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Listen to me. From now on, all this stops, alright? I want the rest of that money by the end of play tomorrow, and if you know what's good for you, you'll get it.
~ Gary to one of his customers.

Gary Windass is a central villainous protagonist in the long-running British soap opera Coronation Street. He was an anti-hero in 2008-2013, one of the main protagonists in 2014-2018, the protagonist villain in 2019-2020, and once again an anti-hero in 2021-2022.

Overtime Gary began to redeem himself and became more of an anti-hero, although he was still prone to violence and making bad decisions. However, he later developed a villainous streak in 2019 after it transpired that he was indirectly responsible for the death of regular character Rana Habeeb. Then Gary killed his loan shark Rick Neelan in self-defense, before later taking over the latter's illicit business empire and using it to take advantage of those around him. He slightly started to redeem himself when he saved sarah from being run over by a car, saving his sister Faye from being raped by Ray Crosby, took the blame for her when she almost killed Adam, saved Sam from his kidnappers and helped gain justice for Seb’s death by helping Abi have Corey arrested.

He is portrayed by Mikey North.

History

Gary Windass was introduced alongside his parents Anna and Eddie and his uncle Len Windass, who were devised as an antagonistic family to cause trouble for the Platts. When Joe McIntyre fits them a new kitchen, they refuse to pay for it claiming it was faulty, but this was just an excuse not to cough up. The son of Joe's partner, David Platt, gets revenge by going into their house and tearing out the kitchen, but this only leads to Gary and his uncle breaking into the Platt household and destroying their kitchen.

The family are relocated by the council, which is conveniently next to the Platts. However Anna opts for peace and doesn't want the families to keep fighting, but Gary and David refuse to make up. The pair start to feud and become enemies, and they have a fight on Christmas Day when Gary flirts with David's girlfriend (and Joe's daughter) Tina.

After the New Year Gary discovers David's shady past with his family, such as pushing his mother Gail down the stairs and taunts him over it. David snaps at Gary's continued harassment and hits him, which subsequently leads to Gary violently beating David to a pulp. The beating is witnessed by neighbours and Gary is arrested and charged. David is delighted as Gary will no doubt be sent down, however a guilty Tina admits David threw the first punch, and Gary gets off. She breaks off with David after getting fed up with David trying to control and use her to "win" his battle with the Windass family.

Later that year Gary is unemployed and wanting work. David, in an attempt to truly send him down, offers him an opportunity to break into a house. Gary carries out the job, not aware the house belongs to David's gran Audrey Roberts, who is currently on holiday. Unexpectedly David's granddad Ted arrives to house sit, and Gary accidentally pushes him over trying to escape. Ted later has a heart attack (although survives) and Gary is arrested. However Ted tells the police that Gary did not attack him, and the Platt family were disgusted that David was behind the plan.

Gary was sentenced to two-months in prison and spent the summer of 2009 locked up. Once released he got his desired revenge on David by jumping him late at night and beating him up. After this the feud died down and the pair tolerated each other more.

In late 2009 during Remembrance for the fallen armed forces Gary shows disrespect, much to the disgust of Ted. Gary feels guilty and listens to stories from Ted about his time serving in World War II, and becomes inspired to join the army. However this ends up tragedy because when serving a tour in Afghanistan Gary loses his best friend Quinny and is injured himself. Gary develops Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and when on a night out (with David) he is arrested when attacking a police officer in panic and is discharged from the army.

From 2010 onwards, Gary got a job as a builder. He then began working for his boss Owen Armstrong, also his mother's boyfriend with whom he clashes with on certain occasions. This has gradually been calmer despite Eddie leaving the street due to Anna adopting her daughter Faye Butler, who would be Gary's would-be adoptive sister. Gary also dates Owen's eldest daughter Izzy Armstrong and they end up having a son, Jake, after Tina agrees to be their surrogate. Gary also bonds with Izzy's sister Katy at the same time.

In 2013, Gary and Owen get into conflict with the latter's old acquaintance Pat Phelan. This continues in 2014 when Phelan sexaully harrasses Anna, and when Gary finds out he confronts Phelan and warns him to stay away from his family. Phelan instead taunts Gary by calling Anna a tease and a tart, which causes Gary to punch Phelan. They fight and Gary ends up knocking Phelan unconcious with a paperweight. Phelan then blackmails Gary and Owen into working for him without payment by threatening to take a CCTV footage of Gary attacking him to the police; Owen reluctantly complies despite Gary's protests and both their families suffer dire financial straits due to Phelan's blackmail. Gary is further sickened to learn that Phelan only stopped blackmailing them when Anna asked him to do, and Phelan agreed to do it if Anna slept with him; because of this, Phelan had raped Anna.

Soon afterwards, Owen leaves the street in 2015 after his relationship with Gary's mother collapses because of Phelan's actions. Then in 2016 Phelan returns and both Gary and Anna continue their long-running feud with him. In 2017, Gary meets Phelan's long-lost daughter Nicola Rubinstein and they have a one-night stand that results in her getting pregnant with his baby. This comes during Gary's relationship with David's sister Sarah and not long after he helps the family support Sarah's daughter Bethany, who had underwent a horrific ordeal of being subjected to child grooming and sexual exploitation by pimp boss Nathan Curtis along with his friend Ian Yardley and corrupt policeman Neil Clifton. In the end, though, Gary supports the Platts when they help Bethany tell the jury what Nathan and his cohorts did to her; subsuqently Bethany's tormentors and rapists are found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.

By 2018, Gary's feud with Phelan has escalated when the villain frames Anna for pushing Faye's boyfriend Seb Franklin off a ladder; Phelan did this in revenge after Anna told Nicola the truth about her father, and then Nicola used this discovery to find out that her own mother Annabel had been raped by Phelan just nine months before her own birth. They are unable to exonerate Anna when she is found guilty because of Phelan's criminal expertise, but then Seb tells Gary that Phelan had killed local resident Luke Britton with a gun. As such, Gary learned from his mother that Phelan had left Sarah's stepfather Micahel Rodwell to die of a heart attack for discovering Phelan's scam project called Calcutta Street; Phelan would then go on to marry Michael's old girlfriend Eileen Grimshaw, even though Gary had warned her sons Todd and Jason about him.

Eventually at the end of March 2018, Gary and Seb finally managed to expose Phelan as a killer when their attempts to unearth the gun that he used to kill Luke has instead led to another discovery; the dead bodies of Phelan's ex-business partner Vinny Ashford and fellow victim Andy Carver. It transpired that Phelan had unlawfully imprisoned Andy in a cellar for discovering his crimes, then killed him after forcing him to kill Vinny in revenge for the latter betraying Phelan in their Calcutta Street project. Months later, Gary kidnaps Phelan and attempts to get revenge on him for his crimes. Sarah finds out about this and attempts to stop Gary by revealing her past situation - that her late villainous lover Callum Logan had been murdered by David's wife Kylie and not Jason's father Tony Stewart as the street had originally believed; Callum tried to rape Sarah on the night he did, and her ordeal is something she senses that Gary has inherited from his feud with Phelan. However, Gary persists on going through with his revenge. But then Phelan escapes and imprisons them before shooting both Nicola and fellow resident Michelle Connor in an attempt to escape Weatherfield, no sooner after Nicola had given birth to her and Gary's baby Zack; however, Anna returns and kills Phelan by stabbing him to death.

The aftermath of his feud with Phelan sees Gary attempting to move forward with his life. In 2019, however, complications emerge when it transpires that Gary was responsible for sabotaging the Underworld factory which collapsed and killed fellow resident Rana Habeeb on her wedding day to Michelle's sister-in-law Kate Connor. That same time, he found himself indebt to notorious loan shark Rick Neelan and was constantly harrased by him. Then Rick attempted to kill Gary, but in the end Gary killed Rick in self-defense.

Gary then proceeded to takeover Rick's loan-sharking operation to build his own business organization. This leads to the breakdown of his relationship with Sarah and a subsquent feud with her would-be husband Adam Barlow. At the same time, Gary romances with Michelle's sister-in-law Maria Connor and they become engaged. This comes no sooner after Maria had broken up with her boyfriend Ali Nielson, and he begins feuding with Gary. Moreover, Ali's brother Ryan - whom Gary previously clashed over his broken relationship with Gary - has unwittingly stolen Gary's money from his desk at his shop. Gary later beats up Ryan after the latter is unable to repay him the money back.

Overtime, Gary plans to usurp control of the Underworld Factory and conducts a plan where his client Derek Milligan is summoned to pose as a businessman seeking to rebuild the Underworld Factory. Gary soon blackmails Derek, who owes money to Gary, into upholding his scheme to takeover the factory. This continues when Gary threatens to deal with Derek's family should the latter not comply with the former's orders. However, when Derek attempts to stand up to Gary and nearly foils his scheme as a result, Gary retaliates by holding him captive until Christmas Eve that year. Because of this, Derek has lost his last-chance of reconciling with his ex-wife and their children. Seeking retribution, Derek steals a gun from Gary's shop and ends up instigating a siege in The Rovers while trying to find Gary. When Gary attempts to call his bluff, Derek fires the gun to prove his intent on killing Gary - unknowingly shooting Michelle's estranged husband, Robert Preston (Tristan Gemmill), in the process. Derek's siege culminates with him and Gary fighting near a roof, whereupon Shona gets shot during the struggle - wherein Gary also gets shot before Derek ends up tumbling below the roof. Gary attempts to bring Derek up to safety, but loses his grip and could only watch as Derek falls to his death.

Afterwards, Gary is later rushed to hospital; he thereupon learns that Shona has recovered from her gunshot wound while Robert has died from his injuries. Later on, Izzy met with Derek's wife and found out that he was in debt to a loan shark. Izzy then realizes Gary was the loan shark Derek was in debt to. At the Rovers, Izzy agreed with Ali that Gary is a loan shark and deamnds that Gary swear on Jake's life that he isn't a loan shark. Gary denies this in public but later confesses the truth to Maria, who is furious he lied to her twice and tells him to get out. However, they soon reconcile and later get married.

In the 2020s, Gary finds himself constantly attempting to cover-up his role in Rick's death on cerain occasions. He then confesses the truth to Sarah and she decides to call the police, but changes her mind when Gary saves her from getting hit by a car and he instead gets hit by the vehicle. At the same time, Gary supports Faye when she nearly gets raped by her unscrupulous boss Ray Crosby on the same night her villainous grandfather Geoff Metcalfe has died when he fell off his roof to his death. Gary later refuses to do business with Ray at the bequest of his business partner Debbie Webster, also the brother of Anna's old boyfriend Kevin Webster.

In 2021, Gary learns that Faye mistakenly attacked Adam when she thought he was Ray and the police are investigating the matter. He incriminates himself to spare Faye the ordeal, but then she confesses the truth to exonerate her brother and to also expose Ray's true colors. This successfully works despite Faye being in prison for months due to Ray pleading not guilty to Faye's attempted rape, but then Debbie forced him to change his plea by threatening to expose his role in the subsquent death of Kate's father Johnny from a storm. In November 2021, Gary helps Seb's grieving mother Abi Franklin avenge his death by bringing Seb's killer Corey Brent and his father Stefan to justice; Gary had taken their getaway van and brought it to the police station, where Corey was arrested and charged for Seb's death.

By 2022, Gary and Maria have taken Rick's daughter Kelly Neelan into their care. They are unhappy when Kelly's neglectful mother Laura resurfaces due to Kelly's troubled past with her. Most recently, Gary is determined to prevent Kelly and Laura from discovering the truth about Rick's death when they keep on asking him about his supposed dissappearence - as nobody has yet discovered that Gary had in fact killed Rick due to their problems.

Quotes

Evil scum!
~ Gary's first line
Oh, but I do. Because we both know I should call the GMC.
~ Gary to Ali Neeson
About your debt? Well the interest's back on, and it's doubled. Have a great night!
~ Gary to Ryan Connor

Trivia

  • Having so far killed four people as of December 2019, some have argued Gary has become the person he most despised: his archenemy Pat Phelan.
  • Despite becoming a villain in 2019, he still had redeemable qualities.

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