Nick and Leanne

Coronation Street’s Nick and Leanne: The history of their relationship

Is their almost-30-year romance FINALLY for keeps?!

Nick Tilsley and Leanne Battersby in Coronation Street rival Ken and Deirdre Barlow for the amount of times a soap couple have split up and got back together.

Their romance has gone from meeting as teens and defying their parents wishes to get married, to affairs, violence, baby drama and lots and lots of secrets.

Now they seem happy and settled as they are – running the Bistro together and caring for Nick’s son, Sam.

But is their romance the real deal ?

Here is the history of Nick and Leanne’s relationship from its beginning almost 30 years ago!

Young love!

Nick and Leanne first met when Nick (who was played by Adam Rickitt back then) returned from a stint living in Canada with his Uncle Stephen in 1997.

Yes, that Uncle Stephen! Obviously that was before he was a serial killer (at least, we think so!)

Nick fell for 16-year-old Leanne (Jane Danson) and lost his virginity to her, but Gail didn’t approve of the relationship (of course she didn’t!) so they kept things a secret.

Editorial use only. Exclusive - Premium Rates Apply. Call your Account Manager for pricing. Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/REX/Shutterstock (670025ez) 'Coronation Street' TV - 1998 - Leanne Battersby,[Jane Danson] marries Nick Tilsley,[Adam Rickitt] ITV ARCHIVE
Nick married Leanne in a classy ceremony (Credit: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)


Things intensified in only the way a teen relationship can, and Nick proposed to Leanne. They eloped to Gretna Green before breaking the news to a horrified Gail. They then rented a room off Ashley Peacocke at number 4 Coronation Street determined to prove their independence.

Leanne gave up her hairdressing course to work in Rita’s Kabin, while Nick was at college studying. During a lecture his father’s killer Darren Whateley did a talk about prison life and Nick, realising who the man was, wanted revenge.

When he found out Darren was due parole, Nick started writing to him in Leanne’s name. He mentioned this error of judgement when Sam was writing to Harvey – his mum’s murderer.

Darren was released and turned up to see Leanne. Nick arrived to rescue her in the nick of time and Darren was sent back to prison for breaking his parole conditions.

Editorial use only. Exclusive - Premium Rates Apply. Call your Account Manager for pricing. Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/REX/Shutterstock (669637rs) 'Coronation Street' TV - 1998 - Darren Whateley (Andy Robb) pays a visit to Leanne Tilsley (Jane Danson). ITV ARCHIVE
Darren attacked Leanne (Credit: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Falling apart

The strain on Nick and Leanne’s relationship was huge after the incident and so was the financial pressure – it turned out a wage from the Kabin wasn’t enough to pay their bills, so Nick started modelling for art teacher Miranda Peters.

Leanne suspected him of cheating and accused him as much in front of Miranda, and refused to attend his 18th birthday party.

However, when Nick was attacked by Leanne’s half-brother Greg Kelly, Leanne returned to Nick and told him she was pregnant.

Encouraged by Miranda, Nick demanded Leanne have an abortion and she reluctantly did so, but was upset when he told everyone she had lost their baby.

Moving on

Leanne told Nick she no longer loved him. He returned to Canada alone in 1999.

Nick came back in 2002 and started a relationship with Maria Connor (nee Sutherland – Samia Longchambon), and they moved to Canada together, but they didn’t work out and she returned alone.

Nick followed her back to Weatherfield in 2003 and was involved in the Street’s first gay kiss when sister Sarah Platt’s (Tina O’Brien) boyfriend Todd Grimshaw (Bruno Langley) kissed him.

Nick and Maria rekindled things, but when Leanne, who had departed the cobbles in 2000, returned in 2004 she decided to cause trouble – wanting revenge on Nick, and to punish Maria for sleeping with Leanne’s sister Toyah’s boyfriend.

Leanne lured Nick to her flat, took a picture of them together, and sent it to Maria, who dumped Nick. He departed once again for a job in Nottingham.

Editorial use only. Exclusive - Premium Rates Apply. Call your Account Manager for pricing. Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/REX/Shutterstock (709206qx) 'Coronation Street' TV - 2004 - Maria Sutherland is not amused when she finds out her new friend Leanne Battersby [Jane Danson] is non other than her boyfriend Nick Tilsley's [Adam Rickitt] ex wife. All hell breaks loose in the Rovers as she lays in to an amused Leanne. Betty Williams [Betty Driver] looks on in horror. ITV ARCHIVE
Leanne and Nick’s reunion wasn’t exactly a happy one (Credit: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Return to Weatherfield

Nick (now played by Ben Price) returned in 2009 to stop Gail marrying Joe McIntyre, but Leanne was in a relationship with Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne) at this point.

Peter and Leanne had been about to open a bar, but his alcoholism was a huge problem and Nick ended up taking over the premises under the viaduct and opening The Joinery, convincing Leanne to become his bar manager.

The Joinery opened in November 2010 and Leanne and Nick began an affair. But the tram crash in December 2010 saw Leanne marry Peter on his deathbed, only for him to survive.

Editorial use only. Exclusive - Premium Rates Apply. Call your Account Manager for pricing. Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/REX/Shutterstock (1278399as) Nick Tilsley [Ben Price] and Leanne Battersby [Jane Danson] kiss. 'Coronation Street' TV Programme. - 2010
The chemistry was still there all those years later (Credit: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Backwards and forwards

Leanne ended things with Nick, committed to her marriage, and nursed Peter through his rehabilitation.

However, Nick wasn’t happy and began trying to manipulate Peter into drinking again.

As Peter and Leanne planned a marriage blessing for February 14, 2011, Tracy discovered Nick’s affair with Leanne and told Peter. At the wedding, he revealed all and demanded a divorce.

Leanne decided to leave, but Ken persuaded Peter to give things another go and he caught her at the station, bringing her back to Weatherfield.

It wasn’t meant to be however, as Peter began an affair with Carla Connor (Alison King) and it ended his marriage to Leanne for good.

Still with us?!

Back together?

Leanne and Nick resumed their relationship in June 2012, but jealous Eva Price (Catherine Tyldesley), who had been with Nick prior to this, set Nick up by suggesting he proposed to Leanne, knowing her half-sister would say no.

Although she did say no – just as Eva thought – Leanne soon realised she did love Nick and proposed to him in the Rovers.

They planned their wedding for Christmas Day 2012, but Peter and Carla returned to the Street a few days before, sparking old feelings for Leanne.

On the morning of her wedding to Nick, Leanne visited Peter, who had been left by Carla, and said she was prepared to give their relationship another go. But Carla reappeared and Leanne decided to marry Nick.

Spiteful Eva revealed the truth about why Leanne was late to her wedding during the ceremony, so Nick called the whole thing off and slept with his brother David’s wife, Kylie Platt (Paula Lane).

Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/REX/Shutterstock (3529655lv) Coronation Street - Ep 8026 Christmas Day 2012 Leanne Barlow [JANE DANSON] tries to push aside any doubts as she prepares to walk up the aisle with Nick Tilsley [BEN PRICE]. In a rollercoaster of an episode Leanne is forced to face her true emotions and in her wedding dress pays Peter a visit. Meanwhile Eva Price [CATHERINE TYLDESLEY] does her worst in a bid to scupper the day. Will Leanne become Mrs Tilsley? Coronation Street 2012
It wasn’t all smiles for long (Credit: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Who’s the daddy?

Leanne decided to leave, but her plans made Nick realise he loved her and he asked her to stay. They eventually married on January 11, 2013.

But Kylie soon found out she was pregnant and didn’t know who the daddy was.

Meanwhile, David (Jack P Shepherd) had found out about his wife’s one-night stand with his brother and was punishing Nick with a hate campaign.

Nick figured out who was behind it all, and confessed everything to David while they were in the car together, who impulsively undid Nick’s seat belt and grabbed the steering wheel, causing their van to crash into a truck.

The accident left Nick in a coma for nearly two months. When he woke up, he was brain damaged, but Kylie had given birth while he was in the coma, and when she showed him pictures of her daughter, Lily, Nick repeated “mine”.

Nick blackmailed David into taking a DNA test, which proved David was Lily’s dad.

However, the truth came out at Lily’s christening, including the fact that David had tried to kill Nick. Kylie dumped David, and Leanne left Nick.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/REX/Shutterstock (3529682eg) Coronation Street - Ep 8246 Wednesday 30 October 2013 Leanne Tilsley [JANE DANSON] arrives back on the street.  She explains to Stella how she needed to see her family and Simon but she's not sure how she feels about Nick Tilsley [BEN PRICE]. When Leanne calls at No.8 Kylie Platt [PAULA LANE] drags Gail McIntyre [HELEN WORTH] upstairs leaving Nick and Leanne to talk. Nick begs Leanne to put everything behind them and give their relationship another chance but can Leanne forgive a pleading Nick? Coronation Street 2013
Leanne agreed to give Nick another chance – but it didn’t last (Credit: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

More drama!

Leanne returned a few weeks later, and wanted to give their marriage another go, but Nick’s mood swings and brain damage led to him shouting at Simon and hitting Leanne. Although Leanne stood by him, Nick ended things in 2014, not wanting to hurt her.

Leanne then had a relationship with Kal Nazir (Jimi Mistry), who died, while Nick married Carla, but that didn’t work when she slept with Robert Preston (Tristan Gemmill).

While Leanne was helping Nick deal with the fallout from his marriage to Carla, Nick started developing romantic feelings for his former wife once again, but she didn’t feel the same.

Steve McDonald got Leanne pregnant with his bionic sperm in Corrie
Oopsie (Credit: ITV)

MORE baby drama!

After Nick confessed his love, Leanne responded by having a one-night stand with Steve McDonald in June 2016, which saw her fall pregnant.

She decided to leave, but Simon secretly phoned Nick from the coach station and he caught up with them, saying he knew about the baby but he loved her and wanted her to stay. Leanne admitted she loved him too so agreed, and they decided to say the baby was his.

It wasn’t the easiest lie to uphold, and then in February 2017 days after Oliver’s birth, Steve confessed he was the baby’s biological dad. Steve’s wife Michelle Connor (Kym Marsh), who had recently lost her own baby, punched Leanne, and Nick went mad, trying to deny Steve any access to Oliver.

But Leanne said Steve could see Oliver and even put his name on the birth certificate, leaving Nick distraught.

As things reached breaking point, Leanne, Toyah, Nick, Steve and Peter went to the beach in May 2017 to sort out their problems, but Nick ended up getting stuck in quicksand.

Although he was rescued, Nick decided Leanne deserved better and left later that week. One month after, he sold his flat, leaving Leanne , Simon and Oliver homeless and forced to move in with Steve.

They got engaged, but realised that was ridiculous, and ended things.

Coronation Street SPOILER: Nick Tilsley to own the factory again?
Nick wanted Leanne back again (Credit: ITV)

Back on!

When Leanne was involved in a car accident in October 2018, Nick was listed as her in case of emergency contact and he turned up at the hospital.

He stayed by her bedside and when she awoke, a drowsy Leanne told him to stay and that she loved him. But when she came to her senses, she told him to leave.

Nick stayed though and persisted in trying to win her back – which he eventually did, until she discovered he had a secret wife, Elsa.

He insisted it was over, begged and pleaded, and Leanne eventually took him back with the promise of no more secrets.

But Nick stole £80K off his grandmother, Audrey Roberts (Sue Nicholls)!

Leanne looks annoyed while Nick talks to her on Corrie
Leanne and Nick have been through A LOT! (Credit: ITV)

Tragic deaths

Since then the pair have really been through the wringer. Leanne has tragically lost her young son, Oliver to mitochondrial disease. Then Nick discovered he had a son called Sam, with ex-girlfriend Natasha Blakeman.

And then things REALLY kicked off with the family getting mixed up with gangster Harvey Gaskell and his drugs business.

That escapade left Natasha dead – murdered by Harvey in a case of mistaken identity on Halloween.

With so much stress, you’d think Nick and Leanne would have cracked under the pressure but apparently not!

They seem stronger than ever before. Could they walk down the aisle again? Third time’s a charm, right!?

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Carena Crawford
Associate Editor (Soaps)