Legendary television writer Peter Whalley sadly passed away on Wednesday 26th July aged 71. Peter’s quiet and self-assured voice held sway around the Coronation Street writer’s table for thirty-five years. He came to the team in 1979 after teaching English at a school in Pontefract and quickly became one of the stalwarts of the show. In 1983 he was tasked with writing the climax to the Ken – Deirdre – Mike love triangle, an episode that gripped the nation and dominated every front page the following day. He went on to mastermind iconic storylines as Ken’s affair with Wendy Crozier and Peter Barlow’s bigamy. In 2009 he was completely shocked, and very touched to be presented with a lifetime achievement award at the British Soap Awards. When he retired from the Street in 2014 he had written 601 episodes, more than any writer to date.
As well as Coronation Street, Peter also wrote episodes of Albion Market, Revelations, Families, Angels and The Jury. He created the family soap The Castles, about a couple separating on their 40th wedding anniversary and wrote the itv drama, The Good Samaritan starring Shane Ritchie in 2007. In addition, he wrote 40 radio plays, two stage plays and ten novels, three of which featured his detective Harry Sommers.
Peter – a native of Colne – was an ardent supporter of Burnley FC and a keen tennis player. He had a passion for theatre and never missed a production at Manchester’s Royal Exchange. But more than anything he was a master story-teller, a genius of character creation and plot development.
Peter leaves a wife, Jan, and two children Matthew and Ester.
Image: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock