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"How long have you known me?. These flats, they ain't gonna happen!".
~ Vinny explaining to his partner-in-crime Pat Phelan about their plan to defraud the Weatherfield community with their Calcutta Streets flats scam project.

Harvey "Bruce" McArdle, more commonly known as Vinny Ashford, is a fictional character and major antagonist of the British soap opera show Coronation Street. He appears as a secondary antagonist in 2016, a minor antagonist in 2017, and later served as a mentioned character in 2018.

He was portrayed by Ian Kelsey.

History

Vinny Ashford first arrived in Weatherfield on August 2016 to tell his cohort Pat Phelan about his flat development plan and find out whether he was interested in investing. Later that day the pair met at Rovers to discuss the financial aspects of the project. Phelan assured Vinny that he would be able to get his hands on money but it would take some time - in reality, Phelan's plan was to get Eileen Grimshaw to agree to invest £65,000 of her son Jason's money in the scheme. Vinny then revealed the truth: the flats weren't actually going to be built and his plan was just an attempt to con people out of the money they would be putting up front for deposits. Following this admittance, Phelan agreed to help Vinny put his scheme into practice.

Later in the month, Vinny called round at 11 Coronation Street unannounced - on the same day that Eileen was due back from visiting Jason in Thailand. After Phelan tried to stall once more, Vinny eventually realized that the investment capital was not actually his own money in the first place and warned Phelan that the clock was ticking since there were plenty of others lined up to invest. However, it turned out that Jason had looked over the details and decided to invest his £65,000 in the development, and while at the Rovers, Phelan phoned Vinny to confirm that it was now "all systems go" and told him that he would get the money as soon as it had cleared through the bank. By November 2016, Vinny took the opportunity to flee without Phelan once the scam was completed.

Nearly a year later, Vinny would later returned after Phelan blackmailed him in meeting him under the threat of harming his mother Flora. Though he reluctantly obliged, Vinny was subsequently taken hostage by Phelan and - having failed to have him killed earlier on - is consequently killed by fellow prisoner Andy Carver; who was manipulated by Phelan into executing Vinny under the belief that he killed his father figure Michael Rodwell, whom Phelan himself committed on the day before Vinny betrayed him as the duo were previously bitter rivals. Ironically, Phelan would shortly afterwards execute Andy to eliminate all loose ends. Both their bodies were subsequently dumped in a pond on a disused site.

Several months after Vinny and Andy were killed, Phelan attempted to hide their bodies when building work began on the site. When Phelan's archnemesis Gary Windass and their mutual acquaintance Seb Franklin learned about this, they came to suspect that Phelan has buried the gun on the site. However, as they don't know that the bodies are buried there, Gary and Seb are more concerned with the fact that Phelan had recently killed Andy's best-friend Luke Britton in early 2018 - as Luke was questioning Phelan over the circumstances behind Andy's disappearance and thus posed a potential threat to exposing his fate along with that of Vinny himself. At the same time, Eileen learned the truth behind Phelan's involvement in the Calcutta Street scam and he resorts to blaming Vinny before claiming that he has not seen him since his betrayal.

Eventually, Gary and Seb managed to unearth the bodies whilst seeking to expose Phelan's involvement in the deaths of both Michael and Luke. When Eileen learns about this during a holiday trip with Phelan, she confronts him and he confesses his crimes to her - including that he kidnapped Vinny and got him killed by forcing Andy to murder him on the same night he murdered Andy as well. This served as of the contributing factors to Phelan's downfall as he sought to evade the authorities. Soon after Phelan's crimes became public knowledge, Flora learns that her son has died and seeks the help from her lodger Daniel Osbourne and his relative Adam Barlow to arrange Vinny's funeral. Soon enough, Vinny's death - along with Andy's and the rest of Phelan's victims - were avenged when Phelan gets killed by his archenemy and Gary's mother Anna Windass in their final showdown' as Phelan had raped Anna by blackmailing her into sleeping with him and destroyed her relationship with her lover and his old business partner Owen Armstrong back in 2014.

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Trivia

  • Ian Kelsey (the actor who played Vinny Ashford) also portrayed Dave Glover in Emmerdale; his character of Dave was best recognized in a highly-prolific love triangle storyline involving Kim Tate and her husband Frank Tate in between 1994-1996.