At first it was believed that Maxine's husband Ashley Peacock was Joshua's father, until it was revealed that Maxine had a one-night stand with Matt. Ashley was listed as the father on the birth certificate and decided to bring the child up as his own, despite the question over Joshua's paternity. Maxine was killed by Richard Hillman when Joshua was just nine months old. This prompted Ashley to take a DNA test to determine whether or not he was Joshua's biological father, and the results of the test proved that he was in fact not.
Ashley later married Claire Casey, who was originally hired as a nanny for Joshua. Shortly after Claire found out she was pregnant, Matt got in touch with Ashley and requested to see his son. Through court proceedings Matt was allowed to visit Joshua on a monthly basis. Claire gave birth to baby Freddie in July 2006, a brother for Joshua. Joshua soon befriended Simon Barlow and developed a skill at football.
In December 2010, Ashley died when an explosion at The Joinery bar derailed a tram which crashed into the street. The accident led to the Peacocks' home at No.13 burning down, and the McDonalds took Claire, Joshua and Freddie in at the Rovers. Joshua attended the funeral, wanting to say goodbye to his father. The following month Claire was arrested for assaulting Tracy Barlow after she mocked Ashley. Upon realising that she faced a prison sentence, the street's residents helped Claire and the boys escape to a new life in France.
- Joshua was played by Brandon Jackson from his birth in April 2002 to January 2004, although in a number of episodes in November 2003, the role was instead played by Benjamin Beresford. Beresford later took over the role in February 2004 and played Joshua until the character’s departure in January 2011.
- Joshua was inconsistently credited in his first four years on the programme. His first credited appearance was on 17th April 2002, but he would not be credited again until 25th December 2004 and 26th December 2004. He was eventually credited on a regular basis starting from 29th November 2006.
First and last lines
"Mummy! Mummy!" (First line, to Claire Casey)