In 1996, Daniel was first abandoned by his mother, who ran away with her lover Brian Dunkley, leaving Ken to raise him alone. However, some months later the pair returned and gained custody of Daniel, taking him to live with them in Scotland. By 2007, Denise had split from Brian and returned to Manchester, but Daniel was unable to form a bond with Ken when he came to stay with them for a couple of weeks. Nevertheless, the pair occasionally kept in contact over the next few years.
In 2010, Denise abandoned a 15-year-old Daniel, who was forced to lie to friends and teachers that she was still around to avoid being taken into care. In 2016, he turned up at Ken's bedside following his stroke and remained in Weatherfield thereafter. In the following months, Daniel ventured into an affair with Sinead Tinker and pushed his father down the stairs after discovering that he had pressured Sinead into aborting their child.
Daniel married Sinead in 2018, by which point she was pregnant again and had also been diagnosed with cervical cancer. Sinead managed her treatment around the birth of Bertie but after an initial remission, the cancer returned more aggressively and she passed away in October 2019, leaving Daniel a struggling single father.
A bright young man, Daniel graduated with a degree in English Literature in 2017. He followed this with an MA course in 2018, with the hope of breaking into journalism, but efforts were constantly stymied by his troubles at home. In 2021, Daniel completed a PGCE and began teaching English at Weatherfield High.
1995-2016: Early life
Ken Barlow started a relationship with Denise Osbourne in 1994. Soon afterwards, Denise became pregnant but miscarried in the fifth month. It was then discovered that she had actually been carrying twins and the other twin had survived. Ken proposed to Denise, as he didn't want to be a father to an illegitimate child, but Denise turned him down and later broke up with him.
Daniel was born in January 1995 and Denise left Ken's name off the birth certificate, leaving him without parental rights. Denise ran away with Daniel later that year, but when Ken tracked them down, the parents agreed to give their relationship another go. In January 1996, Ken discovered that Denise had been having an affair with her brother-in-law Brian Dunkley and subsequently kicked her out, refusing to let her see Daniel. Denise left with Brian, abandoning Daniel and leaving him in the care of Ken. That November, Denise returned for Daniel, with Ken forced to hand him over as he had no legal rights to his son. Denise, Brian and Daniel moved to Scotland in January 1997. Although Daniel visited Ken the following July, their time together was strained; Daniel failed to recognise Ken as his father and spent most of the time throwing tantrums. Ken felt totally disconnected from his son, and ended up taking him back to Scotland just a few days into what was meant a fortnight-long visit. Ken then allowed himself to fall out of contact with Daniel, feeling that he was nothing more than a stranger to the child.
Sometime later, Denise broke up with Brian and moved back to the Manchester area with Daniel.
In 2007, Denise contacted Ken to offer her sympathy after reading about his daughter Tracy's murder conviction. He learned that Daniel and his mother lived nearby. While his marriage to Deirdre went through a rocky patch, Ken went to visit Denise and Daniel in May, hoping to build a relationship with his estranged son. Daniel and Ken struggled to get to know each other, especially when Deirdre and Ken's mother-in-law Blanche interfered. Ken stayed with Denise for a short while but Daniel began to resent his father's presence, even telling a friend that Ken was actually his grandfather.
Ken remained in contact with Daniel over the next few years but was not especially willing to be open about him to friends and family. When he met his long-lost first son Lawrence Cunningham, Ken neglected to tell him about Daniel, leaving other son Peter to announce his existence in the Rovers Return. During a discussion between Ken and Deirdre about Daniel in 2011, Peter's son Simon asked who he was, to which Deirdre replied "a relative".
Around 2010, when Daniel was fifteen, Denise wanted to move away, however, Daniel refused because of his friends and GCSEs. Denise instead walked out on him, and he didn't hear from her again. Daniel kept Denise's disappearance a secret from friends and teachers as he was afraid of being taken into care. Due to Ken's little to no contact with his son, he was left oblivious about Daniel's situation for the next few years.
2016 to present: Return
In November 2016, Daniel started visiting his father at Weatherfield General after learning he had experienced a stroke. This was a private affair as Ken refused to see his other children Peter and Tracy. The older siblings eventually stormed into the ward to see who Ken's mystery visitor was, leaving Daniel to introduce himself, meeting Peter and Tracy for the first time, as well as his nephew Adam.
Daniel was played by Lewis Harney from his birth in 1995 until his exit in January 1997. He left alongside his onscreen mother Denise Osbourne played by Denise Black. A brief reprisal in July of that year (without Denise) represented the last appearance of the character for almost a decade.
Daniel made a slightly longer return in May and June 2007, this time played by Dominic Holmes. His reappearance was written to tie in with a storyline involving Ken Barlow having difficulties with his wife Deirdre. Although Holmes expressed an interest in returning to the role later that year, this never materialised .
It was announced in July 2016 that Daniel would be re-introduced to the programme later that year alongside Peter Barlow and Adam Barlow, as new producer Kate Oates wanted to strengthen the Barlow family. In September it was revealed that Rob Mallard had been cast as Daniel. Daniel returned onscreen the following November as a full-time character.
List of addresses
|15a Coronation Street||November 2016 to present|
|Waiter||Nick's Bistro/Viaduct Bistro||8th March 2017 to present|