Coronation Street Past And Present Wiki

Ivy Joan Brennan (formerly Tilsley, nee Nelson) was a character in Coronation Street from 1971 to Ep 3676 - 25 Mar 1994. She ws the wife of Bert Tilsley and later Don Brennan and mother of Brian Tilsley and grandmother of Nick Tilsley and Sarah Louise Platt. Poison Ivy was a battleaxe who made Ena Sharples look tame, hence why Ivy gained the nickname "Poison Ivy". Ivy was also a God botherer, even more so after her son was stabbed to death in 1989, and this often drove Don mad. In 1992, Don described living with Ivy as "like living with God's hitman". Ivy died of a stroke offscreen in Ep 3899 - 23 Aug 1995. Ivy was played by Lynne Perrie.



Ivy Joan Nelson was born on the 8th April 1936 to Jim Nelson and Alice Nelson (Nee Marshall). She had a sister Sheila Nelson. In 1956, Ivy married Bert Tilsley. During 1956 and 1957, Ivy had 3 miscarriages. She was pregnant again in the spring of 1958, this time it was successful. They had a son Brian John Tilsley on the 16th October 1958. Due to difficulties with the birth, Ivy was unable to have any more children but was pleased she had her healthy baby son Brian. As Brian got older, he became a mechanic. Ivy was a bit of a God botherer.


For a number of years, Ivy Tilsley worked at the Mark Brittain Warehouse. In late 1979, Ivy and her husband Bert and 21 year old son Brian came to live at Number 5 Coronation Street. Ivy became known as a bit of a battleaxe, a bit of a gossip. After Brian married Gail Potter in November 1979, Ivy often meddled in his sons marriage, claiming it was for the best. Ivy did become a grandmother on 31 December 1980 when baby Nick Tilsley was born.

In mid 1983, Bert was injured and later sent to a psychiatric hospital where he died in January 1984. Ivy was distraught. Ivy was by now a supervisor at Baldwin's Casuals, Coronation Street. Ivy became a gran again in February 1987 when Sarah Louise Tilsley was born. In late 1987, local cabbie Don Brennan made The Rovers Return his local. Him and Ivy developed a relationship and they married in 1988. They were happily married at first, but in February 1989, Brian was stabbed to death outside a nightclub. Ivy was grief stricken at her son's death. Ivy became fixated on the memory of her dead son and this affected her marriage to Don. In 1991, Gail remarried to Martin Platt. Nick started to call Martin "Dad" but Ivy said "Martin you mean. Martin is not your real dad. Your real dad is in heaven, and is watching over you all the time". When Martin saw Sarah and Nicky as if they were his own children, Ivy was jealous. Ivy was even more angry when Martin planned to adopt Nicky and Sarah. Ivy was unsuccessful in trying to stop that happening so Nick and Sarah took on Martin's surname.

Ivy Brennan's erratic behaviour over her dead son Brian lead Don to seek romance elsewhere. Don fell for hairdresser

Ivy's last appearance, 25th March 1994.

Denise Osbourne. He begun harassing her with nuisance phonecalls. Denise blamed Ivy until Don admitted he did it.

In March 1994, Ivy, whose lips had suddenly expanded, last appeared on screen when she was competing with Audrey regarding their shared granddaughter Sarah.

In July, Ivy decided to leave Don, and leave Weatherfield for a Catholic retreat. In July 1994, Don was annoyed at her prolonged stay there. In August 1994, Ivy told Gail she would not be returning to Coronation Street.

Death in 1995[]

In mid 1995, Don filed for divorce from Ivy and this left Ivy an emotional wreck. In August 1995, over a year after leaving Coronation Street, Ivy died of a stroke aged 59. Her grandson Nick blamed Don for it, saying that Don asking her for a divorce is what bought on her death.


Vera is chilled to the bone when she sees Ivy's "ghost".

As if Ivy wasn't scary enough in life, she supposedly began haunting the street in early 1996 when Vera Duckworth claimed to see her ghost on the landing of 5 Coronation Street, although Don tried to put this down to the lightening of the hallway. Ivy's granddaughter Sarah also claimed to see her late grandmother standing at the window, although a concerned Gail and Martin put this down to Vera's gossip. Don later hired a fake exorcist to drive away Ivy's ghost and no more sightings were seen.

Even though she was dead, Ivy would continue to cause bother for the Platts and Don from beyond the grave. Ivy had written in her will that grandson Nick would inherit No 5 if he changed his surname from Platt back to Tilsley, much to Gail and Martin's annoyance (Sarah-Louise escaped this condition as Ivy said that she would probably change her name in the future). She and Don were left with nothing. Don is almost evicted as he and the Platts fight over Ivy's legacy; this eventually ends with Don buying No.5 from Nicky for £12,000. With Martin and Gail's blessing, Nicky changes his surname back to Tilsley. .

Ivy gets back at Gail one more time beyond the grave when David Platt finds her diary full of revelations.

Years later in 2006, the long dead Ivy would cause some more trouble for the Platts from beyond the grave when David Platt read Ivy's diary from 1990. The diary was found by Sophie Webster in the loft of No 5 and the diary contained info about Ivy's bitterness to her ex daughter in law Gail and her new boyfriend Martin Platt, also it mentioned how Gail intended to have an abortion but was talked out of it. David was hurt and shocked and wrapped it up to present it as a Christmas present. Probably one of the reasons why in August 2007, David stood on the roof of Underworld and threatened to kill his family, was because of finding out Gail planned to abort him in 1990, thanks to reading Ivy's diary. David would use his knowledge of Gail's initial plan to abort him against her in some of the confrontations they had, although this lessened when he became less villainous in later years.

Ironically enough, Gail would become just like her late mother-in-law. In 2010 she didn't approve of her son Nick's relationship with Natasha Blakeman and played a part in their breakup. She also didn't approve of David marrying Kylie Platt in 2011, and tried to get her to leave David, but this failed.

Behind the Scenes[]

  • Ivy's backstory and life had received a few notable retcons throughout her time in the 1970s, prior to becoming a regular character. The character would refer to her husband's name as Arthur, Wilf and later Jack (who actually appeared for 2 episodes in 1975). It wasn't until 1979 when she had moved into the street with a new husband named Bert, along with their son Brian (who appeared at the end of 1978) even though it was previously mentioned that Ivy had no children.
  • In early February 1994, Lynne Perrie had cosmetic surgery on her lips, and the results were unflattering. It is claimed that she was fired shortly after, even though she filmed scenes as Ivy after her surgery. Lynne denied this, saying that leaving was her decision, as her and producer Carolyn Reynolds felt that her character had run her course. Her last episode aired on the 25th March 1994. Due to the advanced filming schedule, the scene was probably filmed in late February 1994. Due to leaving the show quite suddenly, Lynne's character never got a proper farewell scene, instead it was said that Ivy had gone to a Catholic convent. Ivy died offscreen in August 1995, after a stroke, which was bought on by stress after her husband Don asked for a divorce.

Memorable info[]

Appearances: 14–30 June 1971, 8 November 1971–19 January 1972, 3–26 April 1972, 19–28 August 1974, 18–27 November 1974, 9–14 April 1975, 22 September–8 October 1975, 13–22 December 1976, 14–16 February 1977, 9 May–22 June 1977, 26 September 1977–5 July 1978, 11 December 1978–25 March 1994

Born: 8th April 1936

Died: 23rd August 1995

Parents: Jim Nelson and Alice Nelson

Siblings: Sheila Nelson

Spouses: Bert Tilsley (1956-1984), Don Brennan (1988-1995)

Children: Brian Tilsley (1958)

Grandchildren: Nick Tilsley, Sarah Louise Platt

Great Grandchildren: Bethany Platt, Billy Platt, Harry Platt, Sam Blakeman