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Denise (played by Denise Black) made her first appearance on Coronation Street in 1992 and it wasn’t long before she caught the eye of lothario Ken Barlow (William Roache). Their relationship resulted in the birth of their son Daniel (Rob Mallard) and then in 1997 she made her exit from the ITV soap before her child returned some years later and now has a child of his own. The last time his mother was seen on the cobbles was back in 2017 as she made a fleeting visit to help her son through a breakdown. For the past three years, she has only been mentioned in conversation briefly, but could she be closer to her child than first thought as she has a connection to sex worker Nicky (Kimberley Hart-Simpson)?
Since the death of his wife Sinead Tinker (Katie McGlynn) last year, the father-of-one has been struggling to build new relationships.
Following a failed romance with Bethany Platt (Lucy Fallon), the troubled character took himself off to a retreat to help with his grief.
Upon his return to the cobbles several weeks ago, it seemed Daniel had a new perspective on life and when he met Nicky, he thought this could be his second chance at love.
Little did he know she was a sex worker and when he discovered the truth, he was left raging and rejected her as a result.
However, he has found himself gravitating back towards her and using her as a shoulder to cry on with regards to the loss of his wife.
There have been numerous theories as to who the newcomer could be and whether she already has a connection to someone in Weatherfield, but could she be secretly working with his mother Denise?
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Some viewers might have picked up on the fact Denise didn’t return to the cobbles when her son’s wife passed away.
The former resident’s absence wasn’t explained at the funeral and her son never sought comfort or solace from her as he tried to deal with his grief.
Fans thought they might not see the troubled character’s mother ever again, but she could be watching her child from the shadows.
Ken’s ex might have hired Nicky to get closer to the father-of-one in a bid to support him as he tries to move on from his late spouse.
When raising her son off-screen, Denise wasn’t always the greatest mother as she left him to fend for himself at the age of 15.
The former Weatherfield resident was distraught when after spending some months with Ken following some marital troubles with Deidre Barlow (Anne Kirkbridge) he returned to his wife.
Therefore, she moved away from Scotland and Daniel was forced to lie to his friends and school teachers about his home circumstances.
Could using Nicky be her misconstrued way of making it up to her son by helping him find someone who will allow him to move on from Sinead.
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There is a big twist coming
Unable to pay Nicky for her time, this is why the newcomer might have told Daniel she was a sex worker to ensure she wasn’t left empty-handed if the plan fell through.
Speaking to Inside Soap, actress Kimberley explained her character’s identity will become clearer in upcoming scenes.
“What’s been nice is that people have developed conspiracies about the reason why she’s there as there are other Corrie storylines that involve people in Nicky’s line of work.
“There is a big twist coming this week, though – and no-one has guessed it yet!” the soap star added, but could she really be working with Daniel’s mother?
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Executive Producer Iain MacLeod explained last year why Denise was an absent figure from Sinead’s funeral and why she hasn’t been seen during his grieving process.
The soap boss told the press: “We’ve thought about it but I think the direction we wanted to go was focusing on the characters that we already have.
“I also felt that there is enough emotional complexity for Daniel just in the simplicity in what we’ve done, and adding a whole layer of other mummy issues probably would’ve muddied the waters.”
Teasing her return, he added: “But never say never. That’s certainly an interesting background relationship that’s been so informative.
“The whole relationship is so formative for that character, so it’s certainly not out of the question.”
Coronation Street continues Friday on 7:30pm on ITV.
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