Mike Baldwin spent 30 years at the centre of Coronation Street's biggest storylines... but how much can you remember about Weatherfield's factory boss?
The legendary Mike Baldwin will go down in Coronation Street history as the dodgy cockney businessman who arrived in Weatherfield to open a new clothes factory. The character, played by actor Johnny Briggs, was a smooth-talking ladies man, who infamously managed to work his way through half of the women on the cobbles.
Here's everything you need to know about Mike Baldwin, who spent 30 years causing drama in Coronation Street...
The many wives of Mike Baldwin - and that Deirdre Barlow affair!
During his time on Corrie, Mike had 25 girlfriends and four wives... but the true love of his life was Alma Halliwell, mainly because she knew just how to handle him.
His first wife was Susan Barlow, the daughter of his long-running enemy Ken Barlow. The pair were always at loggerheads thanks to Mike's affair with Deirdre Barlow before she married Ken... and the pair never saw eye-to-eye after that. Mike's marriage to Susan began in 1986 but didn't last because they would argue about what they both wanted from their future together. Eventually Susan discovered she was pregnant, and while Mike wanted her to start at home and be a wife and mother, Susan announced she was having an abortion and moving to Newcastle.
Mike then went on to marry Jackie Ingram in 1991, who was a wealthy widow who had inherited a factory from her late husband, Peter. But she soon found out that Peter had died of a heart attack during an argument with Mike and their marriage ended after just a week.
Mike then married Alma Halliwell in 1992 after their on/off relationship was reignited once her romance with Ken Barlow ended. But their marriage didn't last long when Mike was seduced by Julia Stone, who was blackmailing him for large sums of cash.
He then went on to marry Linda Sykes, only to discover she was having an affair with his son, Mark. At first he blamed Mark entirely, but then Mike was heartbroken to discover his beloved Alma was dying of cervical cancer he spent all this time by her side, leaving Linda jealous. Shortly after Alma's death Mike ended his marriage to Linda.
Mike Baldwin v Ken Barlow - the ultimate feud!
The war between Ken and Mike, which lasted for more than twenty years, started back in 1983 when Ken discovered his wife Deirdre had been having an affair with the factory boss. The love triangle between the trio captured the nation, but the drama between the men got even worse when in Mike went on to marry Ken's daughter, Susan.
Ken was not happy about his daughter marrying his old rival... but while their marriage didn't last, in 2001 Mike discovered that he had a son, Adam, who Susan had kept a secret. After Susan's death, Ken and Mike went to war once again over who should have custody of Adam.
The factory king
Mike Baldwin started his career as a market stall holder, but his empire soon started to take shape when he opened Baldwin's Casuals on Coronation Street... a factory that specialised in all things denim.
Mike was a fearsome factory boss, quick to threaten his machinists with the sack if they answered back or slacked off.
Mike had three sons, two of which he didn't even know were his until they were grown up. His relationship with his third son was damaged when Mike discovered he's been sleeping with his wife...
In 2004 Mike discovered that Susan Barlow hadn't had an abortion like she had said, and that he was a father to her son, Adam. But as he tried to fight her for custody, Susan fled Weatherfield, only to be killed in a car crash, leaving Adam motherless.
Mark Redman came to Weatherfield and Mike took him on as manager at the factory, which had now become the underwear business, Underworld, that we know and love today. But on his wedding night he found out that Mark and his new wife Linda had been having an affair, and he blamed his son entirely.
In 2004 Mike's nephew Danny Baldwin arrived in Weatherfield with his family and quickly started helping Mike at the factory. It was revealed in 2005 that Danny was actually Mike's son - the result of a brief fling with Mike and his sister-in-law, Viv.
By the end of 2005, not long after viewers discovered Danny Baldwin was actually Mike's son and not his nephew, Mike was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The character was aged just 63 and it wasn't long before he was acting out of character, leaving everyone worried.
Mike made his last appearance on screen in April 2006 when he escaped hospital after being admitted for pneumonia. He made his was back to his beloved factory, where he was ironically found by his old rival Ken.
The pair shared some banter about Deirdre for old time's sake, and as Mike suffered a massive heart attack, he died in Ken's arms with his last words being "You're finished Barlow, Deirdre loves me, she's mine!".
Picture credits: Main pic: ITV/REX/Shutterstock
Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia.
After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off.
She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz!
As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.
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