Kelly James (Emma Gilmour) 1998-2000

First Regular Appearance: 2.1 (#65)  Tuesday 1st September 1998

Last Regular Appearance: 4.8 (#210)  Sunday 19th November 2000

Duration: EP: 65 - 210 ½ SE: 2.1 – 4.8

Position: Canteen Worker (1998-1999) / PR Rep (1999-2000)

Last Seen: Being poignantly watched by Lynda, as she walks away from the club into a future unknown.

 

Aged 18, Kelly arrived as a dizzy blonde with ambitions to be a career woman hidden deep down. Never seen without her sidekick Julie Alexander, Kelly and Julie had been best friends since school, and being a big Harchester United fan, Kelly persuaded her friend to join her working in the club's canteen. Karl Fletcher had always been Kelly's Harchester hero, and now employed at the club she excitedly waited for the day that she would finally be introduced to her long-time crush.

 

As a duo, Kelly and Julie would often enter into ill-thought out schemes that seemed a good idea at the time. Their choice to alter their uniforms into French maid-like outfits at Luis Amor Rodriguez's press unveiling didn't go down well with their boss Denise, though the youth team boys were impressed. Plus Luis whose wandering hand saw Kelly introduce a fork to his backside! Kelly and Julie make good friends with their male counterparts, Billy O'Neill and Leon Richards. Kelly's dream with Fletch comes true however, when she gets to sing the lead vocals on Harchester's FA Cup recorded anthem "Purple Reign”. That summer, when Fletch takes a transfer to Real Mallorca and leaves Kelly behind, she is gutted that he didn't care for her like she hoped.

 

Shortly into her second season at the club, Kelly loses Julie when the plane she and Leon are travelling back from Amsterdam on crashes. Kelly and Billy find strength in each other, both having lost their best friends, and Kelly comes to the decision that she needs a new direction in life. Finding a friend in Ann, Kelly begins working for her PR agency as her assistant – getting to order the clients Scott, Eddie and Didier around for a change! Also at this time, Kelly gets acquainted with Wes Kingsley the club’s new striker, and they are soon an item. Kelly loves Wes, and is worried sick when he is struck down with meningitis.

 

When the team face Mallorca in the UEFA Cup quarter final, Kelly travels to the game and sees Fletch again. When he acts interested in her again, Kelly is sucked right back in and drinks too much before sleeping with Fletch. Hoping to forget about the discretion proves difficult, when Harchester re-sign Fletch and partner him up front with Wes. It takes no more than an away loss before Fletch gloats to Wes on the coach journey home about what happened with he and Kelly. Wes breaks Fletch’s nose before finishing with a remorseful Kelly, who also loses her job at Patterson PR when Ann feels the scandal would drag her company down. Now left with nothing, Kelly takes revenge on Fletch, with the help of her dad’s car-scrapping business, and has his favourite toy, his yellow Lamborghini crushed into a cube. She takes great pleasure upon presenting it to Fletch, who weeps at the destructive mess in front of him, and even gets a picture to remember it.

 

After returning to her waitressing skills, this time behind the bar at Studs, Kelly returns to the now Patterson-Palmer agency, under Victoria while Ann is on maternity leave. Victoria treats Kelly as little more than her skivvy, and she finds her work cut out for her dealing with Harchester’s very own Posh n’ Becks Jamie and Tash Parker. After Tash’s father Jeff Stein publicly belittles her abilities as a PR Rep, and a catfight ensues with Tash, Kelly gives the two plus Victoria a tongue-lashing of home truths before quitting. Deciding to take her career elsewhere, Kelly first leaves for a well deserved holiday abroad.