Tracy Barlow was banged up for murdering boyfriend Charlie Stubbs in April 2007, so it was a real shock for the residents of Coronation Street when she arrived in a taxi at Christmas in 2010.

It was just a week after the dramatic tram crash that killed Ashley Peacock and Molly Dobbs, and put Tracy’s brother Peter in a wheelchair and the residents of the Street were gathering together for a memorial service on the cobbles.

When the taxi pulled up, no one paid much attention. Until out came Tracy Barlow.

“It’s the most unexpected arrival for 2000 years,” she announced to the gobsmacked crowd.

Tracy Barlow Coronation Street
“The most unexpected arrival for 2000 years,” said Tracy (Credit: ITV)

While her parents Ken and Deirdre were delighted to see her, the rest of the Street weren’t so welcoming.

Soapbox Extra: Christmas Countdown 20 Sean and Roxy EastEnders 2008

“She’s large as life and twice as nasty,” said Audrey. Can’t argue with that. Especially as Tracy had lied in court, testifying that Audrey’s daughter Gail had murdered husband Joe.

Gail Coronation Street
Gail and Audrey were furious (Credit: ITV)

Of course the person who was most bothered by Tracy’s arrival was Steve McDonald, who’d been caring for little Amy while her mother was away, along with his wife Becky.

Steve and Becky McDonald Coronation Street
Steve and Becky were worried when Tracy showed up (Credit: ITV)

The couple were not impressed at Tracy storming into the pub and demanding to see her little girl and worried that she would try to take her away from them (rightly, as it turned out).

Tracy Barlow Coronation Street
Tracy’s return was odd at the time but now we’re glad she back! (Credit: ITV)

Tracy’s return was a bit odd at the time, with lots of viewers questioning why she was back. But after a shaky start, she was soon back to her old self and now – 10 years on – she’s a vital part of Coronation Street and that murder conviction is just a distant memory.

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