Karen Boyle (Cheryl Mackie) 2003-2004

First Regular Appearance: 7.1 (#293) Groundhog Day  Sunday 28th September 2003

Last Regular Appearance: 7.14 (#306) New Years Resolution  Sunday 4th January 2004

Duration: EP: 293 - 306 ½ SE: 7.1 – 7.14

Position: Wife of Tony Boyle / Stepmother to Dean

Last Seen: Moved back to Liverpool because she could no longer watch Dean destroy himself or the club.

From Liverpool, Karen was three years older than her sister Donna, though the differences between the Gibb siblings made it hard to believe they had the same upbringing. Karen is more honest, hard-working and considerate while Donna was loud, self-serving and money-hungry. It was Karen's unassuming nature which led to her letting Tony Boyle into her life. An older man very good at keeping his dodgy side hidden, whilst finding in Karen the other half he always wanted to manipulate. Karen had a lot of time for Tony's son Dean, who was the same age as Donna and nothing like his father. Donna and Tony were always at each other's throats, sharing a guilty secret Karen and Dean never knew of.

Tony's selfishness pushed his son away, and as Dean's birthday approached in May 2003, Karen sees a way of getting the family back together as their team Everton play Harchester at the Dragon's Lair. When Tony screws up again, Dean buys tickets (for the home crowd) from Steve Johnson, a ticket tout. The Boyles get more than they bargained for after the match however, when Phil Wallis raffles off Harchester United to the seat Donna is sitting in. The family have a three-way fight on their hands for the club though - one being the tickets were the stolen property of Clyde Connelly. The Boyles move to Harchester to fight for their claim, clamping their caravan onto the Dragon's Lair car park.

Karen begins to have her doubts when Tony involves her in a series of compromising events. When they witness Ryan kill Steve, Tony steals from his dead body and the police investigate the Boyles' involvement until Karen is about to crack. Then at Clyde's court case against the Boyles for handling stolen goods, the family's claim is weakened when Donna joins forces with and marries Clyde, so Tony pressurises Karen into lying under oath, resulting in her being torn apart on the stand.

By Christmas, Dean and Donna between them hold the only claims to the club, and when a now ditched Donna offers to sacrifice hers to rejoin her family, Karen couldn't be happier. That is until she's lured into finding Tony slobbering all over her sister, and learns the revelation that Tony and Donna had slept together one night years earlier. Tony dies from a heart attack, and with Dean threatening to destroy the club he now owns all because of Donna's actions, Karen cannot stick around to see him destroy his life and those of other people. She returns to Liverpool, unwilling to forgive her sister.

Cheryl Mackie's interview with Dream Team Diehard (March 2014)