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Norma Starkey is a lorry driver, and was previously Monica Gallagher's lesbian lover, after her split from Frank.


She lived with Monica in Moston and visited the Gallaghers on various occasions with her girlfriend until she followed her back to the Gallagher home in Series 4, and was forced to live in the 'Dormobile' in the garden. Having initially been characterised as a strong-willed and capable woman, Norma later became increasingly portrayed as weak and helpless. She briefly dated Shazza Karib in Series 5 but the relationship went nowhere. She was good friends with Lillian Tyler, Karen, Jamie, and Shane Maguire. She also became good friends with Carl Gallagher, despite the fact he originally hated her, seeing her as both the reason his mother left the family to fend for themselves and the reason she could do the same again. She was also a regular visitor to The Jockey, spending the majority of her time there, though she didn't usually drink large amounts.

She was occasionally seen with a group of out and proud lesbian friends, who included The Jockey's original landlady Jez.

Norma left Chatsworth after the sixth series, possibly returning to her house in Moston, or otherwise, has moved into the home of her old friend, Ruth, who was seen in Episode 9 of Series 6. She has had no contact with anyone on the Chatsworth since her departure.

Relationship With Other Characters


Norma seemed to be the stable person in her relationship with Monica, though she showed herself to be quick to anger if anyone hurt Monica. In Series 1 Norma was seen furiously shouting at elderly shop workers when she thought they had phoned Monica and told her she had won a teddy bear that she hadn't. Monica seemed to have considerable control over Norma, convincing her that she was blameless when it came to her children's abandonment.

When Monica eventually moved back to Chatsworth, Norma followed and was forced to live in the shell of a van in the garden of the Gallagher house. Their relationship was largely over, though they did sleep together and flirt on various occasions. However Norma stayed in the hope of rekindling the relationship and continuing their lives together away from Frank, despite how badly Monica treated her.

Over time Norma began to recognise how Monica treated her and other people and she began to move on with her life by dating. Monica revealed her true feelings for Norma at times, showing that she liked having Norma around as someone to make her feel wanted when she was feeling low despite not having any similar feelings herself. Eventually Monica ran away again, leaving her family, including newborn baby Stella, and Norma behind.

Showing how much she and her relationship with the Gallaghers had changed, Norma stayed even after her past love had left.


Throughout the first four series, Norma deeply hated Frank because of his treatment of Monica and his family. When Monica returned home, Norma used every opportunity to land Frank in trouble, even accusing him of trying to rape her so that he would leave Chatsworth. Frank fully returned Norma's hate, as he blamed her for stealing Monica away.

During Series 6, Norma seems to have warmed to Frank, often helping him and his family whenever they find themselves in trouble. When Monica leaves, Norma feels like she is an outsider, a fact Frank agrees with. However, Norma returns and the kids welcome her with open arms.

The Gallagher Children

Since moving in with the Gallaghers, Norma gradually became friends with the Gallagher children, particularly Carl, Debbie and Liam.

Carl initially resented Norma, who he caught having sex with his mother in the Dormobile. He attempted revenge by knocking out Norma's power in the van. However Norma kidnapped Carl, locking him in the back of a lorry. After having a heart-to-heart chat, Carl warmed to Norma, when he learnt how devoted she was to his mother.

Debbie was also slow to like Norma, largely because she was her mother's girlfriend, though she too became more accepting of her over time.

When Norma briefly left Chatsworth in Episode 609 after thinking that the Gallagher Family didn't want her staying, Liam would continue to contact Norma asking her innocuous questions, such as if she "knew where the remote [control] was", which was hinted as being Liam's eccentric way of checking up on Norma, despite his seeming indifference from before. When she returned to the Gallagher household, Liam would sincerely say that they missed her.