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Simon Barlow is a fictional character and recurring protagonist of the British soap opera Coronation Street. He debuted in 2003 and later became a supporting protagonist in between 2008-2014, an anti-hero in 2015-2018, and one of the major tritagonists in 2019-2021 onwards.
He is portrayed by Alex Bain.
Simon originally appeared as a baby in 2003, before returning in 2008 as a 5-year old now under the care of alcoholic father Peter Barlow after the death of Simon's mother Lucy. Peter took Simon to Coronation Street for help and support from his parents Ken and Deirdre. Simon then grew close to Peter's new girlfriend Leanne Battersby who worked at Peter's new bookies.
Simon was often portrayed as cheeky, intelligent and a decent young lad despite what he had been going through. Despite his father's problems, Simon still loved him. However over the course of Simon's time in the show he began to grow nastier as his life got more and more tragic and suffered a lot of losses. In 2013, he got traumatized after being forced into makeup by school bully Grace Piper and her reluctant former friend Faye Windass - to which Simon's cousin Amy witnessed in shock. In 2014, he was devastated when his babysitter Tina McIntyre was murdered and that she had also been having an affair with Peter. Peter was wrongfully accused of killing her and Simon hated his father for "killing" her, even though it was in fact Peter's sworn enemy Rob Donovan who killed Tina all along. However, when Rob was exposed as Tina's killer and eventually arrested for her murder, Simon felt guilt-ridden for his father - especially as Peter decided to leave Coronation Street later on; although he assured Simon it wasn't because of him, but because Peter was unable to face the residents for his deceit.
In 2015, Simon suffered more losses in his life. Leanne's boyfriend Kal Nazir perished in a fire when rescuing Simon's cousin Amy Barlow. This was when Simon's behavior start to take a turn for the worst. It started when he threw a remote control at Leanne's face in a fit of rage and was then marched round to his grandad Ken's place so she could cool off for a while. Simon apologized to Leanne and she decided to forget all about it.
When Simon's grandmother Deirdre died, his mood fouled even more and he launched an attack on Leanne when she refused to let him go out and called her ugly. When Simon, along with Leanne and her friend Liz McDonald were held hostage by Liz's ex-boyfriend Dan Jones, he was shocked to learn from Dan that Leanne was a prostitute in the past - with Dan serving as Leanne's abusive client back then. Although Dan was arrested moments later, Simon was disgusted with Leanne and when she tried to explain herself he slapped her across the face. His treatment towards Leanne so continued to the point where he even knocked her out by accident during a confrontation.
In 2016, following another incident where Simon attacks one of his opponents during a football match, Leanne decided to call the police on her son. Simon was arrested the next day and he grew even more incensed with his mother. However, after being forced to seek therapy in order to deal with his anger issues, Simon eventually managed to subside his control and he returned to normal; he and Leanne made up in the process. Later that year, Peter returns to Weatherfield and reunites with Simon. It was then Simon got along better with his family in 2017, and was upset when Ken gets attacked by an unknown assailant. At first the Barlows thought that one of them or local villain Pat Phelan was the assailant, with Simon himself even being suspected at one stage - although the culprit was eventually revealed to be Ken's son Daniel Osbourne.
In 2018, Simon got involved with a gang led by Tyler Jefferies and they began to cause trouble in the street to the point where they perpetuated the mugging of Ken's longtime neighbour Audrey Roberts. This soon continued until Simon grew remorseful and stood up to Tyler, who began to turn on him until Simon eventually gave evidence against Tyler in court. In 2019, Simon learned that Tyler got Amy pregnant and accused by Amy's parents Tracy Barlow and Steve McDonald of getting Amy pregnant; but despite their claims of incest, Simon insisted that he didn't get Amy pregnant and they believed him when her unborn child's parentage is disclosed.
In 2020, Simon and Leanne are devastated when her infant son Oliver was diagnosed with a prolonging ordeal of mitochondrial disease that would eventually take his life in November that year. Simon's grief over Oliver's death was further damaged when he learns from Peter that his lover Carla Connor had an affair with Peter's nephew Adam Barlow. In 2021, Simon's continuing grief led to him getting involved in drug dealer Jacob Hay. They began to cause trouble even when Simon's half step-brother Sam Blakeman discovered his involvement. Soon enough, Simon got into trouble with Jacob's employer Harvey Gaskell after Jacob had ripped off the latter; Harvey later dealt with Jacob off-screen and forces Simon to repay him with Jacob's debt. Leanne soon discovered Simon's involvement and they went into witness protection program to escape Harvey's rampage. But then Simon began to miss his friends along with his girlfriend Kelly Neelan, the daughter of her late father Rick Neelan. Early on Simon had a relationship with Kelly when she grieved her father's death committed by Faye's brother Gary Windass, and was soon shocked to learn that Kelly had been arrested for GBH on cafe worker Nina Lucas and the murder of her boyfriend Seb Franklin - both of which were caused by local hooligan Corey Brent. Eventually, Simon and Leanne came out of witness protection to give evidence against Harvey - who resolved to hunt them down along with Nick and Sam, as well as Sam's mother Natasha altogether.
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- Alex Bain (the actor who played Simon Barlow) was nominated for two separate awards on five different occasions for his well-received performance as the character.