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Les Coker
Les Coker (2016)
© BBC
Portrayed by Roger Sloman
Introduced by Bryan Kirkwood (2012)
Dominic Treadwell-Collins (2014)
Gender Male Male
First Appearance 9 January 2012
Last Appearance 14 October 2016
Duration 2012, 2014–16, 2018
Episode Count 173
Other names Christine
Address 53A Turpin Road (2014-2016)
Unknown (2016-)
Status Alive
Age 69
Date of Birth 11 October 1948
Occupation Funeral Director
Classification Returning; regular
Relationships
WifePam Coker (1972-)
SonsLaurie Coker
GrandsonsPaul Coker
Great-grandfathersHerbert Coker

Leslie "Les" Coker made his first appearance on 9 January 2012. He is portrayed by Roger Sloman.

About

Les Coker is Albert Square’s new undertaker. On the surface he’s a kind, charismatic charmer - but there’s a hint of something more sinister lying underneath. Partial to a dodgy deal or two, one of his biggest downfalls is his greed. Despite this, Les is a true skinflint! Having been pulled into the family business by his father, Les married his first love, Pam in 1972, and after nearly 50 years together they’ve developed an unbreakable bond. Les would never admit it, but he likes a bit of a gossip. So it’s a good thing he’s married to Pam, the nosiest lady in London.

Backstory

When Les was a lad he was sent to pick up a dress. A women in the next street was mending it for Les' mum. It was lying on the back of the woman's sofa, Les held it.

Les brought the dress home, went up stairs and tried it on. Les' dad walked in while he was wearing the dress. His dad had a shocked turning to disgust look on his face but did not yell or give Les a beating. He just held out his hand and Les took of the dress and put it in his hand. From then on his father looked at him with disgust.

Christine was created after Les saw the woman who mended his mum's dress as she beautiful, strong and smart. She had a sick husband and had to look after him.

In his youth Les and Pam went to see the Dave Clark Five at the Tottenham Royal. Lew and Pam walked round the park for hours waiting for the sun to come up. Pam's mum was angry and was ban from seeing him for a few weeks. On the 10th October 1975, they had a son, Laurie Coker.

Les and Pam took Laurie and his friend for hamburgers in aid of Laurie 's fifth birthday, the manager took the children on a tour of the restaurant and he locked them in the freezer for a few seconds then let them out. Then when they got home Laurie wanted to try it in their fridge and he wouldn't go to bed until Les and Pam showed him he couldn't fit.

Pam and Les took Laurie on his first holiday in an old static caravan. Whilst on holiday a flash flood nearly washed them away. In 1993, Les arranged the funeral of Pete Beale.

Storylines

Les arranged Pat Evans funeral. He tells them he used to know Pat when he was an apprentice, implying he was her client when she was a prostitute, and offers a discount on the funeral. He says that he arranged funerals for many of the other local residents, including David's father Pete Beale, Ethel Skinner and Archie Mitchell.

He returns for a single episode on 20 June 2012, to meet Jean Slater to finalize arrangements for the funeral of her daughter Stacey Slater. Jean is distressed to hear that Stacey is dead, but Mo Harris reveals she has just spoken to Stacey on the phone, meaning Stacey is alive. Les apologies profoundly before leaving. On 5 July, he is seen by Sasha Dixon doing business with Anthony Moon and it turns out that when someone dies, Les offers to empty their house and sells the goods to Anthony for his business. Sasha and her employer, Cora Cross, then ask Les to offer every other house to them for the charity shop. On 10 July, he attends a wake for a former Walford resident at The Queen Victoria public house, where Kim Fox pretends to know the deceased, and talks to Les, successfully gaining Sasha a work experience placement with Les's firm.

On 17 July 2012, he attends the wake of a man previously known by Patrick Trueman and is annoyed when Cora turns up, as he has agreements with her and Anthony. On 31 July, he appears when Sasha starts her first day of work experience.

Les appears again on 25 March 2014 to arrange Nick Cotton's funeral. Les Coker was made a permanent character in April 2014, and opens a funeral parlor with his wife, Pam. When walking home one night, Arthur Chubb, known as Fatboy, notices Les being handed money by Dot Branning's grandson Charlie Cotton. Fatboy tries to tell Dot what Les and Charlie are up to, but is unsuccessful. In July, Les hires Billy Mitchell at the undertakers, however he is disappointed when Billy doesn't turn up for work on his first day

It was thought that he was having affair with Claudette Yates who is Donna's adopted mother, she come to the square for Donna's birthday and recently been informed that she has gone away abroad and Pam said thats where Les is and says that they should meet up.

Les arranges a party for the centenary of Coker & Sons, and Pam gets upset at the thought that their grandson, Paul, will not attend. The same day, Paul returns but is cold towards Les. He reveals he is aware of his long running affair with Claudette and that was why he went to work abroad in the first place, not because of Pam's decision to euthanise his father as they previously believed. Paul threatens to expose the affair to Pam so Les tries to end things with Claudette, but Claudette tells Les that it will not be that easy. Claudette's son Vincent then becomes aware of the relationship between her and Les, and Paul tells Pam about it. Pam then finds Les's tie at Claudette's house, and when Les and Claudette give conflicting explanations, Pam leaves to stay with her sister. Les becomes very distraught at her departure, and Claudette urges him to tell Pam the truth, just as Pam returns and walks in on them together. Shortly after Claudette leaves the house, Pam urges Les to end the affair or their marriage is over. Two months later, Les visits Claudette for comfort after Pam refuses to speak to him on Laurie's birthday. He later calls Claudette, telling her he cannot stop thinking about her, and makes an excuse to Pam to go and be with Claudette again. He is then caught in his underwear in Claudette's house by Donna.

In actual fact, he was trying to hide the fact that he was a transvestite who went by the name of Christine.

A few months later, Les spurns Babe, so she sends Les an anonymous email, blackmailing him over his crossdressing. When Pam notices money has been paid from their account, Les admits he has been blackmailed. The blackmailing continues regularly, and Pam starts to suspect Babe, and eventually they discover the truth. Les confides in Claudette and says he misses Christine, so she gives him some of her clothes and makeup that she still has. Stressed, Les dresses up again but is caught by Paul. Paul refuses to destroy Christine's things for Les, saying Les should not suffer for who he is. When Pam finds Les dressed as Christine, she chastises him and he suffers a heart attack. Billy sees him as he enters the ambulance. Billy calls Les a "pervert" to Pam, so she fires him from the funeral parlour. Pam then tells Les they should retire away from London and Les agrees; when Paul and his boyfriend Ben Mitchell find out, they decide they should take over the running of the funeral parlour. Paul's mother, Jenny Rawlinson, arrives looking for him, but he only assumes she is the blackmailer and orders her away. Pam and Les vow to tell Paul who she is, but Paul is killed in a homophobic attack. Pam struggles to cope, refusing to talk to Les about Paul, so he considers dressing as Christine; he explains why he cross-dresses to Billy and gives him his job back. Les then decides to be strong for Pam so tells Claudette he will no longer be Christine, but the blackmailing continues, with Pam refusing to go to the police, but she tells Claudette that Babe is the blackmailer. After four months of blackmail, Claudette reveals this to Babe's family, and Babe, who has just been attacked by Abi Branning and come close to death, tells Claudette that she now sees how bad she has been and regrets everything, so it will stop. Les and Pam later attend a court hearing for Paul's killers. Les calls one of them, Simon Atmore, a liar after he denies having anything to do with Paul's death. When they arrive home, Pam tells him he needs to be Christine again. Les later suffers a small heart attack after talking to Linda Carter who tries to comfort him and he eventually dresses up as Christine. Les then asks Pam if she would consider leaving Walford together for a fresh start after the trial is over which she agrees. Les and Pam are delighted when Babe returns all of their money. However, they decide to leave and Les appoints Billy as the manager of Coker and Sons. Pam packs a box of Christine's wig and clothes suggesting she has accepted her. After saying an emotional farewell to his friends and after giving Billy his funeral hat, Les departs with Pam for a new life in Worthing.

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