||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (January 2011)|
Cilla in 2007
|Coronation Street character|
|Portrayed by||Wendi Peters|
|Introduced by||Kieran Roberts|
|First appearance||20 October 2003|
|Last appearance||12 October 2007|
|Spin-off appearances||Out of Africa (2008)|
|Date of birth||1967|
Cilla Petunia Aurelia Battersby-Brown (née Brown) was a fictional character in the ITV soap opera, Coronation Street. She was portrayed by Wendi Peters. Her character was the tarty common redhead wife of Les Battersby-Brown and mother of Chesney, Fiz and non-regular character Billy, who is in the army. She left the soap on 12 October 2007, after four years. 
During her time on Coronation Street, she pulled scams and was disliked by most neighbours. She married troublesome Street resident Les Battersby in 2005. Cilla left Weatherfield for Las Vegas in 2007, leaving her young son Chesney behind. Cilla appeared in the DVD special Coronation Street: Out of Africa, released in November 2008, a year since the character's last appearance in the main programme. The events in the DVD were established in the programme itself around the time of the DVD's release.
Cilla first appeared as a barmaid in the Weatherfield Arms, where she met Les Battersby (Bruce Jones). It was when she met resident Fiz Brown (Jennie McAlpine), that it was revealed that they were mother and daughter. It was also revealed that she had left Chesney Brown (Sam Aston) at home alone while she was out having fun with her new man.
When Chesney was hit by Rita Sullivan (Barbara Knox) in mid-January 2004 for shoplifting, Cilla used it as an opportunity to claim compensation. She had Rita arrested and prosecuted for assaulting Chesney as he cut his head when he fell in The Kabin after Rita gave him a clip round the ear. Rita got a night in jail for contempt of court and Cilla received £500 compensation and £500 damages but demanded more from Rita or she would sue her in a civil court. Eventually, Cilla saw sense and dropped the case so Rita scrapped her plans to sell the Kabin. When Janice Battersby (Vicky Entwistle) found out about Les and Cilla's relationship, the two began arguing and occasionally fought physically but eventually Cilla and Chesney moved in with Les and Fiz. Les bought them a large bathtub but when Chesney's pet dog Schmeichel, joined them in it, it went crashing through the floor, due to its size. The next day, Norris Cole (Malcolm Hebden), tries to report the bath incident to the council.
Les and Cilla planned to marry for the sake of the wedding presents they would receive, much to everyone's disgust. When Les's favourite band Status Quo showed up in Weatherfield, Cilla saw another way to make quick money when the band attacked Les for ruining a concert 20 years ago. Cilla demanded compensation from the band unless they performed at her reception so they agreed, angering Cilla as she got no money. On the wedding day, Cilla's morning didn't go well as she had a run-in with Tracy Barlow (Kate Ford) as she hadn't paid for her bouquet, so they argued. At the wedding, everything went well at the church until the vicar came back so everyone left through the back door. The reception also went well until The Quo turned up at a back room at the reception where the presents were being kept. Les walked in and told his idols that his dream was to trash a room full of expensive things. He duly wrecked everything and threw a TV out the window, only for Cilla to walk in and inform him that he had just trashed their wedding presents. She went crazy and started attacking him as the Quo watched in bursts of laughter. The reception ended with the band agreeing to put past differences with Les behind them. They performed "Rockin' All Over the World", with Les and Cilla on stage with them singing.
Cilla threw Les out after he slept with his ex-wife Janice. Cilla was hurt at what Les had done, appearing in no makeup and basic clothes. When Les said he would crawl across the cobbles in order to win Cilla over, Cilla could not let Les go through with it, and they reunited. Suspecting Cilla having an affair, Les kicked her out and Cilla came clean to Fiz that she had cancer, who told Chesney and Les. The family were reunited by Cilla's hospital bed, and Cilla then returned home. On finding out that husband Les and best mate Yana had slept together, Cilla hatched a plan to get her own back. She told everyone that her cancer was terminal, leading to the street's residents making a collection to send Cilla to Florida to "swim with the dolphins", making Les and Yana sit in a bath full of mushy peas on the pavement, raising £600 in the process. She revealed the truth just after Christmas 2006, leaving the family devastated that she had lied to them. Cilla flew to Florida alone, leaving Les to apologise to the residents for her lies.
Cilla returns late January 2007. Chesney moves in with her and Les again, because Les couldn't look after Ches properly. They try to make him feel at home, but their happiness is short-lived as May 2007 saw Les disappear to work as a roadie. In July, 2007 Cilla received a call from Mr. Wong to say she had been fired, and he was closing the chippy down. Cilla later blamed Jodie Morton (Samantha Seager), claiming that she had the body of her father, Jerry Morton (Michael Starke), and the face of Jabba the Hutt. Cilla found herself struggling financially as Les is away. She took a job at a nursing home and met a wealthy man, Frank Nicholls. He was a perfect match for Cilla as he seemed to have the same cunning ruthless streak. Cilla was always a material loving, money hungry woman, so she struck up a friendship with him. He needed a full-time carer and when he invited Cilla to go with him to Las Vegas, she was ecstatic and jumped at the chance. Cilla had flirted with him a lot by bending over in front of him, showing him her bum and wearing revealing or really tight clothes. Frank offered Cilla everything if she would be his full-time carer but he died shortly afterward. Cilla thought that she would inherit everything as he had told her she would, and was disappointed when he only left her £500 in his will. She decided to sell a necklace that he gave her which was a family heirloom. Cilla was surprised when the necklace was worth 45 grand. Having all this money made her decide to leave Weatherfield for Las Vegas. She left £1,000 to Chesney and none to Fiz.
It was Chesney's birthday and, in the mail, he had picked up a post card from Cilla and Les Battersby. Les had reverted to just Battersby and dropped the Brown at this point. They sent Chesney and Kirk invitations to join them in Sun City, North West. Kirk and Chesney agreed to go, however Fiz was dismayed at the decision. When they arrived at the airport, they found out that Les was not their Les, but a South African fraudster. Cilla revealed that she had placed their names in a competition to win the "South African sunshine family" award and had got to the final, with a chance to win half a million South African dollars. Cilla told them that her story involved Chesney being tragically disabled after a freak earthquake in England, which nobody questioned, and that his brother Kirk had the disability of having the mental age of a nine-year-old – but Cilla just said that he should act like himself. After Chesney announced that he was having a terrible time in South Africa, Cilla made a personal plea to her daughter to join them in South Africa. Fiz arrived and confronted Cilla about her scheme, but Chesney reveals that Cilla will 'return' to Weatherfield if they win, so Fiz agrees to help by dressing up as a nun. Cilla, Les, Chesney and Kirk then went on a safari. However, Fiz refused, saying it fitted in with her persona better if she did not go with them, and cited hating creepy-crawlies as another reason not to go. When they got stuck in the South African bush and the normally unreliable Kirk led them to safety, Cilla told him that Les should be the one who leads them in as that would give the impression that he saved the family. Later at the awards ceremony, Chesney announced that he was not really disabled after Cilla had no intention of returning to Weatherfield and the Battersbys were disqualified. South African Les dumped Cilla and she was left to walk back to the airport. However, the host of the competition, Alfie Vok, picked her up and brought her on his new chat show as South Africa's worst mother.
In 2012, Chesney mentions that Cilla is still in South Africa and that she has had another boyfriend. Chesney was intending to see her, but couldn't due to his girlfriend Katy Armstrong's (Georgia May Foote) surrogacy plans.
Character creation and development
On 17 September 2003, it was announced that former Bad Girls actress Wendi Peters would be joining Coronation Street playing the character of Cilla Brown mother of Fiz Brown (Jennie McAlpine) and love interest for Les Battersby (Bruce Jones). A spokesperson told The Mirror: "Les is like a born-again teenager with Cilla and becomes very defensive of her," a source told the newspaper. "He believes she is definitely the woman for him and acts the perfect gentleman with her in an effort to be a romantic. He starts to behave so unlike Les by opening doors for her and insisting they link arms whenever they are out together. But just when everything seems to be running smoothly there is a bolt from the blue."
In May 2004, it was announced that an upcoming storyline featuring Cilla marrying Les later in the year. A source for the News of the World revealed: "It all started as a joke at a boozy party after the British Soap Awards, but at the ideas meeting this week, the bosses realised what a great idea it was," an insider said. "Any scene with calls for Les and Cilla in wedding gear will be classic Corrie."
On 18 January 2007 Peters announced she would be leaving Coronation Street. On her decision to leave the role, Wendi said: "I've had a brilliant four years at Coronation Street. It's been filled with wonderful experiences and great opportunities. "I feel very privileged to have been given the fantastic character of Cilla and I shall really miss her. I'm looking forward to spending a bit more time with my family and pursuing and working on other projects." Producer Steve Frost said "Wendi is a valued member of the cast and she has made the character of Cilla one of the most colourful and memorable characters in soap history. "We totally understand her reasons for wanting to leave and are grateful that she has given us so much notice – this means that we can spend time writing an exit storyline which will do her and the character of Cilla justice." Cilla made her final appearance on 12 October 2007 but returned for a DVD movie in November 2008.
- Green, Kris. "Cilla says 'ta-ra' to Corrie". Digital Spy. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
- Cilla Brown at Corrie.net