In July 2019, Ray attended a meal at Speed Daal and - impressed with the food - offered Alya and Yasmeen Nazir the chance to cater at a charity fundraiser he was organising. The Nazirs, fearing that they would be unable to meet the demand of the fundraiser, planned to team up with Robert Preston from the bistro. However, Robert claimed that he was unable to go through with the event as he was attending a wine-tasting in Warrington - in reality he was meeting up with his mistress Vicky Jefferies - and as a result his partner Michelle Connor offered to assist the Nazirs instead. When the fundraiser received twice as many guests than expected, Ray offered to pay the caterers extra if they were able to meet the demand - which they were. Due to the success of their original partnership, Ray later contacted Michelle with the details for another event he was organising - the Youth Foundation Awards - and once again the event was attended by more than expected but the caterers were able to manage.
Eventually, Ray proposed that Michelle work for him full-time - leaving Alya scorned that she had been overlooked. Ryan Connor, Michelle's son and Alya's partner, chastised his mother for accepting Ray's offer - but Michelle went ahead regardless and in September, Ray revealed his plans to franchise the bistro and have Michelle oversee them. Ray was left displeased when Michelle mentioned that she would have to talk to Robert before agreeing to anything, and later - after paying for Daniel Osbourne and Sinead Tinker's wedding - made his feelings for Michelle clear by summoning her to his hotel room and propositioning her in his dressing gown. Michelle reacted angrily, and Ray accused her of getting the wrong impression before admitting that he was rethinking the bistro partnership. Michelle continued to work for Ray despite this but, when he ordered her to complete menial tasks, she soon realised that he was punishing her for rejecting him. When Michelle refused to follow his instructions Ray informed her that she was in breach of contract but, after she threatened that she would spread the word about his inappropriate behaviour, he offered Michelle a way out of her current contract on the condition that she sign a gagging order preventing her from speaking out against him.
Finding out about the franchise agreement falling through, Alya suggested that she take Michelle’s place, but Michelle warned her that she should never be alone with Ray and needed to watch out for inappropriate advances. Upon learning about Michelle's comments, Ray contacted his solicitor Miles Ingham about suing Michelle for defamation and breach of contract. Ray later dropped the lawsuit but refused to explain why. Adam Barlow suggested that Ray didn’t want to risk publicising claims that he was a sex pest. When Robert’s affair with Vicky was exposed, Michelle decided to leave Weatherfield and put the Bistro up for sale - it was anonymously purchased by Ray at a knock-down price. The revelation infuriated Michelle and she trashed the bistro shortly before she left. Ryan decided to leave his job in protest against Ray, but the new boss was able to charm his other waitresses Bethany Platt and Faye Windass into remaining in their positions - and soon brought Alya onboard as the manager.
In January 2020, Ray began a sexual relationship with Abi Franklin. When Ray discovered that Abi worked as a mechanic, and had previously been incarcerated, Kevin Webster hoped that he would finish with her. Although, Ray commended Abi from pulling herself out of the gutter and expressed a desire to continue their relationship. The following month Carla Connor told Bethany about her boss’ history with Michelle, and she planned to expose the truth - with help from Daniel. At first Bethany raised her concerns to Alya, but it wasn’t until Ray booked a room for them at the Drawbridge Hotel (under the assumption that they would be meeting with a fashion designer) that Alya began to realise the truth. With her suspicions confirmed Alya quit her job, and was immediately replaced as manager by Danny Tomlinson. Meanwhile, Bethany and Daniel broke into Ray’s solicitor’s office to find evidence against him and uncovered a laptop with a list of names, seven of which (all women) were stared with an asterisk - including Michelle and Lisa Jamieson. When Bethany contacted the women only one of them decided to come forward, and it became clear that Ray had forced them all to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
Having recorded an interview with the woman, who wished to remain anonymous, Bethany contacted the Weatherfield Gazette and talked to a reporter. Chief editor Cindy Watson refused to publish the story however, due to the fact that Ray had many powerful connections. When Abi got wind of the accusations she completely believed them, and plotted against Ray by gathering up several of his victims - Davina, Poppy and Sonya - and announcing the truth to the packed Bistro at a Valentine’s charity event. Manipulating the situation, Ray was able to belittle Abi by telling her that nobody would believe an ex-junkie over a respectable businessman. Distraught, Abi stole and set fire to his car - which she later came to regret when she was arrested for arson. Kevin decided to give Abi a fake alibi, but when it was revealed that Ray had photographic evidence of Abi’s involvement he blackmailed her into sleeping with him to stop herself and Kevin going to prison. It was later revealed that Ray had no intention of sleeping with Abi, and he exposed her infidelity to Kevin - before demanding that he sign over the garage for a knock-down price.
List of appearancesEdit