Ivan arrives in the village working as a binman for "King & Sons" just after he has separated from his wife. He starts to outperform Jarvis Skelton in his new job role and has a fling with Toni Daggert. Ivan takes an interest in Jasmine Thomas' liking of literature. He gives her a copy of the Bronte novel Shirley and she lets him buy her a drink. Laurel Thomas becomes concerned and warns Jasmine away from Ivan because of their age difference. When Nicola Blackstock reveals that she is attracted to Ivan, he reveals that he likes her half-brother Paul by kissing him on the cheek. Ivan and Paul soon start a sexual relationship; but Ivan does not want anyone else to know about the relationship, which Paul finds difficult. Paul grows tired of being secretive and dumps Ivan. However, when Nicola arranges a meal that they both attend, Ivan and Paul get drunk and flirt. Ivan moves in with Nicola and her boyfriend Simon Meredith.
Ivan goes to collect some things that he left behind at Jordan's house. Paul goes with him and takes Rodney's van. When he returns, Ivan finds the van with graffiti reading "ladyboys" and Paul surrounded by men. Ivan threatens the homophobic group with a cricket bat and tells them that he is Paul's boyfriend. Ivan is shocked that he finally admitted it to someone but still insists that they remain quiet upon returning to the village. Nicola thinks that Paul is seeing someone and attempts to find out who it is. She tells Laurel that she still likes Ivan. When Paul does his drag queen act "Thelma Louise" at The Woolpack, he makes jibes about having a secret boyfriend and drops hints. Ivan gets angry and the pair argue in the toilets, unaware that the whole pub can still hear them because Paul forgets to switch off his microphone. Ivan accuses Paul of doing it on purpose, but he eventually deals with being outed.
When Nicola feels down about Simon moving on, she decides to seduce Ivan. He rebuffs her advances but she tells Simon's mother Lesley, her father Rodney and Laurel that she slept with Ivan. When Ivan tries to get the truth, she convinces everyone else that he lying. Paul refuses to speak to Ivan and makes his father throw Nicola out of her home. She then tells Laurel that she lied about the whole thing. Laurel then tells everyone inside the pub that Nicola has lied and Ivan refuses to accept everyone's apologies. Rodney thinks that Ivan and Paul should get back together and lets the whole pub know. Ivan is annoyed but then realises he is right. When Ivan asks Paul for another chance, he turns him down and Ivan leaves the village. When he returns, Simon is annoyed with him for leaving him to pay the rent on Mulberry Cottage. He forgives him when Ivan reveals that he is just back for his job. He is made haulage manager for Matthew and Sadie King's new business after they poach him. However, the job soon ends and along with Simon they leave Emmerdale for a new life in Costa Rica.