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Joe Donnelli is a fictional character and recurring antagonist of the British soap opera Coronation Street. He appeared as a major antagonist from August 1967 to December 1970.

He was portrayed by the late Shane Rimmer.



Joe's dad died when he was young, and his mother married another man afterwards. Joe was resentful of his step-dad, as he felt lonely and all his mam's attention went to him.

Coronation Street

Joe became an army GI and murdered Steve Tanner as he owed money to Steve. There was no evidence to incriminate Joe, and most thought Len Fairclough was the culprit, though some suspected Elsie Tanner. Joe had a history of violence, as he once put a German woman in hospital. When his girlfriend Jean Mosely, who he had previously beaten up, showed up, Joe showed no remorse over how he treated her.

Jean was paid by Joe's friend Greg Flint to keep silent. Joe later lodged with Minnie Caldwell, who he got on with. He dated Irma Ogden and began abusing her. While drunk, he confessed his murder of Steve, but frightened Irma into silence.

Greg realized Joe likely killed Steve, as their friend Gary had given him a false alibi. Joe concocted an escape plan and took Minnie hostage until Stan Ogden traded places with her. Joe psychotically forced Stan to perform Silent Night at gunpoint before turning the gun on himself.


Joe is an incredibly volatile and cruel man who cared little for how his actions hurt other and treated everyone awfully, and he had no qualms about physically abusing anyone. Despite this, he did seem to have some self-loathing, as he told Stan he never should have been born.



  • He made a total of 19 appearances throughout his duration on the show.