1990-2018: Conception, birth and early life
Fourteen-year-old Charity Dingle discovered she was pregnant for the second time whilst being kept prisoner by police officer Mark Bails who was sexually abusing her and pimping her out to his mates. Charity couldn't stand the thought of having another child after being forced to give away her first-born, Debbie. She tried to end the pregnancy by drinking copious amounts of alcohol to cause a miscarriage, but when she felt her unborn child kick, Charity realised she had to stop drinking and escape Bails' clutches for the sake of her and her baby.
After escaping Bails, Charity crashed with a friend, and soon afterwards she went into premature labour. Charity delivered a baby boy but he didn't cry when he was born and Charity was told to prepare for the worst. Charity couldn't bear watching her son die in front of her so she fled the hospital, unaware the doctors managed to revive her son and he was named Ryan by hospital staff.
In October 1991, the baby was adopted by the midwife who delivered him, Irene Stocks, who raised Ryan and his older brother Josh along with her husband. At some point, Irene's husband died and she started depending more on Ryan as Josh rarely visited.
2018-2019: Arrival in Emmerdale and reuniting with Charity
In June 2018, Ryan got back into contact with Charity with Irene's blessing, after Charity found out he had survived through the police while looking for evidence to prosecute Bails with. Charity eventually told Ryan the entire story of what had happened and Ryan decided he couldn't see Charity anymore, upon discovering his father might be a perverted cop. Ryan later changed his mind but a voicemail from a drunk and emotional Charity upset him, and he decided against seeing Charity. Shortly after, a DNA test on Ryan and Bails found that Bails was Ryan's father.
In July 2018, Ryan decided to give Charity another chance but was left disappointed upon discovering that she hadn't told her family about him. He ended up befriending Ross Barton in The Woolpack and the pair decided to go back to Dale View. Ross agreed to set Ryan up on a date but accidentally butt-dialled Dawn. After making an insensitive comment, Ryan goes after Dawn and the pair begin hitting it off. However, Ryan began seeing how Irene was affected by him spending time with Charity. He informed Charity that for this mother's sake, he was going to keep contact with her to a minimal, disappointing Charity. However, Ryan surprised Charity the next day by waiting at the bar for her. Ryan expressed his disappointment that Charity had continued to keep him secret but Charity interrupted Ryan and told him that she would tell her family the next day. However, she soon felt forced to call it off because she feared Debbie couldn't handle it as she had enough to worry about already.
On 29th August Bails go to see Ryan to tell him his side. Irene gets upset and calls Charity who comes around and tells Bails to leave. Ryan tells her he wants to hear him out, and that it doesn't mean he has to believe what he has to say. Bails tells him Charity is just confused and rewriting the past. The next day Ryan goes to see Charity in the pub but she's out with her younger sons, Moses and Noah, and doesn't answer his calls. He gets drunk and starts kicking off just when Charity walks in. Everybody questions who he is and Charity is forced to reveal that he's her son. Everybody gets on well with him except Noah who says he wants nothing to do with him as he's just a reminder of what his father did to Charity.
Charity asks Ryan not to come to the trial against Bails as she doesn't want him to hear all the gory details around his conception. Seeing how distressed Charity is about the court case, Ryan tries to persuade Bails to change his plea to guilty. He refuses, saying he only tried to get him on side so it would look good in court and doesn't actually care about him at all. When Bails starts getting violent, demanding he gets Charity to drop the allegations, Ryan picks up a piece of wood to attack him with and Bails falls to the ground. The next day, Ryan comes around to the Woolpack where he finds Noah by himself as Charity has gone to court. They bond and Noah finally warms up to Ryan, the two show up in court together to support their mum.
In late December 2018, Ryan is approached by Harriet Finch asking if Ryan knows where Dawn is, as she's heard they are friends. Dawn had disappeared and they are worried she's gone back to her old life. Ryan helps Harriet find Dawn by using his phone and then driving up to her residence. Harriet tells Ryan to stay in the car but if she's not out in 10 minutes to call the police. Dawn's pimp refuses to let Harriet in and she threatens to call the police when Dawn stumbles into the hallway and collapses. Harriet manages to get Dawn out of there and Harriet convinces Ryan to go see Charity. He arrives at the pub to an upset Charity as he had missed Charity's birthday party for him. Charity is upset as this would have been her first birthday with Ryan and the following day when he tells her and Irene he was with Dawn they are both worried Dawn is using him. Dawn tells Ryan that she really appreciates him and plants a kiss on his cheek.
Ryan and Dawn plan to go on a date but Charity, still not trusting Dawn, decides to take matters into her own hands and orders Dawn to stay away from Ryan, giving her some cash for a taxi. Ryan later learns Dawn used the money to buy heroin and had an overdose. He disowns Charity for what she's done but after talking to Dawn in the hospital she encourages him to give her another chance. After Dawn gets discharged she tells Ryan she wants to put off them getting together until she gets clean.
On 18th February 2019, Dawn decides to give her relationship with Ryan another shot and she asks him out on a date. Ryan gets jealous as Dawn keeps looking over at a guy by the bar and they go back to her place. She tells him she likes him and they kiss but she gets uneasy when he starts taking her jacket off. Ryan gets upset, wondering why she doesn't want to have sex with him and offers to pay her for sex, resulting in Dawn furiously throwing him out, saying he wasn't the person she thought he was. Ryan tries to apologize for his behaviour but Dawn won't have it. The next day, Ryan's old friend Gail visits him at the pub. Charity is delighted when she seems to take an interest in him but Ryan has his heart set on Dawn. Ryan and Dawn soon enough make amends and starts hanging out again. However, in July, Ryan tells Dawn they're better off as friends, much to her disappointment.
On 9th July 2019, Ryan goes into business with Matty Barton after he asks him for help creating a website for his new business idea of doing things up and selling it on. Ryan to help him with the online side of his new business and Ryan creates a website for Matty's Tat.
2020-: Feud with Graham Foster
In January 2020, Ryan got a job for Kim Tate, working with making the Hawkford Outdoor Pursuits centre more adapted to people with disabilities. Whilst working there he found out Kim's ex-husband Graham Foster was secretly transferring money from Kim's account into his own. Ryan confronted him but he reassured him he was just taking what he was legally owed in the divorce and agreed to give Ryan a 10% cut and keep well on his promise to Joe Tate to look after Joe's, as well as Ryan's, little brother Noah and thus make sure a cut of the money went to him. A few days later when Graham wanted Ryan to transfer a large amount at the same time Ryan thought it was too risky and refused. However, Graham threatened him until he made the transfer anyway and ten locked him in a shed to keep him from telling Kim. After Charity found him and rescued him, he confessed the whole truth to Charity who was furious. Charity and Ryan took out their revenge by stealing the cash from his car but they worried when the following day they found out Graham had been found dead.
Ryan struggled with keeping what he and Charity did secret and in February 2020, he revealed the truth to Graham's girlfriend Rhona Goskirk, believing the information could help prove Kim, who almost everyone was convinced was the killed, had a motive to want Graham dead. Charity and Ryan feared they would end up in prison if Rhona told the police what they had done but Rhona took pity on them and instead told the police she'd found the money and Graham's belonging, leaving Ryan and Charity out of it. In the end it turned out Kim was innocent and the real cuprite was Rhona's ex-husband and rapist Pierce Harris.
"Oh my god" (first line, to Charity Dingle)
"I'm Ryan, your son." (to Charity, revealing that he's her son)
"Oi! Don't walk away from me." (to DI Bails, before attacking him with a piece of wood)
- Ryan was portrayed by Florence Spencer in flashback scenes in Episode 8162 (29th May 2018) which was also his first appearance.