Dan Johnson was a lorry driver whose usual place of residence was Wandsworth but whose job took him all over the country. He turned up out of the blue, knocking on the door of 11 Coronation Street one night in March 1980 looking for digs after fellow driver Ian McAllister had recommended it, having stayed there for one night the week before. Although taken aback, Elsie Tanner was won over by his genial cockney charm although her experience with fellas led her to accusing him of being fly but he laughed it off and said that he was totally straight.
Dan lived in a small flat on his own, his wife having left him when she had got fed up with him being away all the time. Elsie told him that he could only stay the one night but he came back the next night regardless with a new leather handbag for her as a present. Despite some initial reservations, Elsie fell for Dan and when he was back in Weatherfield, the two carried on a relationship. The neighbours, as ever, gossiped about the goings on at No. 11, especially when Dan took Elsie into the Rovers. She was happy enough to shrug the matter off but what she didn’t know was that Bet Lynch was making eyes at him and that Dan was making arrangements with another “landlady” in Bristol called Poppy Thorne. He described her to Elsie as being over 16 stone and over 50 years of age but capable of doing a good B&B, however his phone call to the lady in question made it clear that she was much more than that when he asked her to be waiting wearing her little sexy black number when he would be seeing her the next night.
Another lorry driver in Jim's Cafe called Ernie dropped a brick when he blabbed straight out that Dan had a woman in every town. When Elsie confronted him with this, he told her that he had a few laughs with the ladies who ran his other digs but there was nothing serious.
Elsie saw him in his true light though when she caught him bringing Bet home from a night out when he had told her he was seeing an old pal. Furious, she threw his things at him and next day had a furious slanging match with Bet in the Rovers.
Unfazed, Bet carried on where Elsie had finished, letting Dan into the Corner Shop flat for the night. This didn’t go down well with landlords Alf and Renee Roberts who gave Bet an ultimatum. Angrily, she walked out and took a room on Ludlow Avenue where she set up a little love nest with Dan. The tenant across the hallway was a mild-mannered gentleman’s outfitter named Keith Sadler. Although not Bet’s type, she took pity on him and was friendly enough to cause Dan to get jealous. He warned Keith off with threats of violence which Bet found out about when Keith started avoiding her. She insisted to Keith that he had got Dan wrong but her eyes were opened the next night when Dan saw them chatting in the hallway and calmly gave Keith a vicious thump in the stomach. Bet was stunned at this new side to his character that she was seeing and warned him that she wouldn’t be a possession of his. Dan shrugged the matter off, told her that there were plenty of other women available and walked out of her life, leaving Bet shattered.