Denise Osbourne (previously Mitchell) is the mother of Daniel Osbourne and ex-partner of Ken Barlow. She moved to Coronation Street in 1992 where she worked as a hairdresser and embarked on a relationship with Ken, resulting in the birth of Daniel in 1995. After starting an affair with Brian Dunkley and abandoning Daniel for several months, Denise left with her son and lost contact with Ken.

In 2007 Ken went to stay with Denise and Daniel for a short while but returned to his wife Deirdre, to the disappointment of Denise. Denise became troubled and ran away in 2010, leaving Daniel on his own and forcing the teenager to bring himself up over the following years.


1955-1992: Early life

Denise married solicitor Frank Osbourne but later divorced him and married Neil Mitchell in 1990.

1992-1994: Arrival on the street

Denise moved to Coronation Street in 1992, by which point she had left Neil. She opened a salon at No.2, living in the flat above.

Denise was popular with the male residents. In 1993, she became close to Don Brennan who had recently had his foot amputated, as she had a hand disability. Don invested in Denise's salon and wanted to become closer to her. He harassed her with telephone calls and although Denise pinned the blame on Don's wife Ivy, Don confessed to being behind the campaign.

1994-1996: Relationship with Ken

In 1994, Denise started a relationship with Ken Barlow. Soon afterwards she became pregnant. Denise was distraught after miscarrying, but soon discovered that she had actually been carrying twins and the other twin had survived. Ken proposed to Denise but she turned him down and broke up with him. Denise gave birth to her son Daniel Osbourne in January 1995 and although Ken gave her support, she left his name off the birth certificate. Denise ran away with Daniel later that year, but when Ken tracked them down, they decided to give their relationship another go.

In January 1996, it transpired that Denise had been having an affair with her brother-in-law Brian Dunkley for two years. Ken ordered Denise to leave, so she moved away with Brian and abandoned Daniel in the care of Ken. In November, Denise returned for Daniel, leaving Ken with no choice but to hand him over due to his absence from the birth certificate.

1997-2010: Bringing up Daniel

Denise, Daniel and Brian moved to Scotland in January 1997 and quickly lost contact with Ken. Sometime later, Denise broke up with Brian and moved back to the Manchester area with Daniel.

In 2007, Denise sent a card to Ken after learning that his daughter Tracy had been sent to prison for murder. Ken went to stay with Denise after experiencing problems with his wife Deirdre. Ken hoped to become closer to Daniel, which proved difficult due to his long absence. Ken stayed with Denise for a few weeks and although Daniel grew frustrated at his father's presence, Denise became closer and made a pass at Ken. However, Ken turned her down and later returned to Deirdre after a reconciliation.

2010-2017: Disappearance

Denise wasn't the same after Ken returned to Deirdre, so around 2010, when Daniel was 15, she decided to move away. Daniel refused to go with her due to his GCSEs and friends, so remained on his own while Denise left. Daniel didn't hear from her again and was forced to lie to friends and teachers that Denise was still around to avoid being taken into care.

Daniel returned to Coronation Street in November 2016 when Ken had a stroke, his family became suspicious of where his mother was, especially after his adoptive sister Tracy entered his flat without his knowledge and deduced Denise wasn't living with him due to lack of female presence. Daniel was forced to admit the truth to his family.

2017-2018: Resurfacing

Nearly seven years after her disappearance, Denise arrived back at her flat whilst an emotionally unstable Daniel was holding Ken hostage following the revelation he pushed Ken down the stairs. When Denise tried to gain access through the barricaded door, Ken called out for help and when Daniel went to prevent whoever was trying to get in from gaining access, he was shocked to come face to face with his mother. He ran to the bathroom and locked himself in. Denise and Ken attempted to talk Daniel into coming out as he was brandishing a sharp knife. He burned himself with hot water after continuously running the hot tap. Eventually, the authorities arrived and bashed the bathroom door down. While he was arrested in connection with Ken's assault, he was ultimately released without charge. Denise decided to move to somewhere nearby so she keep an eye on Daniel.

In October 2018, Denise found out that Daniel had got engaged to Sinead Tinker and sent him a letter asking for an invitation to their wedding. Despite this, she has not visited Daniel since nor met her grandson Bertie Osbourne. After Sinead's death in October 2019, Ken offered to call Denise round but Daniel wasn't interested.

First and last lines

"Yeah. Well, I'd like to ask a favour as well. Could I leave some of these with you to hand out to your customers?" (First line, giving leaflets to Deirdre Barlow in the Corner Shop)


"No. Last time I thought he could cope but now I know different. So I won't be going far. I'll be keeping an eye out and when he needs me, I'll be there. (Final line, to Ken Barlow)

See also

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