Amy Katherine Barlow (also Patience Cropper and McDonald), is a fictional character in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street, portrayed by Elle Mulvaney. She was born on screen during the episode broadcast on 9 February 2004. To date, the character has been portrayed by eight child actors; Holly Bowyer, Rebecca Pike, Louisa Morris, Rachel and Sarah Corker, Madison Hampson, Amber Chadwick and Mulvaney, making her the most recast character in Coronation Street. Although Amy's surname has stayed Barlow, Chadwick was credited as Amy McDonald for three episodes from 2009 to 2010.
Amy is the daughter of Tracy Barlow (Kate Ford) and Steve McDonald (Simon Gregson); granddaughter of Deirdre (Anne Kirkbride) and Ken Barlow (William Roache), and Liz (Beverley Callard) and Jim McDonald (Charles Lawson); and the cousin of Simon Barlow (Alex Bain). Amy's storylines have included: her mother selling her to Roy Cropper (David Neilson), who was presumed to be the father of Amy, and his wife, Hayley (Julie Hesmondhalgh); her becoming lactose intolerant and purposefully making herself ill so that her parents would be nice to each other; her losing her great-grandmother Blanche Hunt (Maggie Jones) and grandmother Deirdre; and her being stuck in Victoria Court flats when a fire was accidentally started by Tracy.
After a one-night stand with Steve McDonald (Simon Gregson), Tracy Barlow (Kate Ford) falls pregnant. However, Tracy drugs Roy Cropper and pretends that she has had sex with him, leading him to believe he is the father. Tracy offers to sell her baby to Roy and his wife, Hayley (Julie Hesmondhalgh), and they accept. Roy marries Tracy to ensure he would be named the baby's carer. Tracy gives birth to a daughter and she is called Patience by Roy and Hayley. Tracy later changes her mind and demands her daughter back during Steve's wedding, admitting that he is the father. Roy and Hayley hand her back and Tracy renames her Amy. Steve's wife, Karen (Suranne Jones), resents Amy's presence, even causing a fight at her christening. Karen later steals Tracy's car, unaware Amy is in the back. She burns the car, making Tracy believe that Amy is still in it when she is actually safe. Tracy murders Charlie Stubbs (Bill Ward) and she is sent to jail. Amy moves in with Steve and his mother Liz (Beverley Callard) at the Rovers Return Inn. Amy is almost knocked down by Harry Mason (Jack Ellis) while she is meant to be looked after by Darryl Morton (Jonathan Dixon).
Steve marries Becky Granger (Katherine Kelly), who cares for Amy as if she was her own daughter. When Amy is bullied about Tracy, Becky tells her about Tracy being in prison and they later visit her. Amy's great-grandmother Blanche (Maggie Jones) dies, upsetting her. Becky looks after Amy and she ties a picture to a balloon for Blanche. Tracy attends Blanche's funeral and is reunited with Amy, who is initially frightened of her. Amy is upset further when Tracy attacks Becky. Tracy is freed and visits Amy, who tells her about Steve and Becky buying Max Turner (Harry McDermott). Amy moves in with Tracy at the Barlow house. Amy goes to Blackpool with Steve and Tracy. When she becomes fed up with them arguing, she runs off. Amy is eventually found and the family spend the night in Blackpool, after Steve's car is towed away. Amy is diagnosed with a dairy allergy after she ends up in hospital. Amy starts deliberately making herself ill, so Steve will come around and look after her with Tracy. Tracy and Steve are mortified when Amy admits she has been drinking milk on purpose in a bid for more attention. Steve leaves Amy with Ken's grandson James (James Roache), when he has a work problem to deal with. James asks Amy to go upstairs, but she overhears his conversation with a surveyor. James threatens to put Tracy in prison if Amy tells anyone. A few days later, Amy tells Tracy and James insists she is making the story up. Tracy and Amy then leave for London for a few weeks.
On their return, Tracy announces she is pregnant and she and Steve start a proper relationship. Amy is excited to have two new siblings and her mother and father back together. Amy acts in the local nativity play and she asks to visit Becky, following a fire at her flat. Amy acts as bridesmaid at Tracy and Steve's wedding, but her parents split up shortly afterwards. Steve divides the house in two, with Amy living upstairs with Tracy. When Steve cuts the electricity, Tracy asks Ken (William Roache) and Deirdre Barlow (Anne Kirkbride) to look after Amy. Steve later removes the partition and moves out, leaving Amy and Tracy to live with Beth Tinker (Lisa George) and her son. Lesley Kershaw (Judy Holt) takes Amy to the park. Steve catches up with them and brings Amy home to a worried Tracy. Amy notices her pocket money has gone missing from her piggy bank, but Tracy does not believe her. It later transpires that Amy's cousin Simon (Alex Bain) stole it along with Aadi Alahan's (Zennon Ditchett) game console. Amy and Tracy are left homeless when Steve decides to sell number 13, but they eventually move in with Tracy's godmother Emily Bishop (Eileen Derbyshire) and Norris Cole (Malcolm Hebden). However they are kicked out again when Tracy ruins Norris' shoes unaware that they were actually Emily's late husband Ernest Bishop's (Stephen Hancock). Ken refuses to take Tracy in however makes Amy as an exception, but Tracy refuses to separate from Amy. Tracy complains of stomach pains but everyone refuses to believe her knowing her manipulative personality. However Deirdre, Ken and Amy later find her on the floor collapsed and is rushed to hospital. Tracy tells Amy that she and Steve are reuniting, but witnesses Steve kissing his former girlfriend Michelle Connor (Kym Marsh). Upset and confused, she tells Deirdre. Amy eventually bonds with Michelle and accepts her and Steve's relationship. When Tracy begins a relationship with Rob Donovan, she starts bunking off to stay at his flat. Ken and Deirdre accuse Tracy of neglect and she goes to live with Steve, Michelle and Michelle's son Ryan in their small 2 bedroom flat and Amy has to sleep on a sofa bed in the lounge. However, when Stella Price puts Steve's former pub The Rovers up for sale, he buys it back from her and Ryan goes to live in Ibiza. Amy's grandmother Liz returns as landlady of the Rovers and she also lives there. She stays with Ken, Deirdre and Tracey twice a week but Tracy usually stays at Rob's flat for the rest of the time.
Amy starts getting troublemaking traits from her mother. This starts when Amy taunts Simon when his father, Peter, is sent to prison for the murder of Tina McIntyre. Whilst being looked after by Sophie Webster and her girlfriend, Maddie, Amy becomes jealous of the amount of attention that Simon is getting. After Maddie berates Amy for bullying Simon, Amy sneaks off to see Tracy and lies that Maddie has threatened to hit her. A week later, Simon and Amy are once again looked after by Maddie and Sophie and again, Amy is jealous of the attention that Maddie shows to Simon. When they stop at The Kabin to get some sweets, Amy deliberately lets Deirdre's dog, Eccles off her lead, knowing that the dog going missing would greatly upset Simon. Later, Sophie and Maddie find Eccles and return her home to a relieved Deirdre and Simon. Amy causes more trouble when she cuts her hand on the back door and lies that Eccles has bitten her. Tracy is furious and insists that the dog must be put down. Simon is devastated and tells Sophie and Maddie about what has happened. Maddie and a reluctant Sophie agree to try to help and so they take Eccles and hide her in number 4. The Barlows begin searching for Eccles and a couple of days later, Ken spots Sophie and Maddie taking her for a walk. Ken brings the dog home and Tracy again insists that Eccles has to go. Ken tries to get Amy to tell the truth about her injury and she eventually reveals that she lied about Eccles biting her. Maddie praises Amy for telling the truth, telling her that she was very brave.
Amy along with Carla becomes trapped in a fire in the Victoria Court flats after it was accidentally started by Tracy. Carla is rescued whilst Leanne and her partner, Kal enter the flat to save Amy, but the three become trapped when the roof caves in and blocks the door. Luckily, the fire brigade arrive and manage to get Amy and Leanne out of the flat, but an explosion happens, killing Kal. However, Amy does not seem to take Kal's death seriously and feels happier that she was rescued from the fire. Later in the year, Amy is upset to learn that her grandmother Deirdre died just before she was due to return to Weatherfield. Amy and Simon are both left money by Deirdre in her will. Later in the year, Amy starts Weatherfield High School and she also decides to take up violin lessons. Simon moves in with Ken because Simon has been physically abusing his mother, Leanne Battersby (Jane Danson). Amy annoys Simon with her violin, he tries to take to violin from Amy, however Ken catches them arguing and they come up with a solution. Amy and Simon are left alone at Ken's house and Simon ends up hurting Amy. Amy tells Ken and Tracy, who contact Leanne and Leanne is encouraged by Eva Price (Catherine Tyldesley) to admit Simon has been hurting her. Leanne has to take Simon home and the family agree to get Simon help.
At Carla and Nick Tilsley's (Ben Price) wedding, Tracy reveals Carla's lies to everyone and following Robert Preston (Tristan Gemmill) splitting from Tracy, Amy decides to move in with Steve and Michelle. Amy refuses to move back in with Tracy, despite persuasion from Steve and Michelle. When Amy meets Will Chatterton (Leon Ockenden) and overhears a conversation between Michelle and Sean Tully (Anthony Cotton), she realises Michelle and Will had a fling and blackmails Michelle into allowing her to stay. Amy bans Tracy from her violin recital, but Tracy turns up and it puts Amy off. Tracy is taken to hospital when she collapses due to her kidney and Amy refuses to see her. Tracy is soon discharged and at Simon's birthday tea, Amy is annoyed with Tracy when she turns up with gifts for her. On the anniversary of Deirdre's death, Amy overhears Ken and Rita tell funny stories about Deirdre. Amy believes it is rude, but Robert explains they were remembering her and they go to the graveyard to support Tracy. Amy insists nothing has changed between them, but Steve and Ken persuade Amy to move back in with Tracy. Simon confides in Amy about his fears that Leanne has cancer and Amy tries to reassure him, but he finds a message on Leanne's phone confirming a doctor's appointment.
Liz lets slip Michelle is pregnant after Amy complains about Michelle snapping at her and Amy is delighted. Amy finds Michelle is researching abortion clinics and Michelle explains to her the baby may be ill, but Amy refuses to accept it. Amy and Michelle make amends and Michelle decides not to have an abortion. Michelle suffers a late miscarriage of her half-brother, Ruairi McDonald.
Holly Bowyer and Rebecca Pike shared the role of newborn Amy Barlow in February 2004 for a month until Bowyer left. Pike continued in the role until July 2005 when she was replaced with Louisa Morris. Morris departed two months later and the role was briefly taken over by twins Rachel and Sarah Corker for two episodes in September. Amy was once again recast later that month with Madison Hampson.
Hampson quit Coronation Street in early 2006 after her parents felt the role was "too harrowing." However, show bosses denied that Hampson quit due to the harrowing scenes or her health, but that it was common for child actors to be recast. A Coronation Street spokesperson said "At that age they are still learning about their environment, about colours, about who is who - it is a lot to take in. It is hard for children to be on set at that age and we regularly have different actors or actresses before we settle on somebody at around 16. We work within very strict guidelines and would never cause a child to feel distress or uncomfortable." Amber Chadwick was cast as Amy Barlow when Hampson departed with Chadwick first appearing onscreen in March 2006.
Chadwick played the role until 2010 when the decision was made to recast Amy to tie-in with the return of her onscreen mother Tracy. The casting of seven-year-old Elle Mulvaney was announced in March 2010. A spokeswoman said "Amy has some big storylines coming up so we decided to recast an older child who could play younger. This is common practice. For example, Alex Bain is two years older than Simon is on screen." Mulvaney first appeared onscreen in May 2010.
In April 2011, Tracy was be accused of poisoning Amy: when Amy comes down with a mysterious illness, Becky blamed Tracy. A source said "Becky loves Amy and can't bear to see her suffering. She also can't bear seeing Steve and Tracy together. She is jealous and she quickly realises that Tracy is feeding off the attention Steve is giving them both. Becky can handle herself but Tracy is a dangerous enemy to make," the insider added. "If Steve believes Tracy over Becky, it could signal the end of their marriage." In May 2011, Amy was diagnosed as being Lactose intolerant and Tracy found out that Amy had been drinking milk to make herself ill in order to make her parents nicer. Kate Ford said of Amy's actions "[Tracy] catches Amy taking milk from the fridge. Amy drops the milk and locks herself in the front room and Tracy calls Steve round to coax her out. Amy tells them she's been making herself ill because then Steve comes round and her parents are nicer to each other...both she and Steve feel very guilty. They haven't behaved well and at times have forgotten that there's a child involved."
In November 2015, it was announced that Simon would lash out at Amy at Christmas as part of Simon's domestic abuse plot, where he has been attacking his step-mother, Leanne Battersby (Jane Danson). A source said that "The Barlows are going to be central to Coronation Street in the run up to Christmas. The close-knit family will be put under extreme strain and viewers will be left wondering if they can get through the turmoil."
During the May 2015 episodes, which saw a fire started by Tracy Barlow at the Victoria Court flats, Amy was one of the characters trapped in the fire. Duncan Lindsay for the Metro said of Amy's performance in these episodes "The performances from Corrie acting titans such as Kate Ford, Alison King and Jane Danson always add to the drama, and young Elle Mulvaney, who plays Amy, is surely now a contender for next year’s Young Performance prize at the British Soap Awards." For her portrayal as Amy, Mulvaney has been longlisted 3 times in 2010, 2011 and 2012 at the Inside Soap Awards for Best Young Actor.