Coronation Street in Blackpool: Behind the scenes of one of the most shocking deaths filmed in the resort

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The death of Alan Bradley remains one of the most shocking moments in the ITV soap’s history


Julie Goodyear and Barbara Knox in the thick of the action filming on Blackpool's famous promenade
Julie Goodyear and Barbara Knox in the thick of the action filming on Blackpool’s famous promenade (Image: Mirrorpix)

Over 30 years ago, 27million Coronation Street viewers tuned in for the gripping conclusion of one of the TV soap’s most shocking story lines ever.

In October 1989, TV crews brought Blackpool’s seafront to a standstill as they filmed the climactic and grizzly scenes resulting in the death of one of the soap’s most notorious villains.

Alan Bradley, played by the actor Mark Eden, had brought terror to the lives of the street’s inhabitants for three years since first appearing in 1986.

Sadly, Mark Eden died last year at the age of 92 after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, but his brilliant portrayal of the character has served as inspiration for soap villains for years to come.

Despite charming his way into the life of Rita Fairclough (played by Barbara Knox), Alan revealed a thoroughly nasty, even psychopathic, side to his character.

Rita eventually discovers Alan’s catalogue of misdeeds including impersonating her late husband to mortgage her house without consent. As a result, he tries to kill Rita for reporting his crimes and is arrested.

After his release, Alan Bradley continues to torment Rita causing her to flee to Blackpool. With the rest of Weatherfield believing he had killed Rita due to her absence, Alan tracks her down and tries to force her back to cobbles to prove his “innocence”.

After an unsuccessful attempt to bundle Rita into his car, she flees across the promenade – narrowly avoiding being hit by a tram.

However, her pursuer isn’t so lucky, and the nation finally got to see Alan Bradley get his just desserts as he himself is mowed down and killed by the oncoming tram that Rita narrowly avoided, ending his reign of terror for good.

Mark Eden’s brilliant portrayal of the unhinged Alan Bradly has resulted in him being remembered as one of the best soap villains of all time, and the hard-hitting story line as one of the TV soap’s most memorable and shocking moments.

With Mark Eden’s death in 2021 and now more than 30-years since Alan Bradley made his final appearance in the soap, Lancs Live has delved into the archives to find pics of the filming of this most memorable scene on Blackpool’s seafront.