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"I like anything. Have you got any kids, grown up ones, you know left home?".
~ Sharon's first lines as she meets her foster mother Rita Fairclough for the first time.

Sharon Bentley is a fictional character and recurring anti-villain of the British soap opera Coronation Street. She appeared as a major character in between 1982-1984, a minor character in 1999, and is currently an anti-hero in 2021.

Originally, Sharon was the wayward foster daughter of Rita Tanner after being adopted by the latter and her husband Len Fairclough. The follow-up of Sharon's yearly crisis eventually led to her becoming to aunt of drug lord Harvey Gaskell, whom in 2021 she betrayed in order to take over his drug-dealing empire.

He is played by Tracie Bennett.

Biography

Sharon Bentley first appeared in 1982 as a teenager who in Weatherfield was adopted by local residents Rita Fairclough and her husband Len. She had little contact with her family, particularly from her brothers, and came from a troubled background. She soon left after getting a job outside of the street, but briefly came back in December 1983 following Len's death in a car accident. Sharon attended Len's funeral and got acquainted with local wrongun Terry Duckworth in January 1984; they dated until Sharon discovered Terry's infamous nature before leaving the street once again.

In 1999, fifteen years since her last departure, Sharon reappeared to tell Rita that she was engaged to a man named Ian Bentley. They were set to get married until Sharon learned that Ian cheated on her, and so jilted him at the alter before attacking him in retribution. Sharon then moved back to the street and helped manage Rita's newspaper shop called "The Kabin Newsagents". Rita soon decided to let Sharon takeover The Kabin. Sharon was initially interested, but then she reconciled with Ian following a near suicide attempt. Afterwards, Sharon decided to join Ian for a new life in Bolton and resorted to sell the Kabin. This shocked Rita, who reluctantly brought back The Kabin but was left betrayed by Sharon's decision. Sharon then departed Weatherfield with Ian.

For the next two decades, Rita would often miss Sharon whilst at the same time coping with her absence through other events in her own personal life.

Eventually, Sharon made her return in 2021 - just twenty-two years since her last presence in Weatherfield. She claimed to have survived a cancer scare and wanted to make amends with Rita, further asserting that her relationship with Ian ended badly and that Sharon's brother Wayne had passed away. Rita happily accepted and Sharon moved in with her. Overtime, Rita relayed on many events to Sharon in the past before she started to gossip on the latest incident where one of her neighbors Leanne Battersby and her son Simon Barlow are in witness protection program in order to hide from drug lord Harvey Gaskell despite the latter being remanded in custody. Sharon seemed to take an interest with the story about the events surrounding Harvey. Unbeknownst to Rita and the street, however, Harvey is actually Sharon's nephew.

It soon turns out that Sharon is actually helping Harvey with his plans to try and hunt down Leanne and Simon by targeting Leanne's lover Nick Tilsley and kidnapping the latter's son Sam Blakeman, after his attempt to capture Simon was foiled by Simon's father Peter Barlow. At first Sharon was reluctant to kidnap Sam since he was just a child, but Harvey threatened to kill her if she didn't comply. Sharon relented and allowed Harvey's goons to kidnap Sam in an attempt to force Nick and Leanne and Simon out of hiding.

During this time, Sharon got herself acquainted with Jenny Bradley - who was Rita's other foster daughter as well the daughter of Rita's late tormentor and villainous fiancé Alan Bradley. They seemed to get along until Jenny began to grow suspicious of Sharon's ulterior motives. When Jenny eventually learned that Sharon was Harvey's aunt, she confronted her and planned to report her to the police. Sharon, however, tasered Jenny in the street and put her in hospital. Sharon then blackmailed Jenny to keep quiet, otherwise she would expose her affair with newly-arrived Ronnie Bailey to Jenny's husband Johnny Connor. In the end, though, Jenny confessed her affair to Johnny and it was this realization that caused Sharon to try and flee the street with Harvey's goon. They started to flee when fellow neighbour Gary Windass caught the goon out by stealing his getaway keys. Sharon watched as Harvey's goon chased Gary down into an alley and was about to kill him, but then Sam appeared and knocked out the goon. Sharon then snatched the keys and fled the street just as the police arrive.

A couple of weeks later, Sharon resurfaced and visited Rita - requesting for money under the guise of needing it to sort out her own life. Rita apparently supported Sharon, even when Jenny finds her in the room and warns Rita about her. But then the police turn up, which causes Sharon to realize that Rita had grassed her up by informing them of Sharon's whereabouts. Sharon was arrested and taken into custody, but claimed to forgive Rita - who herself was unhappy with the situation that happened around Sharon. When she was taken into the police station, Sharon managed to negotiate a deal with the police - she would testify against Harvey in exchange for walking free from the station.

Later on, when Leanne gives evidence against Harvey, it was clear that Sharon would determine which of the pair was set to come out triumphant. Harvey expects Sharon to support him since she is his aunt, but to his surprise Sharon instead testifies against him by revealing the extent of Harvey's criminal activities. Consequently, Sharon's contribution to Leanne's testimony against Harvey appears damning enough to guarantee that he will be imprisoned for a long time. Later on, Sharon meets up with Harvey's goon and informs him of how the trial is going. Although it was mostly apparent that Sharon had a change of heart towards Harvey's nefariousness, it is revealed that Sharon's betrayal was mostly intentional as part of her real plan to take over Harvey's drug-dealing empire.

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Trivia

  • The scene where Sharon fires a tazer gun on Jenny has been hailed as one of Corrie's funniest moments of all-time.
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