In around 1995 Claire's husband Jeff, a Flight Lieutenant in the RAF, was killed in a hangar fire. Presumably after this she lost their service house, and with nowhere else to live, she and Becky moved in with Jeff's parents Carol and Charlie, helping sell ornamental chamber pots and crockery on Charlie's market stall.
Des, in his typically smarmy chat-up way, saw Claire on the market stall and showed his interest by buying her a (cold) coffee. Nevertheless, she fell for him and the two began a relationship, and within three months Claire and Becky had moved into 6 Coronation Street. Becky wasn't happy that her mother had moved on - neither were Carol and Charlie, for that matter - but Des eventually showed a more caring side by telling her about his late partner Lisa Duckworth.
It soon emerged that Claire was still receiving Jeff's RAF pension worth £16,500 a year, which she would lose if she lived with someone else, so Claire and Becky briefly moved into the nearby flat above Skinner's Bookies to try and cover their tracks. Still disapproving of her relationship with Des, however, Charlie Palmer dobbed her daughter-in-law in to the RAF. Tired of the lies, Claire handed the keys back to landlord Sean Skinner and she and Becky moved back in with Des. As this meant relinquishing her pension, Claire started working at the Corner Shop to try and earn some money.
Claire was deeply uncomfortable when Des decided to do a charity skydive, as she was scared of losing another partner. These nerves made her unable to attend the skydive itself. Unfortunately, it led Des to return to his love-rat ways when he attempted to get local barmaid and fellow skydiver Samantha Failsworth into bed. Samantha humiliated Des by booting him, trouserless, out onto the street - right in front of a horrified Claire. Deciding he wasn't worth losing her RAF pension, she dumped him and she and Becky moved out.
First and last lines
"Hiya." (First line, to Andy McDonald)