Coronation Street's Roy reduces us to tears with his memories of Hayley

There is no character in Coronation Street more capable of reducing us to tears than Roy Cropper (David Neilson). The kind, gentle, quirky Roy has a way of expressing himself that gets right to the heart of things, possibly because he’s a man who only speaks when he feels he has something worth saying.

And there’s no subject closer to Roy’s heart than his beloved wife Hayley (Julie Hesmondhalgh), even though it’s been eight years since she died.

In tonight’s episode Bernie (Jane Hazlegrove) was having a clear-out of Roy’s flat and Nina (Mollie Gallagher) said she could take some things to the charity shop. A box of Roy’s things was set aside, but the driver accidentally took those, too. When Nina realised this she told Roy it had been a box of old musty clothes that hadn’t been used in years, like they’d been forgotten.

‘Very much the opposite of forgotten,’ Roy said. ‘They’re Hayley’s things.’

As Nina apologised, Roy lost his temper for a moment but quickly apologised. Nina said she’d find everything and asked him to list what had been in the box. The very first item was the absolute heartbreaker.

‘Red anorak,’ he said. ‘Her coat. Practical, she’d say. Warm and, depending on how heavy the rainfall, showerproof.’

He said that in the same way that certain music could make Nina recall Seb, that coat could make him recall Hayley. ‘That raincoat is my Proustian madeleine,’ he said. ‘Knowing it’s there – was there – makes me feel that she’s still here somewhere.’

Who would have thought we could be so desperate for someone to find an old coat and return it to its owner?

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