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Graeme returned full-time in November after proving popular.

May saw the departure of another Duckworth when Paul Clayton was written out, as the focus shifted to Tyrone and Molly Compton's family; Molly's "Auntie Pam" Hobsworth was introduced in July while Margi Clarke briefly reprised her role of Jackie Dobbs for the first time since 1999 in August.

As the Platts had lost Sarah and Bethany the previous year, writers introduced new blood to the family.

September also saw Vernon Tomlin and Marcus Dent leave for pastures new after actors Ian Reddington and Charlie Condou quit the programme.

The numerous arrivals included Patti Clare as eccentric competition fanatic Mary Taylor, Katy Cavanagh as Kirk Sutherland's girlfriend Julie Carp, Sophiya Haque as Rovers barmaid Poppy Morales, Philip Mc Ginley as the Connors' cousin Tom Kerrigan, Rachel Leskovac as hairdresser Natasha Blakeman and Ayesha Dharker as Tara Mandal, while John Thomson played children's entertainer Jesse Chadwick in three episodes ahead of his return full-time the following June, Julie Hesmondhalgh re-appeared on-screen in November after her year away, Graeme Hawley was brought back as John Stape six months after his affair with Rosie Webster ended in January, and Claire Peacock disappeared in July when Julia Haworth went on maternity leave.

Tina was followed by her father, kitchen fitter Joe who began a relationship with Gail.

Meanwhile, Gail's absent father Ted Page finally appeared, the programme's first older gay regular.

The transmission patterns on Fridays mirrored that of the Monday double-bill, which were typically the highest-rated episodes of the week.