Tracy Lynette Barlow (formerly Preston, Cropper and McDonald) is a character in Coronation Street who was born in Ep 1672 - 24 Jan 1977, the daughter of Ray Langton and Deirdre Barlow. Tracy is one of the shows biggest superbitches, she has slept with most married men in the area and has a acid tongue that made her late gran Blanche Hunt look polite. Blanche was outspoken but never spiteful or nasty like Tracy.

Tracy has a habit of taking what is not hers such as other womens men and she even bludgeoned her boyfriend Charlie Stubbs to death in 2007. Tracy had a daughter, Amy Barlow, by Steve McDonald but Amy has not inherited Steve's quick wit and humour, more her mother's sharp tongue. A number of actresses have played Tracy since 1977. She has been played by Kate Ford since 2002.



Tracy Lynette Langton was born at Weatherfield General Hospital on the 24th January 1977, the daughter of Ray and Deirdre Langton. In 1978, when Tracy was 1 year old, Ray abandoned Deirdre and left for Holland without saying goodbye to Tracy. Tracy grew up with no memories of her father.

When Tracy was 4 years old, Deirdre married Ken Barlow who later adopted Tracy. In late 1985 Tracy ran away from home but was found in Newcastle, after giving her home address and was returned home.

Tracy was abit of a wayward child. As she got older she became more rebellious. This was bought on by Ken and Deirdre's rocky marriage, after he cheated on her in 1989. Also Tracy's rebellious streak was partly instigated by the fact that she never knew her real father, Ray Langton, who left when she was a toddler. Ken and Deirdre later divorced and Tracy started playing truant from school. As a teen, Tracy used to spend a lot of time in her bedroom playing her tapes.

In January 1995, Tracy turned 18. Ken said she could have £50 but greedy Tracy wanted more.

In 1996 she became engaged to a man named Robert Preston and they got married and settled down in London.


In December 2002 Tracy became involved in an affair with Robert's best friend. She left Robert and returned to Coronation Street, where she made an unexpected arrival at No.1 where she gave a sob story that Robert was the one to have an affair behind her back. But on New Year's Day Robert turned up at the house and said she was the one who was being unfaithful. Despite this Robert claimed he still loved Tracy and wanted to give their marriage another chance, but she told him it was over.

In January 2007 she murdered Charlie, and in April was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Off-screen: 2007-2010Edit

Tracy continued to be mentioned when Ken and Deirdre would often visit her in prison. They didn't want Amy to know her mother was a murderer, so made up excuses that she was "on holiday". But when in 2009 a boy at school began picking on Amy for her mother being a murderer, she was eventually told the truth and went to visit Tracy in prison.


Corrie traicey

Tracy Barlow, No 1 vixen.

Over three years into her sentence in May 2010, Tracy discovered her grandmother Blanche Hunt had passed away and asked the governor if she was able to get day release to attend her funeral and also support her daughter. The governor granted her permission, much to her delight.

Tracy attended with a prison guard. She grew jealous of Steve's marriage to Becky, and was angry at the fact the pair planned to adopt her. Tracy got into a fight with Becky, resulting in her being taken away from the hospital and returned to prison. Tracy vowed that she would find a way to get out.

Upon learning that neighbour Gail McIntyre was being held on remand accused of murdering her husband Joe McIntyre, Tracy struck a deal with police officers that if she was able to help with the case and get a guilty verdict on Gail that she would be transferred to an open prison. Tracy became Gail's new cellmate and began befriending her. Despite Tracy's previous devious nature Gail came to trust her, feeling prison was making her genuine. When Tracy learned Gail had hidden a rolling pin at the lake house her and Joe stayed at (which was to stop Joe baking a cake) she told the detectives that it was a murder weapon and where to find it. The detectives found the rolling pin and believed Tracy's tale, and had her moved out of Gail's cell.

Tracy appeared at the trial to give an account of Gail's 'confession' and made up that Gail said she bashed Joe's brains in. Gail protested this. But Tracy's scheme fell under when it was pointed out her previous lies in the same courtroom during the murder trial of Charlie Stubbs. Tracy was then returned to the prison. Gail was found not guilty of the crime, and friends of Gail in prison beat Tracy up and hospitalised her for revenge for what she did to Gail. Ken and Deirdre went to see her in hospital, but ended up leaving in disgust.

Six months later it was discovered a forensics officer working on the Charlie Stubbs case was a fraud. Tracy decided to use it to her advantage and got paroled to await a retrial. She turned up on the street on Christmas Eve much to the shock of everyone and interrupted a service dedicated to the victims of the tram crash earlier that month. Gail confronted Tracy in the pub and attacked her. Tracy was marched out by Deirdre, and Tracy revealed she wasn't bothered about Gail, but wanted to break up Becky and Steve's marriage. On Christmas Day she continued her wind up and manipulations. She took Amy away from Steve and Becky after learning that they had 'bought' Becky's nephew Max Turner and used it as blackmail. She also goaded Claire Peacock who had just lost her husband Ashley in the tram crash.

Over the next week Tracy continued her behaviour and successfully alienated most of the street again. But this backfired when on New Year's Eve she was attacked by Claire and left unconscious on the back doorstep of No.1 and discovered by Steve, Ken and Deirdre. Tracy was left in a coma for a few days, and after awakening claimed Becky was the one who attacked her. Claire felt guilty and handed herself into the police and was released on bail. Becky knew Claire wouldn't cope if imprisoned, so along with some other residents helped Claire along with her sons Joshua and Freddie escape and flee to France.

Tracy had her retrial and was found not guilty. Tracy revealed her plans to leave the street and take Amy with her. Steve convinced Tracy to stay by giving her a job at the Rovers Return, which she had accepted although it gave her more of an opportunity to wind up Becky and goad her over the fact she was unable to have children.


Tracy is a vile, nasty, bitchy, cunning and manipulative person. She gets a kick out of upsetting people. She shows signs of being a sociopath. She is not far behind Pat Phelan in the evil stakes. Tracy often loves mocking other women in the street and also mocking former boyfriends. Her mother Deirdre always used to say "Oh Tracy. How could you?" to her when she heard Tracy had yet again cheated and lied on a boyfriend.


Four actresses have played the character since 1977.

  • Christabel Finch (1977-1983)
  • Holly Chamarette (1985-1988)
  • Dawn Acton (1988-1999)
  • Kate Ford (2002 to present)


Behind the ScenesEdit

  • Despite Ken and Deirdre still appearing in the show at the time, Tracy was absent from 1983 to 1985 although she still resided at No.1. Some excuses were made such as her being upstairs, which to this day is still a long recurring joke about how Tracy is upstairs "playing her tapes". In August 2018, Peter Barlow even said that when Tracy was Saimon's age she was always upstairs playing her tapes.
  • In 2002 Tracy was reintroduced as a more villainous character and a bitch, which was done became of EastEnders Janine Butcher. Although Dawn Acton had auditioned for the role again, it was instead given to Kate Ford.
  • Kate Ford quit the show in 2006 and Tracy departed in April 2007, which involved a storyline where she murdered Charlie Stubbs. Two alternative verdicts were filmed for her trial, in which she would be found guilty or not guilty. The latter ended up being the case.
  • Despite her imprisonment, Tracy's return was first discussed in January 2010. She was introduced for four weeks from April to May 2010 in which she was still in prison. Tracy made a return as a regular in December 2010.
  • Tracy has been responsible for the deaths of 3 people, Charlie Stubbs of course, and Kal Nazir, as she set fire to the apartment block, targeting rival Carla Connor, but this lead to Kal's death. Also Maddie Heath died in a resulting blast. Tracy had planned to kill Carla but was disturbed (yes she sure was disturbed) while doing so and ran off, knocking a candle over.
  • In July 2015 it was reported about how Tracy maybe turning over a new leaf in the aftermath of Deirdre Barlow's death and her getting back with Robert Preston. However this plot appeared to be dropped as Tracy returned to her bitchy and villainous ways.


Memorable InformationEdit

Appearances: 24 January 1977–21 November 1983, 8 July 1985–13 December 1993, 21 September 1994–10 July 1995, 6–13 November 1996, 3–5 December 1997, 14–29 March 1999, 10 October 1999, 25 December 2002–8 April 2007, 7 May–10 June 2010, 24 December 2010–present

Birth: 24 January 1977

Full Name: Tracy Lynette Barlow

Father Ray Langton

Mother Deirdre Barlow

Siblings Peter Barlow (adoptive), stillborn baby (half brother).

Grandfathers: Mr. Langton, Donald Hunt

Grandmothers: Mary Langton, Blanche Hunt

Spouse: Robert Preston (1996-2003), Roy Cropper (2003-2004), Steve McDonald (2012-2013)

Children: Amy Barlow (2004)

Adoptive father Ken Barlow