Daniel Albert Osbourne is the son of Ken Barlow and Denise Osbourne, and the couple's only surviving twin, the other twin having died in the fifth month of pregnancy. He faced an uncertain future after his mother deserted him in 1996, running away with her lover, Brian Dunkley, and leaving Ken holding the baby. Some months later, Denise and Brian returned and gained custody of Daniel, taking him to live with them in Scotland. As time passed, Ken lost touch with his son.
Ken visited Daniel for a few weeks in 2007 but Daniel struggled to bond with his father. Despite this, Ken occasionally kept in contact over the next few years. In 2016, Daniel returned to Weatherfield to visit his father who had recently suffered a stroke.
1995-2016: Early life
Ken Barlow started a relationship with Denise Osbourne in 1994 when he had temporarily split from his wife Deirdre. Soon afterwards, Denise became pregnant but miscarried in the fifth month. It was then discovered that she had actually been carrying twins and the other twin had survived. Ken proposed to Denise, as he didn't want to be a father to an illegitimate child, but Denise turned him down and later broke up with him.
Daniel was born in January 1995 and Denise left Ken's name off the birth certificate, leaving him without parental rights. Denise ran away with Daniel later that year, but when Ken tracked them down, the parents agreed to give their relationship another go. In January 1996, Ken discovered that Denise had been having an affair with her brother-in-law Brian Dunkley and subsequently kicked her out, refusing to let her see Daniel. Denise left with Brian, abandoning Daniel and leaving him in the care of Ken. That November, Denise returned for Daniel, with Ken forced to hand him over as he had no legal rights to his son. Denise, Brian and Daniel moved to Scotland in January 1997. Although Daniel visited Ken the following July, Ken was distraught to realise that Daniel didn't recognise him as his father. Ken quickly lost touch with Daniel.
Sometime later, Denise broke up with Brian and moved back to the Manchester area with Daniel.
In 2007, Denise contacted Ken to offer her sympathy after reading about his daughter Tracy's murder conviction. He learned that Daniel and his mother lived nearby. While his marriage to Deirdre went through a rocky patch, Ken went to visit Denise and Daniel in May, hoping to build a relationship with his estranged son. Daniel and Ken struggled to get to know each other, especially when Deirdre and Ken's mother-in-law Blanche interfered. Ken stayed with Denise for a short while but Daniel began to resent his father's presence, even telling a friend that Ken was actually his grandfather.
Ken remained in contact with Daniel over the next few years but was not especially willing to be open about him to friends and family. When he met his long-lost first son Lawrence Cunningham, Ken neglected to tell him about Daniel, leaving other son Peter to announce his existence in the Rovers Return. During a discussion between Ken and Deirdre about Daniel in 2011, Peter's son Simon asked who he was, to which Deirdre replied "a relative".
Around 2010, when Daniel was fifteen, Denise wanted to move away, however Daniel refused because of his friends and GCSEs. Denise instead walked out on him, and he didn't hear from her again. Daniel kept Denise's disappearance a secret from friends and teachers as he was afraid of being taken into care.
In December 2011, Ken left the Street for a few days to visit Daniel.
In November 2016, Daniel started visiting his father at Weatherfield General after learning he had experienced a stroke. This was a private affair as Ken refused to see his other children Peter and Tracy. The older siblings eventually stormed into the ward to see who Ken's mystery visitor was, leaving Daniel to introduce himself, meeting Peter and Tracy for the first time, as well as his nephew Adam.
- Daniel was played by Lewis Harney from his birth in 1995 until his exit in 1997. He left alongside his onscreen mother Denise Osbourne played by Denise Black.
- Daniel made a brief return in May and June 2007, this time played by Dominic Holmes. His reappearance was written to tie in with a storyline involving Ken Barlow having difficulties with his wife Deirdre.
- It was announced in July 2016 that Daniel would be re-introduced to the programme later that year alongside Peter Barlow and Adam Barlow, as new producer Kate Oates wanted to strengthen the Barlow family. In September it was revealed that Rob Mallard had been cast as Daniel. Daniel returned onscreen the following November as a full time character.
- In a continuity error, it was stated upon Daniel's return in 2016 that he has been living alone without Denise since 2010, even though Ken went to see them off-screen in December 2011.