James Cunningham

James Cunningham was a villain in Coronation Street, who originally appeared as a guest character in September 2010, and returning in April 2011. It was revealed he was actually a villainous character, who planned to rob his long-lost grandfather Ken Barlow and the character left in July 2011.

He was played by James Roache, the real life son of William Roache who plays Ken Barlow.


In August 2010 Ken discovered that his first girlfriend Susan was pregnant to his child back in 1961. The following month he met his son Lawrence, and discovered Lawrence had two children of his own named James and Chloe. Ken later met James, who clearly had a relationship problem with his father, due to Lawrence disapproving that James is gay. Ken attempts to sort out the feud, but it doesn't work as Lawrence isn't interested in Ken's advice as he has only just arrived in his life. This causes Ken to disown Lawrence, although he still kept contact with James.

James returned in April 2011 in which it was revealed he was now working at a homeless shelter. Ken offered James to move into his house, much to the disappointment of Ken's wife Deirdre and daughter Tracy. James also befriended a couple named Sophie Webster and Sian Powers, who both started helping him at the shelter.

Despite appearing to be a decent young man, James was in fact a conman who was working with the two owners of the shelter to run a scam. They set up a fake robbery at the soup kitchen they were running to get sympathy from Sophie and Sian in hopes of gaining "donations". Sophie stole from her father Kevin Webster and transferred a large amount of money into the charity account, which led to the two owners fleeing with the money. James denied being involved when confronted by Kevin, and Ken stood by him believing his grandson. But James only received a small cut of the profits, and plotted to rob Ken.

James came up with a plan to re-mortgage Ken's house, and had a surveyor to check out the house. When Ken's granddaughter Amy caught him out she questioned what he was doing, which lead to James threatening her. A cheque for £50,000 arrived in the post, but was discovered by Ken. James was forced to admit to his deceit, but blamed his troubles on his father Lawrence and also on Ken for sleeping with Susan. James showed no remorse for his actions and admitted to Ken that he would con again. When Ken attempted to phone the police, James attacked him and banged Ken's head off the wall. James then packed a bag and left the street. Although Ken didn't want to phone the police on his grandson, a furious Kevin phoned them himself when discovering that James was behind the con.

It isn't known what happened to James since then as he hasn't been mentioned again.