Coronation Street Barlows v Baldwins: What happened in soap’s biggest feud?

Years of Coronation Street storylines were dominated by the conflict between the Barlows and Baldwins.

One of the most talked-about soap tales ever involved the love triangle between Ken Barlow, his wife Deirdre, and his sworn rival Mike Baldwin.

So what exactly was it about?

Torrid romance between Mike and Deirdre

Deirdre wed Ken Barlow in 1981, who was a lot older and, though we hate to say it, a little boring.

So it came as no surprise when Mike Baldwin, the gorgeous factory owner whom Ken detested, turned her head.

Mike and Deirdre had a passionate relationship. The entire country watched as Deirdre revealed everything to her husband because he wanted her to leave Ken for him.

Mike appeared to have won when he showed up at the Barlows’ door prepared to take Deirdre away.

Deirdre returned to her husband after Ken slammed the door in his face.

The entire country was on edge, and Manchester United’s game scoreboard at Old Trafford even showed the outcome when Deirdre made her choice. It read: Mike 0, Ken 1!

But the conflict between Barlow and Baldwin didn’t end there!

Susan and Mike

Peter Barlow’s twin sister Susan, Ken’s daughter, returned to Weatherfield in the 1980s.

She quickly gave in to Mike Baldwin’s flirtatious charms, much to her father’s displeasure.

When Mike and Susan got engaged and later married, Ken was even more enraged. Even after Peter persuaded him, he would not attend the wedding.

Eventually, the marriage failed, and Susan left Coronation Street.

But it was later discovered that she had been expecting Adam Barlow when she left and had given birth to him.

Ken and Deirdre broke up.

Ken began an affair with Wendy Crozier in 1989; Wendy has since returned to the Street.

Deirdre was outraged when she learned and kicked him out, declaring she had no interest in keeping their marriage together.

Due to Mike and Ken’s collaboration on Free the Weatherfield One, they were eventually reunited after Deirdre was released from prison in 1999, and they later got remarried in 2005.

In Coronation Street, Susan’s reappearance sets up a new Barlow-Baldwin family rivalry.

Susan and little Adam returned to Weatherfield in 2001. Susan wasn’t interested, but Mike was adamant about getting to know his son.

She left Coronation Street as a result, only to pass away in a car accident.

Adam pulled through and returned to the cobbles, where Ken and Mike started a bitter custody dispute.

By that time, Ken and Deirdre had reconciled but they were still not wed. Because he believed getting married to Deirdre would help him obtain custody of his grandchild, Ken even proposed to her!

However, Mike ultimately prevailed, and Adam was sent back to Scotland for boarding school.

Moving scenes as Mike passes away

In 2005, Mike received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. He began to deteriorate and was eventually hospitalized with pneumonia.

When his grandson Jamie left him in the ward by himself for a while, Mike was able to stray, and he eventually found his way back to Coronation Street.

Ken discovered his old adversary in the street, bewildered and terrified. Ken held Mike as he passed away after a heart attack.

“You’re done, Barlow,” he said in his final words. I’m loved by Deirdre. We are my.


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