Coronation Street Past And Present Wiki

Jim McDonald is a character in Coronation Street, who appeared as a regular from Ep 2984 - 27 Oct 1989 to 2000, then followed by recurring appearances from 2003 to 2014 and returned again in September 2018 so he did. Jim is an ex soldier, so he is and was married to Liz McDonald, so he was. "Elizabeth" he calls her. Jim could also be handy with his fists as times, so he could.

In the past few stints in the series, Jim has become increasingly antagonistic and villainous contrast to the ordinary family man type character with a short fuse as seen in the 1990s. In recent years his crimes and deceits have included armed robbery, running an illegal operation within prison, and most recent trying to get revenge on his family by conning them and pretending his dead daughter Katie McDonald is still alive. Despite his attempts to make amends after these incidents, Jim always returns to his crooked ways.

He is played by Charles Lawson, so he is.

Jim is famous for his "so he is" at the end of many sentences and calling characters by their full names. Catch yourself on.



James McDonald was born on the 14th November 1955 in Belfast, Northern Ireland to Edward McDonald and Maisie McDonald - so he was. He had a sister Eileen MacDonald. Jim joined the army as a teenager and met young Liz Greenwood, from Weatherfield. His regiment was The Royal Engineers. Jim married Liz on the 5th January 1974 when he was 18 and she was 16. She was pregnant at the time and in June 1974 she gave birth to twins Steve McDonald and Andy McDonald. Jim spent years in the army so he did. In the mid 1970s, Liz had a brief fling with Jim's friend Johnny Johnson.


In late 1989, the MacDonald's moved into Number 11 Coronation Street. 33 year old Jim and his wife Liz and children Steve and Andy, both 15. Jim had a few disputes with shop owner Alf Roberts, who lived 2 doors down from him. One time in January 1990, Jim had to sort things out when Steve and Andy accidentally drove a JCB into Alf's shop. Jim soon settled into life in Coronation Street.

In 1991, Liz was pregnant and on the 1st January 1992, Jim and Liz had a daughter Katie McDonald who died soon after. Katie was premature. In 1993, Jim and Liz scoffed at Andy's relationship with Amy Nelson who was about 10 years older than him.

In 1996, Jim and Liz bumped into an old army friend of his, Johnny Johnson. It turned out there was a thing between him and Liz years ago. Jim dragged Liz from the car and hit her.Jim was arrested shortly afterwards for breaking into the house and assault and after breaking a court order,he spend several weeks In prison for burglary.

In April 1998, Jim and Steve argued over his recent affair with Fiona Middleton. Jim had been suspected to be the father of Morgan Middleton but Alan McKenna was the father. Steve and Jim started to wrestle each other, and during the struggle, Jim fell off the scaffolding into a skip full of rubble. Jim was rushed to hospital but soon regained consciousness but was paralysed from the waist down, so he was. He was told he may never walk again. Upon his release from hospital, Jim struggled with his disability and was confined to a wheelchair. He started being very bitter to his family and friends. In June 1998, he tried to kill himself by riding his wheelchair into the path of an oncoming car, driven by his neighbour Mike Baldwin. He was lucky to find out that he was only temporarily paralysed and started to regain the use of his legs, even if it meant hobbling around on a walking stick for a few months. He soon regained the full use of his legs.

After Steve was attacked by drug dealer Jez Quigley, Jim confronted him and his flat and beat him up. Jez was taken to hospital, where he later died of a ruptured spleen (after attempting to finish off Steve in his hospital bed). Jim was arrested and charged with murder, although was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced up to eight years in prison. Before his incarceration, he reunited with Liz and they married again, with Steve and Andy present at the wedding.

2000-2007: Imprisonment and release[]

Three years later, Jim was considered for parole, however he broke out of prison and with the help of Steve fled to Blackpool, as he believed Liz was cheating on him. However this wasn't the case, and they made plans to flee the country together. Jim eventually surrendered to the police however and was sent back to prison.

In 2005, Jim lost another chance at parole when he violently beat up a cellmate of him. Liz visited him in prison, and tired of waiting made clear that it was over between them. They then divorced.

Jim was released early in 2007 for good behaviour and reunited with Steve and got to meet his granddaughter Amy. Jim still had feelings for Liz and wasn't impressed about her upcoming wedding to Vernon Tomlin, feeling they weren't right for each other. On the day of the wedding, Jim and Liz kissed and an angry Vernon attempted to attack Jim, but Jim retaliated by beating up Vernon. An angry Steve intervened and sent Jim packing, feeling that he hadn't truly changed.

2008-2011: Visits and armed robbery incident[]

On Christmas Day 2008, Steve lied about meeting Jim for a drink in order to secret meet up with Becky Granger, who he was having an affair with behind his partner Michelle's back.

Jim made a surprise return for Steve's wedding to Becky in August 2009, although the happiness was cut short when the reception at the Rovers was raided by police, who found drugs on the premises. Liz's new man Lloyd Mullaney wasn't too keen on Jim's presence as he didn't trust him, although Jim laughed it off. Before Jim left, he urged Steve to get to the bottom of what happened with Becky, and after a tender moment with Liz left in a taxi with Andy.

In November 2010, Jim made a visit for his birthday, although Liz wasn't present as she had to go off to Spain to see Andy. Her new man (yes another one) Owen Armstrong didn't like Jim being around, and hired some of his builder mates to beat him up and put him in hospital as a warning.

Jim returned three months later and got back with Liz after she recently dumped Owen. When Steve and Becky made plans to flee the country with Amy and her nephew Max in order to escape Steve's recently released ex Tracy Barlow, Jim and Liz agreed to buy the pub from them and run it together. However Jim didn't have the money, and not wanting to let Liz and everyone down he took to trying to rob a building society, but failed when the alarm was tripped and police arrived. He held the place hostage, but eventually allowed the hostages to go and planned to shoot himself in the head and end it all. But after a phone call from Liz urging him not to go through with it, he gave himself up to the police and was taken into custody. Liz decided to leave Weatherfield shortly after for a new life in Spain with Andy.

Later in the year Jim was sentenced to eight years in prison. Angry and bitter, he broke off contact with Steve.

2011-2018: Return to the big house[]

By 2014, Jim gained a lot of influence in Highfield Prison in which he would smuggle in supplies for the inmates, which mostly included alcohol, and earned him the nickname "The Landlord". When Peter Barlow was remanded that year after being wrongfully charged for the murder of his girlfriend Tina McIntyre, he went to "The Landlord" to try and get some booze and was surprise to find it was Jim. Jim welcomed him to the "big house" and the pair chatted, in which Jim asked how Steve was getting on. Jim allowed Peter to have a drink, although warned him that he would be called up to repay the debt.

Due to Peter's alcoholism, he suffered withdrawals from the alcohol and became dependent on Jim. When Peter was unable to repay the favour by getting Jim a chocolate biscuit Jim taunted Peter, although gave him a drink regardless. Jim hoped to use Peter to get Steve to visit Jim in prison, although Steve wasn't interested due to Jim previously stating he wanted nothing to do with his family. Jim grew irritated with Peter's constant demands and they ended up clashing. Peter later found Jim's stash in the prison kitchens and drank most of the supply, which caused him to pass out and become seriously ill. Jim found Peter and got help, and he was taken to hospital where he managed to recover.

When Steve found out that Jim saved Peter he forgave his father and began visiting. When Peter returned to prison Jim was angry with him for taking most of the supply which meant that Jim was unable to meet the demand with his clients. He later had Peter beaten up. Peter informed Steve on what had happened and that Jim had been giving him drink. Jim blackmailed Liz to keep visiting him and that she wouldn't harm Peter, and wasn't happy that she was with another man, this time Tony Stewart.

On the day of Peter's trial a smug Peter informed Jim that he would be out of prison and not having to put up with him. But unfortunately for Peter he was sentenced to 15 years in prison despite being innocent of the crime. Steve later visited Jim and warned him to leave his mother alone. Steve then reported Jim to the prison guards for his illegal activities, and an angry Jim was dragged from the visiting room while he threatened to "kill" Steve.

Peter was later released a few weeks later when Rob Donovan was exposed as the true killer, meaning he no longer had to put up with Jim and his threats.

2018: Second release[]

He returned in 2018 after serving his prison sentence, and will attend Steve's second wedding to Tracy Barlow (and Steve's seventh marriage overall). When Jim returned, Peter Barlow went for him as Jim had almost killed him once. He had to be restrained. Dopey Kirk was one of them. "Steven" "Steven" said Jim to his estranged son. Jim got a woman called Hannah to pretend to be him and Liz's dead daughter Katie so they could fleece Liz. They even faked a DNA test and Hannah had makeup to make it look like she had a birth mark that Katie was born with. Liz fell for the scam hook line and sinker. However, Hannah got worried when Jim was getting close to Liz again. Hannah even thought about killing Liz. Hannah and Jim met Liz at a hotel, and when Liz came out of the bathroom, Hannah purposely smooched and snogged Jim's face off so as to expose the scam.

After Jim and Hannah were exposed they left Weatherfield together. They were arrested in December 2018 for their scam, although released as Liz had willingly gave her money to them. Jim's life since then is unknown as he hasn't been back in contact with his family.

Behind the Scenes[]

  • Charles Lawson left the show in 2000, departing as a regular cast member in December that year.
  • He returned three years later for a few episodes set in Blackpool, in which Jim had escaped prison and reunited with Liz, with the pair intending to escape together. However this led to Jim's second exit from the programme in which he was recaptured. At the same time Julie Goodyear reprised her role as Bet Lynch for the final time in order to appear in the episodes, and Beverley Callard also returned to the show after leaving back in 2001.
  • From that stint onwards Lawson continued appearing for recurring appearances as Jim, with further brief appearances being in 2004, 2005, and 2007, the last which Jim was released from prison after good behaviour. He returned in 2009 for Steve's marriage to Becky McDonald, and again in late 2010. However in his 2010 stint, Callard had taken time off due to ill health, so Jim was absent again until March 2011, in which his return tied with Callard's exit from the programme. The exit saw Jim being sent back to prison after trying to rob a building society, and ended up being sentenced to seven years. Lawson was not satisfied with the storyline, however he understood the writers reasons as they had to rewrite whatever plans they had for the character due to Callard's sick leave.
  • Three years later, Lawson returned again and was given a three-months contract, although his character's scenes took place in prison, and tied with a storyline in which Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne) was wrongfully imprisoned for the murder of Tina McIntyre.
  • Lawson returned four years later in September 2018 in which Jim was released from prison and planned revenge on his family for abandoning him, making the character even more antagonistic than before. It was intended for the storyline to go on longer, but due to Lawson's commitments to Theatre (he was due to star as Detective John Rebus in a Rebus adaptation) so the story was cut short and he departed after only a month. Despite rumours that he would return as a regular in 2019, this never came to pass.


  • Jim's surname is Scottish and suggests Scotch Irish ancestry. In September 2018, Tracy bought a McDonald tartan.
  • In 1990, Jim and Liz mentioned Steve and Andy's "Uncle Colin". This may have been Jim's brother as it looks like Liz did not have any siblings.


List of addresses[]

Address Duration

Employment history[]

Role Institution Duration

Memorable info[]

Appearances: 27 October 1989–2 December 2000, 17–28 November 2003, 27 December 2004, 23–27 May 2005, 30 November 2007–2 January 2008, 14–20 August 2009, 15 November–2 December 2010, 24 March–15 April 2011, 8 August–22 October 2014, 7 September–12 October 2018

Born: 14th November 1955, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Full Name: James McDonald

ParentsEdward McDonald and Maisie McDonald

Siblings: Eileen McDonald

Grandfathers: James McDonald

Spouse: Liz Greenwood (1974-1997, 2000-2005)

Children: Steve McDonald (1974), Andy McDonald (1974), Katie MacDonald (1992)

Grandchildren: Amy BarlowRuairi McDonald (stillborn), Oliver Battersby, Emma Brooker