Joiner Dave Barton came to Tracy Barlow's rescue when she accidentally set the frying pan on fire at 1 Coronation Street in April 1990. A builder in Maurice Jones's employ, Dave was working across the street at No.4 and was subsequently hired by Deirdre to put in a new kitchen at No.1. In doing so, he struck up a friendship with Deirdre and took her and Tracy out but Deirdre had qualms about going out with Dave on her own, despite his keenness, as she was only recently separated from Ken.
Once Dave finished the work at No.1, he persuaded Deirdre to let him take her out for a meal and she returned the favour by cooking for him at No.1. They shared a kiss and Dave wanted to take things further but Deirdre kept shutting him out, much to his frustration. As Ken's relationship with Wendy Crozier had hit the rocks, he was now interested in patching up his marriage and Tracy tried to put Dave off by saying Deirdre was also interested in a reconciliation. Dave swallowed the tale and stood Deirdre up. They made up when Deirdre convinced Dave that she had no desire to get back with Ken, but Ken's presence still blighted their relationship.
Dave became very fond of Deirdre and often called her "Dee". In June, with Dave's encouragement Deirdre accepted an offer from brewery Newton & Ridley to buy No.1 so that they could extend the Rovers Return. Dave invited Deirdre and Tracy to move in with him, but Deirdre turned him down as she wasn't ready for that kind of relationship. In any case, the brewery plans fell through.
Dave was usually the one making plans for him and Deirdre and so when Deirdre suggested they go away to a hotel while Tracy was at Peter Barlow's wedding in Portsmouth, Dave was pleased. However, Ken had stepped up his efforts to win Deirdre back, and their excursion was nearly spoiled when Dave asked Deirdre if she had only planned the trip to spite Ken. By this point, Ken had moved from his lodgings at 6 Chepstow Road back to Coronation Street, in the Corner Shop flat, much to Deirdre's horror. Despite Deirdre refusing to have him back, Ken assumed she just needed time to forgive him and warned Dave off, causing further acrimony between Ken and Deirdre. With Ken constantly in the house for one reason or another - usually Tracy - Dave suggested that she show Ken that she had moved on. Deirdre decided to initiate divorce proceedings. Delighted by this news, Dave suggested that they marry, although Deirdre turned him down flat, telling Dave that she never wanted to marry again. As Dave put pressure on her, a row ensued with Deirdre accusing Dave of trying to organise her the way Ken used to. Rejected, Dave walked out on Deirdre for good.
- Actor David Beckett met his future wife Anne Kirkbride on the set of Coronation Street. They were married from 1992 until Kirkbride's death in 2015.