Where are Brookside stars now – cancer, Hermes driver and Robbie Williams fling

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Hit series Brookside won over legions of fans when it first aired in November 1982 on Channel 4 with its outrageous storylines and dramatic plots.

It stayed on screens for a whopping 21 years, ending almost to the day on November 4, 2003.

The show was especially well-known for airing the first pre-watershed lesbian kiss on British television in 2004 and the first openly gay character on a British TV series, who was outed in a 1985 plot line.

Many of the stars of the show went on to have successful TV and film careers, while some decided to shun the spotlight and get a normal job.

Daily Star taking a look back at the most memorable characters from the Liverpool-based drama and discovering what they did when the programme finally ended.

Jimmy Corkhill – Dean Sullivan

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Played by actor Dean Sullivan, Jimmy Corkhill became the longest cast member in Brookside history.

Originally, Sullivan was only contracted to appear in six episodes as a recurring character, however, due to his immense popularity, he was given a full-time role and remained on the show for seventeen years.

Jimmy played an integral role throughout the show and many fans may remember him for his ongoing battle with drug addiction.

In January 1995, Jimmy alongside Eddie Banks (Paul Broughton) found the body of Trevor Jordache (Bryan Murray) buried a garden. The storyline made television history and is still one of the most talked-about scenes to date.

After the show came to an end in 2003, actor Dean Sullivan starred in the sitcom Terry Across the Mersey in 2008. He also presented a daily radio show City Talk 105.9 until May 2009.

Sullivan was also keen to revive his character Jimmy and the Brookside set and tried his best to purchase Brookside Close, however, the street was later sold by developers in 2008.

In 2019 Jimmy spoke openly about his battle with prostate cancer. Since undergoing successful treatment and being given the all-clear, Dean needs to continue to administer hormone injections every six months for three years in order to prevent the cancer from returning.

Sheila Grant – Sue Johnston

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Played by legendary actress Sue Johnston, Sheila appeared in Brookside from the very first episode in 1982 but departed from the show in 1990.

One of Sheila’s most memorable storylines was in 1986 when the character was attacked, raped and beaten by an unknown assailant.

Since leaving the show actress Sue continued to have a fruitful acting career.

The star has is well remembered by fans for her role as Barbara Royle in the BBC comedy The Royle Family, Gloria Price in ITV’s Coronation Street Miss Denker in the ITV drama Downton Abbey. Sue’s most recent role was in 2020 where she played the role of Violet in BBC drama Unprecedented.

In the 2009 Birthday Honours, Sue was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

Beth Jordache – Anna Friel

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Beth Jordache played by actress Anna Friel also had a very prosperous career since leaving the programme.

Though Anna’s character Beth wasn’t in the show for very long, her role played an integral part in the murder of Trevor Jordache who happened to be her abusive father. Beth stabbed her dad Trevor and buried him in the garden along with her mother Rachel Jordache (Tiffany Chapman).

Beth was also one of the leading ladies to embrace a same-sex kiss with Margaret Clemence played by Nicola Stephenson on the show. The lesbian kiss was the first of its kind to be aired on British television before the watershed.

Born in 1976, actress Anna Friel has starred in a number of roles since Brookside ended. The star has appeared in films such as The War Bride, Tomato Red and Books of Blood in 2020.

The actress has also starred in ITV’s drama Marcella which she plays lead character Det Sgt Marcella Backland, a role she’s played since the popular drama first started in 2016. Anna later won an Emmy award for her role as Marcella in 2017.

Anna has also found fame for her colourful love life – from her long-term relationships with Harry Potter star David Thewlis and actor Rhys Ifans, to her dalliances.

She found herself in a love triangle as while she was dating Darren Day, Robbie Williams tried to steal her away from him.

Speaking about it on Big Brother in 2016, Darren revealed that Robbie even called Anna to ask her on a date while Darren was sat next to her.

He said: "He phoned my house one day, I picked it up and a guy said, 'Hi, it's Derrick from Go Discs. Can I speak to Anna please?'

"So I passed the phone to her and she was talking for about 10 minutes. At times, I noticed she looked very uncomfortable so afterwards I asked if she was alright.

"Then she told me it was Robbie Williams on the phone and he'd just asked her out. I was just, like, the cheek of it!"

Anna and Robbie went on to have a brief fling after she split from Darren, and Robbie later apologised to the star for his behaviour.

Thomas 'Sinbad' Sweeney – Michael Starke

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Played by actor Michael Starke, Thomas appeared in Brookside from 1984–2000. The character was first introduced as a window cleaner, although he also took a side-line in many illegitimate deals and agreements.

After leaving the show in 2000 Starke managed to bag several roles in popular television dramas.

In December 2000, he appeared in a Christmas episode of BBC drama Casualty.

In March 2007, Starke joined the cast of Coronation Street as part of a new family called the Mortons. The actor played Jerry Morton, a single father who opens a kebab shop.

Due to new producers on the show at the time, the family’s role on the street was short-lived and the character left in September 2008.

Strake later appeared in Benidorm in 2018 and had a regular role on P&O Britannia.

Anthony Murray – Ray Quinn

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One of the youngest but most memorable actors on the list happens to be Anthony Murray played by the talented Ray Quinn.

Anthony appeared in Brookside from 2000–2003 and had a significant role in the show, as he portrayed a victimised and tormented child who later went on to kill his school bully Imelda. Ray won two British Soap Awards for his role as Anthony Murray.

After the show ended, Ray starred in several small television dramas, but opted for a different career path when he auditioned for The X Factor in 2006.

Quinn progressed very well in the competition and became the series runner-up, losing to eventual winner Leona Lewis.

The actor turned singer later signed a record deal with Cowell's label SYCO to release a debut swing album in 2006.

Following on from this, Quinn managed to secure steady television work and appeared on the fourth series of Dancing on Ice.

From 2018-2019, Quinn returned to television soap dramas where he appeared in Channel 4 drama Hollyoaks.

During 2020-2021 Ray, despite releasing a second album, found it hard to find constant work throughout the pandemic and decided to work with courier company Hermes.

Lindsey Corkhill – Claire Sweeney

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Actress and TV personality Claire Sweeney played the character Lindsey Corkhill from 1991–1992 and then again in 1995–2003.

Lindsey was the daughter to Jimmy (Dean Sullivan) and Jackie Corkhill (Sue Jenkins) and bought a lot drama to her parents throughout the show.

When the show ended in 2003, Claire continued to work in the theatre and appeared in pantomime productions of Snow White and Aladdin at Theatre Royal, Nottingham.

The star also presented several television programmes throughout her career such as ITV daytime show 60 Minute Makeover from 2004–2006. She also appeared as a contestant in Strictly Come Dancing in 2004.

Sweeney also made several appearances as a Loose Women panellist in 2010.

Since then Sweeny continued to appear in several television and theatre productions and starred in Benidorm in May 2018.

Barry Grant – Paul Usher

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Barry Grant played by Paul Usher appeared in the soap from episode one in 1982 until 1995. He also has sporadic guest appearances in 1997, 1998 and the final episode in 2003.

Paul’s character had several dark moments on the show which including being a part of an attempted rape scene.

After the show ended in 2003, Usher starred in ITV’s police drama The Bill, as PC Des Taviner. He continued his role as Des until 2004, appearing in a total of 135 episodes.

In March 2019, the actor joined the cast of BBC soap opera EastEnders. He portrayed the recurring role of Danny Hardcastle until September 2020.shei

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