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Keith's character was re-introduced to the street when, looking for ideas for their new venture (The Joinery) Peter & Leanne went out to sample some of the local eateries & discovered Ciaran was the chef at the Cheshire Restaurant they'd read such good things about. That job as the chef wasn't to last much longer, however... Customers (including Peter & Leanne) were left waiting a long while for their food so the maître d' went to find out what the holdup was. Ever the perfectionist, Ciaran took exception to being hurried; pointing out slow cooked lamb should be exactly that. While making that point, he was pushing the maître d' out the kitchen, back the way he came. It was as all that was going on that Peter realised he knew the chef rather well and Ciaran, seeing his old mate again, sat down to have a chat about old times. Threatened with the sack for not recommencing his work in the kitchen, Ciaran resigned and headed back to Coronation Street & The Rovers Return with Peter.
While there, Ciaran bought himself & Peter a beer, but Peter had to explain that he was a recovering alcoholic so couldn't drink it - Ciaran apologised and said he'd drink both pints. When Leanne came in the pub a little later & saw the 2 pints on the table, she worried that one was for Peter but Ciaran reassured her they were both his. Leanne later informed Ciaran just how serious Peter's drink problem was.
Also while at The Rovers, one girl immediately caught his eye - Michelle Connor, the barmaid; but his outrageous flirting was initially met with a lukewarm reception. Never one to be deterred, Ciaran moved onto chatting up Carla Connor (unknown to him; Michelle's sister-in-law) but his Irish charm was never going to work on the feisty factory boss and he was strongly knocked back.
A few days later; still jobless, Ciaran helped out with the food for Betty's 90th birthday at The Rovers and then for the hard-hat party at the half-finished Joinery a few days after that. It was then that Peter had a relapse with the drink and ruined the party; Ciaran tried to restrain him but was pushed over by his very drunk friend.
Ciaran got a job back at the pub but his first day ended with his boss, Liz McDonald making a pass at him. He turned her down, much to Liz's embarrassment but Ciaran told her not to worry and set about his work behind the bar.
The next few months he spent working with and flirting with Michelle, attempting to persuade her to date him. With each attempt, she turned him down, even though underneath, she truly wanted to accept. His reputation as a ladies' man had proceeded him & she was frightened of getting hurt again. Just as it looked like she'd softened and was going to tell Ciaran how she felt, she spotted him kissing a random girl in the Rovers yard, at the speed dating event he had organised. After that, it was back to her giving him the cold shoulder.
Slowly, however, they returned to their easy banter and Michelle finally agreed to a 'date' - After she made a joke about his cooking being terrible, Ciaran took exception and made a bet with her that he'd cook a meal for her and if she didn't enjoy it, he'd do a shift in the pub in his boxer shorts. Needless to say, things didn't go according to plan for him when cooking chicken in Michelle's gas oven & ended up having to dress up beans on toast as some gourmet dish. (Much to Michelle's amusement) Despite that, the pair had a nice evening and while sat on the sofa with a glass of wine, Ciaran moved in for a kiss but Michelle edged away and told him it was time to go.
The next day at the pub, Ciaran was about to go back on his bet but under pressure from both Michelle & Becky, he stripped down to his boxers and served the customers - much to the delight of the factory girls and Sean!
Ciaran and Michelle's relationship continued in a will-they-won't-they fashion until Ciaran couldn't take it anymore; believing there was nothing keeping him in Weatherfield, he applied for a kitchen job in Glasgow. Michelle was clearly disappointed by this latest development and Liz encouraged her to tell Ciaran her true feelings before it was too late, but still something held her back. Ciaran went off to Glasgow for a weekend to attend an interview, when he came back, he revealed he had got the job and would be leaving a week or so later.
Ryan showed an interest in Ciaran's move to Glasgow, revealing to him that he'd been offered a place at a Uni there. He'd not taken it, feeling it was unfair to leave his mum on her own and instead was starting at one in nearby Manchester. Ciaran felt he'd get more out of moving away from home for a while, rather than staying put. He suggested to Ryan that he went up with him to check the city out and make an informed decision about his future. This idea was put to Michelle and initially, she was dead-set against it but after strong reassurance that Ciaran would look after her son, Michelle relented & let Ryan go.
When the boys returned, Ryan was all geared up to tell his mum of his plans to study in Scotland but changed his mind again, still worrying how she would cope without him. Ciaran informed her of that and Michelle was upset, telling Ryan not to give up on his dreams just for her. Ryan left for Glasgow not long after and Ciaran comforted a tearful Michelle as she said goodbye to her boy. The same evening, things came to a head between them; the pair almost kissed but Michelle pulled back, saying there was no point as he was leaving in a few days. Ciaran told her he would stay as it was her he really wanted. Michelle remained unsure; however, still worried he was only after one thing. He didn't know how to convince her otherwise and turned to walk away, Michelle stopped him in his tracks and the two of them finally kissed!
After that, they were at last on track as a couple and spent the next few weeks blissfully happy.
Written & Researched by Leonie Stevens
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