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{{Quote"Oh look Charlie, on your knees after all. And just so you know.... I hate you! I hate everything about you - I hate the way you strut in your vest; I hate the way you swirl your beer; I hate the way you lie, and cheat, and twist things!! But most of all Charlie.... I've hate what you've done to me! And when I asked you to go down on one knee.... it was just so I can do THIS!|Tracy's to her ex-boyfriend Charlie Stubbs as she infamously kills him to exact revenge for cheating on her and betraying their relationship.}}

Tracy McDonald (formally Barlow) is a recurring antagonist-turned-protagonist villain of the ITV British soap opera Coronation Street.

She has been played by many actresses over the years, though she is best well-known for being portrayed by Kate Ford, who has played Tracy since the character's villainy evolved over the years.


Tracy McDonald could be considered a major antagonist in the show during the 2000s and 2010s, as her scheming and storylines have involved a lot of characters and she sets out to hurt others.

Throughout 2010-2015, she served as a central character and major antagonist for the first three years. In 2014, she is one of the main protagonists while her boyfriend, Rob Donovan, served as the main antagonist. This is for a fact that the series key character, Tina Mcintyre, was murdered and that Tracy was one of the four suspects that was to kill her. However, she wasn't the killer, although she seemed rather pleased that Tina won't mess with her again, now that she is dead. But her mood later changes when her brother, Peter, is arrested for suspicion of murder, even when she believes that Rob's brother, Carla, had killed her. Between the end of October and the beginning of November however, her wedding ends in a disaster when she learns that Rob is the killer, which led Tracy to betray Rob by having the police come to his location to arrest him. By this time, she becomes Carla's arch rival and in 2015, despite saving her from an bus accident in January, begins to believe that she will destroy her as she did to Peter and Rob.

At this time, Tracy becomes a a supporting antagonist in the 2015 series when she plans to murder Carla in her sofa, but a noise in her flat forces her to flee and leave the candle right where the lamp is, this causes a fire in Carla's flat with herself and even Tracy's daughter, Amy, inside the burning flat. Amy and Carla are eventually rescued by Kal and Leanne, who are caught in the crossfire as well, just as the flat explodes before the fire department managed to clear the fire away. However, Tracy's cautions of starting to fire has killed Kal just seconds after Leanne had escape while Maddie, another of Tracy's enemies, gets caught in a second explosion and dies of her injuries. Although admitted her part to Carla and some of the neighbours knew it, she got off with the arson due to lack of evidence. Following the incident she planned to better her behaviour and not become as vengeful.


Tracy was not always a villain. She was born in 1977 to parents Ray and Deirdre Langton. When her father left a year later, Deirdre later married Ken Barlow and Tracy was adopted by him. Home life could be difficult at times, with Ken and Deirdre cheating on each other and other issues. During her teenage years in the early 1990s, Tracy was moody and loud, and this didn't help with the separation of her parents. In 1994 she took an ecstasy tablet which caused kidney problems. Her mother's new husband Samir Rachid agreed to donate, but was beaten to death by thugs on the way to the hospital. She still got the donation, but Samir had died. In 1997 Tracy married a lad called Rob Preston and moved to London with him.

The darker side to Tracy returned on Christmas Day 2002. She left her husband after cheating on him (which she claimed he cheated on her instead). She drugged local greasy spoon owner Roy Cropper and slept with him. She gave birth to a baby girl called Amy, and claimed it was Roy's, but it was Steve McDonald's, which occurred after a one-night stand with him. Tracy ruined Steve's wedding to Karen by announcing Steve was the father of her child.

Tracy kills Charlie in cold blood.

In 2006, Tracy began a relationship with builder Charlie Stubbs, who was known for having a temper. When she found out he had cheated on her, she plotted to murder him. She began to claim he was abusing her, and causing herself bruises. In January 2007, she struck Charlie round the head with a blunt instrument two times. She tried to put it down to abuse, but the courts saw through her and sent her to prison for 15 years.

Three years later, Tracy shared a cell with Gail McIntyre, who was wrongly accused of the murder of her husband Joe. Tracy tried to get an early release by claiming that Gail confessed, but the courts knew she was lying again and dismissed the claim and Gail was released found not guilty. Tracy was then beaten up by some women in prison who took a shine to Gail in revenge. However later in the year, an investigator who worked during Charlie's murder was found to have faked crime scenes before. Tracy was released pending a new trial, and stirred up trouble for the residents, before being beaten up by Claire Peacock. Tracy was found not guilty at her new trial, and set a plan into motion for getting Steve back and breaking him up from his wife Becky. When Steve and Becky separated, Tracy got into a relationship with Steve and fell pregnant to his twins. But after an argument with Becky Tracy fell down the stairs and lost the babies, and stated Becky pushed her. Steve married Tracy out of guilt, but was shocked when Becky showed evidence that Tracy was lying, and lost the kids before the fall down the stairs. Steve then broke up with Tracy.

However Tracy still wanted Steve. When he dated Michelle Connor, Tracy got revenge by dating Michelle's young son Ryan. But he found out what she was really like and dumped her when she attempted to fake a pregnancy.

Tracy got into a relationship with Carla Connor's brother Rob Donovan and the pair of them set up a pawn shop named Barlow's Buys. Her family didn't approve as they felt that Rob would be a bad influence of her (despite her being just as worse). After her father Ken left Weatherfield to look after sick grandson Adam, Tracy convinced her mother to let Rob move in and the pair later got engaged. They began getting involved in dodgy dealings with Tony Stewart when he gave them supplies for the shop. This came to the attention of (yet another) nemesis of Tracy - barmaid Tina McIntyre (whom Peter Barlow was engaged in an affair behind his wife Carla's back). On the night Tracy helped collect stolen goods with Tony. On that same night Rob ended up bludgeoning Tina when she threatened to expose the affair and ruin Carla's marriage (unknown to Rob at the time, Peter actually confessed to the affair to Carla at the pub).

Peter was wrongfully locked up when he was suspected of the crime. Tracy supported her father on his return, especially when Deirdre decided to leave Weatherfield to get a break from the stress. Peter was later found guilty and sentenced to 15-years in prison.

Tracy decided it was best to go ahead with the wedding as there would be something happy in the Barlow family. But on the stag and hen night, Rob confessed to Carla that he killed Tina, but begged her not to report him to the police. However on the day of the wedding Carla phoned the police and Rob did a runner. Tracy was angry and attacked Carla, and ended up being arrested on suspicion of conspiring with Rob, but got released due to no evidence. Rob contacted Tracy and she "planned" to run away with him, but ended up phoning the police who arrested Rob at their meet point at a warehouse. Tracy was distraught as Rob was taken away and he refused to answer her pleas for forgiveness.

Tracy was stressed over Rob's incarceration and blamed Carla for reporting him to the police (despite it allowing Peter to be released from prison). Tracy broke into Carla's factory and smashed up the office, and the pair got into a tussle before Carla calmed Tracy down and told her Rob made his choice and that she should move on.

Tracy was involved in a minibus in January 2015 when she attended a night out with the Underworld staff. A racer on the road caused Steve to swerve and the minibus tripped and hung from a quarry. The underworld staff managed to escape, and Tracy went round the side and checked the front and realised Carla was still trapped. When the underworld staff asked Tracy if Carla was there, she was forced to admit to it and climbed in and managed to pull her out just before the minibus went over the edge. Carla was grateful towards Tracy for saving her life. But this was about to change.


  • Tracy is the longest running antagonist in the series, as her villainy stretches back to 2002, meaning that as of December 2018, she has been a villain for sixteen years. Although in the recent years, despite Tracy's sarcastic manner and sometimes lack of sympathy for others, her behavior has been toned down and she is more or less an anti-villain.