Alec Gilroy was a major character and occasional Villain in British Soap Opera Coronation Street. Though Alec was never sadistic or cruel he was a money grubbing businessman willing to resort to unsavory acts to get ahead. His grandson-in-law Steve McDonald even mentioning how Alec shafted people all his life.
Alec left school to get into grafting at the age of 14 but it did not work. Alec set up an act using trained ferrets, performing with his Sister Edna at any Venue that would have them. The act ended after Edna got Married. Alec then got a backstage job at the Weatherfeild Majestic. One of Alec's acts Harry Crosby, was assisted by his daughter Joyce who Alec fell in love with and proposed to. She later ran off with a footballer called Stan Shaw, leaving behind a heartbroken Alec. In order to cope Alec threw himself into his work to distract himself.
In The Show
In 1972 Alec managed the Working Men's club in Victoria Street where he first met Rita Littlewood through her being a client of his. At eighty years old talent agent Joe Blunstone was retiring which meant his agency of acts would soon be on the market. Alec offered the man 50 0/0 of the agency's takings for the rest of his life in exchange for Alec getting the the rest with no money down. a week after Joe accepted he dropped dead and Alec basked in his good fortune.
After Joe's death Alec's acts gradually deserted him as they had only stayed out of loyalty to Joe.
Years Later Alec was running the Grafiti Club originally opened by Mike Baldwin. It wasn't doing too well but seemed like it could have a resurgence after there was a fire at the rovers return. Alec poached rovers staff Jack Duckworth and Gloria Todd to work behind the bar but they soon deserted him when the rovers reopened.
Alec developed a friendly rivalry with rovers manager Bet Lynch and realized he had feelings for her. When Alec told her she thought he was after her money. This genuinely hurt him and he walked out of her life. When Alec came back to the street he made peace with Bet and gave her a loan that allowed her to get the tennancy of the rovers. Afterwards Alec began working behind the bar and was a handful for Bet ,ordering the staff around and using the backroom as his office causing her to have to remind him the rovers was hers.
Alec ended up Marrying Bet so they'd be able to run the rovers together. After finding out about Bet's previous relationship with Mike Baldwin Alec made hurtful remarks about her being promiscuous. He later apologized and made up with her.
In 1988 Bet announced to Alec that she was pregnant. Alec was worried as he disliked children but he warmed to the idea of being a parent. Sadly Bet had a miscarriage a few days later which was a devastating blow to Alec.
On the same year Alec was mugged but as he hadn't told Bet how much his talent agency made( because he didn't want to share it with her) she just thought he was trying to pull a fast one on the insurance company. When it was proved Alec was telling the truth Bet forgave him but Alec would now be forced to share his money with his wife.
In January 1989 Wally Simpson offered Alec a chance to host a tour but when Alec noticed how jealous Bet was of his friendship with Megan Morgan who was also going on the tour he declined, not wanting to upset his wife.
Alec's accountant Bernie Greenwood informed him that Newton and Ridley were onto Alec about him committing tax fraud so he did the unthinkable and paid 8000 in unpaid tax on his artiste's behalf. He then accepted Wally's offer.
When he returned early to surprise Bet she was nowhere to be found and had gone out with Paul Rigby Because Rigby was a well-known womanizer Alec accused Bet of having an affair. Hoping to get a confession Alec demanded a divorce but this backfired when Bet got a solicitor involved. Alec Fired Bet out of spite and got Paul's wife Stella to fall out with Bet and end their friendship. Jack Duckworth tried to take advantage of their marital problems by informing Newton and Ridley so he could take over the rovers and get back at Alec for his constant ribbing of him . Alec suspected Bet but her defeated attitude made him realise he had it wrong and they agreed to give things another go.
The Same year the death of an old client made Alec feel ashamed of not being there for Sandra and he decided to track his daughter down. When Alec managed to find her he bonded with her husband Tim and their daughter Vicky but she wasn't sure what to make of him, Only showing shock. Sandra later decides she didn't want Alec in her life but Bet had a word with her and convinced her not to cut him out completely.
In July 1991 Sandra and Tim died which was another crushing blow for Alec. Alec supported Vicky with her greif and took care of his granddaughter as he was her closest surviving relative.
In 1992 Alec was asked by a company to manage their entertainment full time. Alec told Bet he wanted to take it but only would if she gave her blessing. She didn't have the heart to say no and accepted. She had a change of heart at the last minute and Alec left telling Bet she had let him down.
Alec was summoned back by Bet so they could prevent Vicky from Marrying her troubel-making boyfriend Steve McDonald who was only after her money. Alec used underhanded tactics such as asking Steve's debtor Frank Mottram to intimidate him and creating a clause in his granddaughter 's will that would give control over Vicky's finances. In the end their efforts were unsuccessful. Alec asked Bet to take him back but she turned him down as she knew he was just as selfish as he's always been.
Alec again returned to the street and in Christmas 1997 he helped Jack's wife Vera out at the rovers and was sworn to secrecy. Jack found out anyway and threatened Alec. Alec convinced Rita not to get a 50\50 partnership with the Duckworths so he could offer one himself which they had to accept as they were in a terrible financial situation despite their dislike of Alec.
Over the years Rita had thought little of Alec but after he gave his cabin to Curly and Raquel Watts she had softened towards him. When Rita was hospitalized over carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of a gas fire installed by Steve. Alec confessed he had feelings for Rita but she fell out with him after he reported Steve against her wishes, feeling Alec was using her to take revenge on Steve for his mistreatment of Vicky. When Rita became forgetful Alec came to the recue, taking over the kabin and arranging for her to visit her friend Mavis Wilton.
After a spat with Jack and Vera Alec decided to the end the partnership and move to Southampton but In a surprising twist Rita decided to marry him and Alec pushed for full ownership of the rovers. Alec promised to keep them on as staff and let them stay in their living quarters but as soon as he had total control he fired them, Only stopping short of evicting them because he knew Rita would find it despicable. Jack and Vera asked for Christmas off so they could visit their grandson Tommy. This enraged Alec so much he granted them the holiday with the intention of evicting them in their absence. However they were tipped off and barricades themselves in the rovers On Christmas Eve.
When Rita revealed she had warned the Duckworths Alec dumped her, proving to her that he hadn't really changed at all. Since they had nothing to stay for Alec sold the pub to Natalie Barnes before leaving to never be seen again.
• Alec Fired Liz McDonald shortly after the death of her baby Katie and showed no remorse when her husband Jim Confronted him about it. He then barred Jim as an act of petty revenge.
• He tried to bribe Steve McDonald to not marry his granddaughter Vicky.
• While trying to help his Friend Fred Elliot get Audrey Robberts elected as councilor. Both he and friend tried to bribe her competitor Spider Nugent to drop out but he refused.
• He claimed the salary of his employee Joyce Smedley even after her death.