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Christian Gatley was the son of transsexual Hayley Cropper and first seen in September 2007 when a Private Investigator found Christian for Hayley, giving her all the information needed about her son, she was also shown a photograph of Christian outside Sound Garden, the record shop where he worked. Hayley planned to visit Christian right away but Hayley's friend Becky Granger advised against it. Hayley eventually plucked up the courage to visit him but couldn't bring herself to tell him who she was and ended up buying a record instead. Afterwards, Hayley decided to tell her husband, Roy about her son before she went any further. Hayley invited Christian back to her flat. Roy was outraged that Hayley had not only lied to him about being a virgin but had also hid the fact that she'd hired a private detective from him. Tension over Christian caused Roy to be continually angry with Hayley and she couldn't concentrate on her job at Underworld.

Roy was hurt that Hayley couldn't confide in him, but she reassured him that their marriage wouldn't change because of this and her having a son wasn't a threat to them. Although she couldn't walk away from Christian, if it meant losing Roy she would. Roy made Hayley agree not to lie about the situation again, and Hayley went back to Sound Garden ready to tell Christian who she was. Instead, she told him that she was his father's sister and that his father was dead. Hayley then suggested he visited her tomorrow to talk properly. Roy was furious that Hayley had gone back on her promise and told Christian that she was his aunt, and he made him feel unwelcome, not wanting to be any part of Hayley's lies. Hayley told Christian all about Harold and stressed that he had issues as did Cath, Christian's mum, they were both outsiders. Roy then intervened and prompted Christian to leave. Having made Hayley apologise for Roy's behaviour, Christian sensed that Hayley was keeping something from him, and she was hurt when he told her he wasn't coming back again. Hayley later stunned Becky when she revealed that she had decided to tell Christian the truth. Whilst Becky urged Hayley to reconsider coming clean, Roy was still uncomfortable about the situation. Hayley wracked with indecision as she arrived in Sound Garden and after she presented a touched Christian with Harold's crucifix, Christian offered to take her out for a coffee. Roy was then less than happy when Christian turned up at Roy's Rolls and felt uncomfortable about being tangled up in Hayley's web of lies. Hayley on the other hand was delighted to see Christian, especially when she noticed he was wearing the cross, but she panicked when he revealed that he'd like to visit Harold’s grave and quickly covered by telling him that he was cremated.

Roy was deeply unhappy that her lies were becoming more and more elaborate and told a guilt ravaged Hayley that she had to tell the truth and couldn't build a meaningful relationship on a lie. Hayley responded by arranging to meet up with Christian after work on the pretense of showing him where Harold's ashes were scattered and finally plucked up the courage to be honest with her son, telling him that Harold was still alive. As Christian tried to take in the news that his father was still alive, Hayley dreaded explaining the truth. Hurt and confused Christian was getting impatient as Hayley skirted around the subject and she was terrified as she finally revealed that she was his father... she was Harold. As he absorbed what he heard, Christian recoiled in horror, disgusted by Hayley he stormed off. As Hayley ran after him Christian didn't want to know and punched her, leaving her bleeding and devastated on the ground. Christian was visited by Becky at Sound Garden a week later where she proceeded to attack him, but Christian said he didn't feel like he actually hit a woman. After Becky's visit, Christian closed up and left the area.

In September 2013, Hayley contacted Christian - six years after their last interaction - and arranged to meet at a cafe in Bury, but Christian failed to show up and Hayley masked her disappointment. The next day however, he turned up unannounced at Roy's Rolls and, having waited for Hayley there, she took him up to the flat to talk privately. Christian explained of his confused feelings of hatred towards her and his guilt of having hit her and went on to inform her of his family - wife Holly, their two children Maisie and Sam - and their plans to move to Marple. At Hayley's suggestion they went for a drink at the Rovers where Christian proudly showed Roy and Hayley photographs of the children, but wouldn't agree to letting them meet her for the time being. With a furious Roy giving Christian short shrift over his lack of compassion, the couple left the pub and headed home.

Christian returned in December but was confronted by an angry Fiz Stape, who informed him that Hayley was suffering from terminal cancer. He finally revealed the real reason for his visit - that he was in debt to the tune of £5,000 - and offered to introduce the children to Hayley in exchange for the money.

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