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It's no good talking to you is it Baldwin? You've got no conscience, you've got no shame. You're vermin, Baldwin. You're nowt but a nasty little bit of crawling vermin. There's only one way to deal with you, and that's just crush you, to smash you till there's nowt but a smear left.
~ Don's last words to his business rival Mike Baldwin before he tries to kill him, which leads to Don himself being killed.

Don Brennan is a fictional character and major protagonist-turned-antagonist of the long-running ITV British soap opera Coronation Street.

He started off as a natural character throughout nearly his entire duration on the serial from 1987 to 1997. However, he slowly became one of the main antagonists up towards his final year in the show upon harboring a grudge against his business rival Mike Baldwin; the conflict between them got out of hand when Don ended up kidnapping Mike's wife Alma, nearly killing her in the process, before later attempting to kill Mike - which only resulted in Don's own demise after he accidentally killed himself in a car crash.

The character was portrayed by Geoffrey Hinsliff.

Development

Don Brennan first arrived in 1987 as a taxi driver. Soon enough he got romantically involved with Ivy Tilsley and the pair later married the following year. However, Don was unable to put up with Ivy, which led to him having a breakdown and crashing his taxi, in which he lost a leg. Ivy later left in 1994 and died off-screen the following year. Don developed money problems in 1997 and blamed Mike Baldwin who gave him a useless business which led to Don targeting Mike in a campaign of revenge, which included arson, kidnapping, and two attempted murders before Don accidentally killed himself. 

Biography

Don Brennan first appeared in Weatherfield as a love interest to local resident Ivy Tilsley. She had been widowed a few years prior after the death of her husband Bert, and ironically enough Don had also been widowed with two daughters and a son. Eventually, Don and Ivy had a relationship and they got married in 1988; Don's children attended the ceremony but would then depart and not be seen again for the rest of the series.

In 1989, Don comforted Ivy when her son Brian is killed in a stabbing - though not before Brian's marriage with fellow neighbour Gail Porter had collapsed; Ivy had long feuded with Gail for years due to their constant bickering. Towards the end of the year, Don was one of the punters at The Rovers Return Inn public house who confronted local villain Alan Bradley when the latter was suspected to have killed his old fiance Rita Fairclough after terrorizing her for months. On the day of Alan's death, Don learned from pub landlord Jack Duckworth that the latter's wayward son Terry had been beaten up by Alan for badmouthing him and his daughter Jenny a few years earlier.

As the 1990s emerged, Don's marriage with Ivy slowly began to collapse as her behaviour grew increasingly erratic following Brian's death. Soon enough he developed a romantic fascination with local hairdresser Denise Osbourne and began harassing her with phone calls. Don's actions resulted in Ivy breaking up with him. When he had a difficult time coping with the seperation, Don attempted to commit suicide by crashing his taxi; he survived but his left leg was consequently amputated. When Ivy learned about this, she comforts Don and they reconcile; however, they split up again and Ivy soon passed away in 1995.

By 1996, Don has grown increasingly unstable and psycotic after getting himself involved with gambling problems. This was partly the result of Don's conflict with his business rival Mike Baldwin; the feud between them had begun after Don lost nearly all of his businesses to Mike in a poker game and owed him a lot of money despite his gambling addiction. After being constantly humilated by Mike for losing his businesses to him and getting punched in The Rovers by him at one point, Don vowed to get revenge on Mike at all costs.

From then onwards, Don sought to achieve nothing but exact vengenance on Mike. His attempts began when Don seduced a woman named Josie Clarke and bought a garage from Mike, only to discover that it had been bought at a reduced price. He also attempted to try and forge business partnerships with both Brian and Gail's son Nick along with his friend Ashley Peacock respectively, but they both rejected him after learning of Don's scheme. Eventually Josie left Don due to his obsession for getting revenge on Mike. Later on, he set fire to Mike's factory called "The Underworld"; however, this only caused Mike to claim the insurance money - which infuriated Don even further.

Taking drastic measures, Don kidnapped Mike's wife Alma by forcing her into his taxi. He attempted to make her believe that Mike was the cause of his problems. When she attempted to escape, however, Don tried to kill her and himself by driving the taxi into a river; however, she escaped and rescued Don before both were later taken to hospital. Alma recuperated from her ordeal whilst Don was held in police custody for kidnap and attempted murder. When Ashley refused to help him again, Don attempted to frame him for setting fire to the factory; however, Ashley's father Fred Elliot helped prove his son's innocence with Mike's help and consequently Don was charged by the police.

Because of his unstable behaviour, Don was sectioned before his trial would take place. Months later he escaped and resorted to kill Mike once and for all. In October 1997, Don kidnapped Mike and tied him up in his factory before preparing to beat him to death. Don nearly succeeded until he was interupted and was forced to flee when Mike escaped. Don then stole Mike's car and, seeing his rival coming onto the road, attempted to drive straight at him in a last-ditch attempt to kill him. But Mike quickly jumped out of the way in time, which caused Don to end up driving into the viaduct wall. Thereupon Mike was helped up by his archenemy Ken Barlow, who along with Rita heard the commotion outside; it was then the car caught fire with Don still inside the vehicle, killing him.

The following day, Mike celebrated Don's death as the other residents coped with the loss of a longstanding neighbour who underwent a troubling path to the end.

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Trivia

  • Another Coronation Street villain, Karl Munro, is similar to Don Brennan (he debuted in the show in 2011, 14-years after Brennan's death).
    • Both are taxi drivers.
    • Both started out normal and neutral but began to develop into villainy.
    • Both had an obsession with getting "revenge" on someone. Don targeted Mike Baldwin, and Karl targeted Jason Grimshaw (although the motivations were different).
    • Both kidnapped someone in their taxi. Don kidnapped Alma Baldwin, and Karl kidnapped ex-girlfriend Stella. However, Don tried to kill Alma in his taxi, whereas Karl tried to beg Stella to get back with him.
    • Both committed arson. Don burnt down Underworld and Karl burnt down the Rovers Return.
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