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Ian Knowles was a freelance photographer who was recommended to Ken Barlow when he and Fiona Cavanagh were discussing ideas for the Weatherfield Recorder after Ken bought Bob Statham's 60% share of the paper in 1988. Fiona knew Ian through his work for her father's company, the Clarion Group, which had recently gone bust. Later that day, Ken interviewed Ian and looked over his portfolio. Immediately impressed, he offered Ian regular work with the Recorder, which Ian accepted despite it only being minimum rate. After his departure, Deirdre Barlow pointed out to Ken that Fiona was waiting in a car by the viaduct, and that she and Ian were obviously dating.