Stephen Reid is the son of Audrey Roberts, whom her father insisted she gave up for adoption after she gave birth to him at 16. Malcolm Reid, a neighbour and old boyfriend of Audrey, adopted Stephen and later emigrated to Canada.
In January 1996, Stephen arrived in Weatherfield to get to know his biological mother and carry out some business for his firm KBec with local tycoon Mike Baldwin. During his stay, Alma Baldwin, Mike's wife and Audrey's best friend, became besotted by him and made her feelings clear but Stephen was not interested and returned to Canada once his work was completed. Stephen's nephew, Nick Tilsley, later went to stay with his uncle in Canada for several months when he started to become troublesome towards his mother Gail and stepfather Martin Platt. In 1999, following the break-up of his marriage to Leanne Battersby, Nick again turned to Stephen, who offered him a job in Canada. Over the years Audrey has maintained regular contact with Stephen and has even visited him a number of times. Gail's third husband Richard Hillman also took her to Canada for an impromptu visit at Christmas 2001.
On 10 December 2007, Stephen returned to Weatherfield to spend Christmas with Audrey en route to Italy, from where he intended to expand his business empire into Europe. On 14 December, Stephen invited his youngest nephew David Platt to join him in his Italian home and he accepted, to the disappointment of his niece and David's half-sister Sarah. On 21 December David's ambitions were ruined when Sarah bought some ecstasy tablets from a drug dealer in Leanne's restaurant Valandros and put them in David's drawer in Audreys salon. Audrey opened the drawer and discovered the pills. After deciding that David was too much of a troublemaker, Stephen left Weatherfield on Boxing Day and was joined by Sarah and her daughter Bethany four days later. Gail visited them in June 2008.
Kelly Thomson was played by Sarah Moffett. Kelly first appears on 9 February 1996 when Ken Barlow hires her as a child minder for his son Daniel Osbourne. She later moves in with the family, and begins a relationship with Ashley Peacock which ends later in the year when she agrees to follow Daniel and his mother Denise up to Scotland to continue with her job but now working for Denise instead of Ken.
Claire Palmer is the girlfriend of Des Barnes, who first appeared on 8 May 1996 played by Maggie Norris. Des and Claire have a whirlwind romance, and she moves in with him two months later, despite still claiming her dead husband's army pension. The Palmers are forced to move out again to avoid being found out, but by the end of the year, Claire gives up the pension for Des. A few months later however, Claire sees Des make a pass at Samantha Failsworth and immediately packs her bags and leaves.
Rebecca "Becky" Palmer is the daughter of Claire Palmer, and first appears on 20 May 1996 played by Emily Aston. Becky moves to the Street when her mother meets Des Barnes at the market and they begin a relationship. When Des and Claire split up the following year, Becky moves away with her mother.
Samantha Failsworth (previously Fitzgerald) is played by Tina Hobley. Samantha makes her first appearance on 17 July 1996 when she asks landlord Jack Duckworth for a job in the Rovers Return. Jack likes the look of her, and without his wife Vera's approval, he takes her on. When Vera returns she is furious, but Samantha wins her over referring to Vera as the boss rather than Jack. Samantha later moves into the Street, house-sharing with newly-single Curly Watts and after ending Des Barnes's relationship with Claire Palmer, she begins dating Des.
In late 1997, Samantha's estranged husband Ritchie Fitzgerald turned up hoping for a reconciliation. Instead he faced months of Samantha claiming their marriage is dead, before spending the night together behind Des's back. Nevertheless, Samantha went ahead with divorce proceedings until Des found out and Samantha was again undecided of which man to choose. Ritchie gave up on his marriage and Des forgave her until she again cheated on him with mechanic Chris Collins in 1998.
Following their split, Des became close to Natalie Horrocks and Samantha was envious. She told them that she was pregnant with Des's child, then said she had an abortion. It was eventually revealed that there had been no baby to begin with, but Samantha went back on her lies and maintained she had suffered a miscarriage. In the end, Samantha told Des she was still pregnant with his child and left Weatherfield in June 1998. Although Natalie firmly believed she was lying, Des was never sure, and Samantha was never heard from again.