Dave Hanlon was a clothing businessman and a customer of Underworld. Difficult, gruff and rude, his first business with the firm didn't go well when Peter Barlow was late, meeting Tina McIntyre and trying to get her not to leave Weatherfield for a new life in London. Carla Barlow rang Peter and asked where he was and he span a lie that he was stuck in traffic and Hanlon had cancelled - even though he was sat in front of her at the time. Peter was surprised, to say the least, to see the man sat in the factory office when he finally turned up. Carla saved the deal and Peter managed to convince her that he had gone to an impromptu AA meeting when the desire for a drink started to overwhelm him.

Hanlon was back a few months later and insisted that he and Peter went for a drink in the Rovers to conclude business. Peter was reluctant as Tina was serving behind the bar and Hanlon was in no better a mood, upset that "the organ grinder" - Carla - wasn't with them and sarcastically commenting that he ought to be grateful that this time Peter had turned up for his appointment. He went over the contract that was offered to him with great exactitude, managing to delay matters in order to blag more free pints off Peter.

In June 2014 he returned looking at more of the firm's lines, shortly after the murder of Tina McIntyre. Peter and Carla had spilt and the lady herself had been hauled in by the police that morning for questioning over the death. Michelle Connor, Rob Donovan and all the staff pulled together to put on a good show in her absence, claiming that she had a dental appointment and all seemed to go well, Hanlon even going so far as to sympathise with her marriage split as he had been through the same situation himself. Carla was kept waiting in the Weatherfield Police Station past the point where she lost control and she returned to the factory in a foul mood, insulting Hanlon and throwing his sympathy back in his face so much that he instantly cancelled the order he had just signed.

Diplomatic relations between the two were restored by the following April when Hanlon met Carla in Nick's Bistro to discuss another deal. This time he was rude with Nick Tilsley, finding fault with him almost as soon as he entered the bistro, complaining the food was too cold and then too hot. During the meal, Sally Webster interrupted them, trying to push her way in as Carla's "PA" and even suggesting that he discuss a window-cleaning contract with her partner Tim Metcalfe. Carla lost her rag with Hanlon when he demanded a discount from Nick, telling him to stick his deal "somewhere painful". He was amused, describing her as a "feisty little thing" and agreed to the deal with, liking her no-nonsense approach.

In the August he was back to consider a new deal with Underworld. At that time, Carla was in the process of selling the factory and one of the potential buyers was trainee manager Alya Nazir, using money borrowed from her grandparents. She also offered to meet Hanlon herself to show that she was capable of being in charge. They met in the bistro where Hanlon was his usual charming self, objecting to being a guinea pig but admitted that he was flattered when Alya forthrightly said that if she could do a deal with him, she could do it with anyone. He warmed to the girl, telling her not to keep looking across the bar where Carla was keeping a wary watch on them but to look him in the eye. After going carefully over the contract, Dave imperiously summoned Carla and told her that Alya was a good worker, albeit a bit nervy, and signed on the dotted line.

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