in potman, to live in the spare room upstairs and work on the property, thus deterring any further break ins if elderly Annie had a male potman living with her. Fred was a big man so was able to handle any robbers or irate customers. Fred soon became good friends with Betty Turpin and Bet Lynch and many residents of Coronation Street. Regular customer Stan Ogden often chatted with Fred. In May 1978, Fred was worried about his future at the Rovers when the brewery was being taken over, and if Billy Walker was taking over the pub from his mother. However Billy was relieved when Annie wanted to carry on as landlady.
In 1981, Fred married Eunice Nuttall but they separated soon after. In early 1982, Fred had back problems and was hoping for a female therapist, but got a man instead, and was annoyed. In January 1983, Eddie Yeats rammed his dustcart into Annie's car and Fred was mad, as Fred often borrowed Annie's car. In May 1983, Fred tried to seduce Bet by offering to take her out for the day, just the 2 of them but Bet did not want to be left alone with the lecherous Fred so asked Betty to come along. Fred was not happy with Betty being there, and showed this during the trip such as asking Betty to stay in the car while him and Bet went for a walk but Betty stood her ground. Fred later said he wanted it to just be him and Bet, and not a staff outing for the Rovers. Betty said "Oh charming". Fred had just had his car serviced by Brian Tilsley but collected it before Brian could complete the work as he needed a car quickly. He was unaware the brakes were not fixed yet. On the trip the car rolled into the lake and Fred had to paddle to the car to rescue Bet and Betty. In October 1983, Fred floored Eddie Yeats in a row in The Rovers. Fred became friends with regular customer Jack Duckworth.
1984: Fred's last year at the Rovers, working for Mike Baldwin, then leaving the area[edit | edit source]
1984 would turn out to be a very eventful year for Fred Gee at the Rovers, and then working for Mike, before finally leaving the area totally near the end of the year.
In February 1984, Fred wanted to raffle his Rover car and planned a trick at the raffle but Hilda Ogden picked out Percy Sugden as the winner, so Fred's plan backfired. Percy sold the car to Kevin Webster and Fred was annoyed, he wanted half the money from Kevin. But Fred backed off when Brian Tilsley stuck up for Kevin. Kevin then said to Fred that he was going to strip the car down and race it as a banger. Fred was furious, saying that is blasphemy.
The same month, February 1984, when Annie Walker was away on an extended break, Fred was sick of feeling he was being bossed about by his colleagues Bet and Betty, and he felt that they were leaving him to do the donkey work while they stood around chatting and making tea. Fred made a lame excuse that they were being sexist towards him. Annie had left Betty in charge while she was away and Fred hated this. Fred went over Annie's head and went to the brewery and asked for the temporary managers job. George Newton said he would consider it. Fred was given the job and was pleased as punch. He started to enjoy having power over Bet, Betty and Hilda and started to remind them not to make mistakes, and the lazy days would be over. A complaint about a pie had been made, so Fred turned scientist by testing all the pies, in his investigation. Fred soon started having stomach pains and cramps, and had to go into hospital with food poisoning. A new manager had to quickly be found.
Billy Walker was called to take over the pub in March 1984 when Fred took ill. He was then called to Jersey before Fred returned but in July 1984, Billy came back for good. That month, there was a local Olympics, and Bet Lynch promised Fred something. Fred hoped she would sleep with him but her present to him was a pint. Billy hinted at job cuts, and cutting back on some staff. Fred thought his job was safe, being the live in cellarman, and saw himself as Billy's right hand man, so Fred felt he had no reason at all to discuss his future. But Billy told Fred that out of all the Rovers staff, he has the biggest reason to discuss his future.
Fred later asked Billy what he meant by discussing his future, and Billy said "Last in, first out.". Billy told Fred he was no longer needed, and said that Fred had better look for a new job and a new place to live, as his room comes with the job, but can stay until he does so. Fred was angry, and kept saying that he has worked for 8 years as cellarman, flogging his guts out for Billy mother. Billy said he runs the pub now and Fred has to leave once he gets another job. Betty had a quiet word with Billy, and defended Fred, saying he is on the rough side but is a good worker. Billy said that his mum took Fred on as she needed a cellarman, and nothing else. Billy would not budge and still planned to lay Fred off. The next day, Fred asked for time off work to go job hunting and Billy accepted. But Fred took a sneaky afternoon off to go to the races with Jack Duckworth. Mike Baldwin said to Billy that he saw Fred and Jack Duckworth saying they were going to the races for the afternoon, when Fred had said he wanted to go job hunting. Billy was livid. When Fred returned, Billy said he wanted Fred out of the job, and out of the pub by the end of the week. He said that Fred now has all the time in the world to look for a new job.
But Fred would not leave The Rovers without a fight and demanded compensation, and bought Jack in to the living room as a witness, and said he was entitled to compensation. Fred told Billy that he thought that was why Billy did not mind if Fred went job hunting, as if he had found a new job, he would lose any claim to severance pay. Billy said no chance of any compensation. Fred said he is not leaving then, if he is not getting compensation. Billy softened a bit towards Fred and said he did owe him something. He said Fred can stay on until he gets a new job, and will be on full pay, plus when he does go, he will give Fred a couple of weeks extra wages to help him on his way. Fred rejected the offer and said he wanted full compensation for the 8 years he has been here, and may get the courts onto Billy if he needs to.
Billy did not want the courts involved, as he himself did lots of dodgy schemes. Billy asked Ken Barlow for advice on whether cellar men can get compensation and Ken said that Fred had a case. Billy found that another landlord had got rid of a cellarman without having to pay money to him, which was to goad him into thumping him so he could sack him, thus the cellarman getting nothing. Billy used this idea on Fred. Billy then overworked Fred, getting him to whitewash the yard, the cellar and to do Hilda Ogden's cleaning. Billy made jibes at Fred all the time as well as micromanaging him. Billy insulted Fred so one night in August 1984, Fred hit him and Billy's plan worked. He sacked Fred. Fred left the Coronation Street area for a week or 2, but then returned, saying he was staying at Trafalgar Street, which was said to be a rough area. Fred then found that Billy had blackened his name at the brewery and no pub would employ him. Fred almost thumped Billy again. But Fred got a job working as a delivery driver for Mike Baldwin when Mike took pity on Fred. Fred often delivered Mike's products to the local street market.
In October 1984, Fred's friend Jack Duckworth got Fred into selling shirts. When Mike Baldwin was away on business, Fred
delivered more shirts to Jack, while buying them off lorry driver Joe Schofield. A businessman, Frank Tyler looked at the writing on the van Fred was driving which gave the address of Mike's factory. One time he turned up at the factory and saw Jack. Jack quickly got Fred to impersonate Mike. Fred was uneasy. Frank and Fred dined and wrote out a cheque but to Mike instead of Jack. Fred and Jack sweet talked Tyler, and Tyler gave them cash in hand. Jack spun Mike a story about the cheque and Mike fell for it, even though he wondered if Jack was in on it with Fred Gee. Jack and Fred assumed they were in the clear.
However that was not the end of the matter as Mike knew that Fred had been booking a lot of petrol recently on the van and thought he may be up to something but was not yet sure. Mike's suspicions about Fred were confirmed when Frank Tyler later phoned the factory wanting to buy some more shirts, and spoke to the real Mike Baldwin who found that Fred had impersonated him. Tyler described the man he thought was Mike as a big man, chubby faced, sandy coloured hair, balding, and wore gold plated glasses. Mike knew this was Fred Gee, and Fred had impersonated Mike, and had conned Mike while he was away. Mike also realised Jack's involvement in the scheme.
Mike wanted to confront Fred. In November 1984, at Stan Ogden's funeral wake in the Rovers, Mike finally confronted Fred about how he impersonated him while he was away, and how Jack Duckworth was in on the scheme, and he knew that Fred was the brains behind the cheque. Fred tried to fob Mike off saying it was a mix up but it is all sorted now, but Mike knew what Fred and Jack had been up to. Mike said Fred could go a long way with his tycoon skills, and who is he to stand in his way. Fred was uneasy, and then Mike delivered the fatal line to Fred that Fred was dreading. He told Fred to come into his office tomorrow and "pick up his cards", meaning Fred was sacked. Fred was distraught, and he then snarled at Jack for Mike finding out, and also for getting him into the dodgy shirt selling scheme in the first place.
After being sacked in November 1984, Fred had no reason to stay in the Coronation Street area of Weatherfield any more and wanted to start afresh. He left the area for good, leaving no contact details, and was not seen or heard from in Coronation Street again. He never kept in touch with Bet or Betty. He even lost contact with best friend Jack Duckworth, maybe he felt Jack had pushed him into the dodgy shirt scheme, then getting him to impersonate Mike, thus losing him his job, so Fred ditched their friendship. Fred may have stayed at Trafalgar Street, or probably moved to another part of Weatherfield, well away from Coronation Street.
With Fred gone from the area forever, the Rovers did not have a proper cellar man until February 1985 when Wilf Starkey took over but he left in August 1985 and Jack took over as the permanent cellar man.
After 1984 to his death in 1998[edit | edit source]
The last 14 years of Fred's life after leaving Coronation Street to his 1998 death is uncertain, but in very late 1984/early 1985 he probably got another job, perhaps in another pub in another area, and may have stayed at Trafalgar Street, and never kept in touch with his former friends who lived and worked in Coronation Street.
In Ep 2590 - 27 Jan 1986 Fred was mentioned by Bet Lynch, who was then a landlady. Bet was discussing with Jack Duckworth about an arrangement Fred had with Annie Walker about using her car. In December 1986, Hilda mentioned Fred Gee to Sally Webster saying "how he thought he was gods gift". Hilda mentioned him in past tense and his 1986 whereabouts were unknown.
Sometime during the last few months of 1998, Fred died aged 64, 14 years after he was last seen in Weatherfield.
In January 1999, his ex wife Eunice Gee returned to Weatherfield and said Fred had died a few months previously. Eunice soon decided to retire to Spain and left Weatherfield in May 1999.
In April 2012, the now long dead Fred was mentioned by Ken Barlow at Betty's funeral.
Memorable info[edit | edit source]
Appearances: 29 September–6 October 1975, 22 March 1976–28 November 1984
Born: 7 October 1934, Weatherfield
Died: In-between July and December 1998 (Aged 63 or 64)
Full Name: Frederick Gee
Nicknames: Fred Face
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Some sources state that Fred was born in October 1929, same as the actor yet others state he was born in 1934. In April 1981, Fred was said to be 2 years older than Eunice. Eunice was 44 at the time so this means Fred was born in October 1934.
- Since Annie's husband, and former Rovers landlord, Jack Walker died 6 years earlier, once Fred Gee was taken on as a live in potman, he was the closest thing the pub had to a Jack Walker type character - a big man who worked behind a bar serving pints and humping crates to and from the cellar. Also Fred bore a slight resemblance to Jack, both wore glasses, had a round face and rounded figure, and brushed back hair. After Fred left, he was replaced as a potman by Wilf Starkey then later his former friend Jack Duckworth, himself a portly man.
- Fred Feast originally appeared as a barman called Fred (1972) for two episodes in 1972. The two characters are not the same however. Ironically the 1972 Fred appeared in the same scenes as Edna Gee who was Fred Gee's wife but there was no dialogue in the 1972 episodes to say Edna Gee was the wife of the barman called Fred.
- In 1984 Fred Feast took time off work but returned to the show once he recovered. In September 1984, Feast verbally agreed to a new contract that would take him into 1985, but in mid October 1984 he decided to leave at the end of his current contract, which would run out on 16th November. Fred decided not to sign a new contract, stating that he didn't want to become another "Coronation Street cabbage". The year before he had previously taken time off work citing depression, although the truth behind this claim is unclear as he was seen at a football match in seemingly fine health. The character of Fred's final scenes were him being exposed by his boss Mike Baldwin for his shenanigans while Mike was away on business and Mike sacking him. Fred Feast was told by producer Bill Podmore that he would get a very low key exit, seeing as he did not want to become another Corrie cabbage. So the character was last seen in the pub, being told he was sacked by Mike, and then never seen again.
- While the exit of Fred was low key, it was still a proper exit for the character as he was sacked by Mike, so had no more ties to Coronation Street, and quietly left the area.
- Upon Eunice's return in 1999, she revealed that Fred had died of a heart attack. Feast was alive at the time, however passed away six-months after his character's death, but from abdominal cancer.