From the creator of Hollyoaks, Brookside brought the lives of Liverpool residents to Channel 4 for 21 years.


From its debut in 1982 to its last episode, which aired in November 2003, the soap challenged viewers with diverse, inclusive storylines, featuring openly gay character Gordon Collins in 1985 and broadcasting the first pre-watershed same-sex female kiss (between Beth Jordache and Margaret Clemence) in 1994.

But fans of the show will also recall some of Brookside's wild plot points, ranging from an incestuous relationship to a dead body lying undetected under Number 10 for years before being discovered. Among the show's most bizarre, if eerily prescient, storylines, there was also an outbreak of a mysterious virus that claimed the lives of several characters, including George and Audrey Manners.

Here's all you need to know about who was in the Brookside cast.

Who was in the Brookside cast?

The following actors appeared on Brookside between 1982 and 2003.

More like this
  • Dean Sullivan as Jimmy Corkhill
  • Ricky Tomlinson as Bobby Grant
  • Michael Starke as Thomas Sweeney AKA Sinbad
  • Louis Emerick as Mick Johnson
  • Anna Friel as Beth Jordache
  • Bryan Murray as Trevor Jordache
  • Jennifer Ellison as Emily Shadwick
  • Claire Sweeney as Lindsey Corkhill
  • Sue Johnston as Sheila Grant
  • Philip Lawrence Borg-Olivier as Tim 'Tinhead' O'Leary
  • Sue Jenkins as Jackie Corkhill
  • Sandra Maitland as Mandy Jordache
  • Cheryl Maiker as Marcia Barrett
  • Sunetra Sarker as Nisha Batra
  • Ian Champion as Ross Beacham
  • Amanda Burton as Heather Black
  • Alan Rothwell as Nicholas Black
  • Alexandra Wescourt as Shelley Bower
  • Jennifer Calvert as Cheryl Boyanowsky
  • Ken Sharrock s JC Bradley
  • Hayley Smitten as Sharon Briges
  • Cheryl Mackie as Megan Brindley
  • David Miller as Stan Broadbent
  • Gladys Ambrose as Julia Brogan
  • Suzanne Packer as Josie Brooks
  • Mark Birch as Ducksie Brown
  • Joanne Black as Kristy Brown
  • Glen Jones as Lisa Burnett
  • Simon Chadwick as Dave Burns
  • Kerry Peers as Helen Carey
  • Asia Duleah as Janet Carver
  • Ebony Grey as Cassie Charlton
  • Sarah Lam as Caroline Choi
  • David Yip as Michael Choi
  • Kwong Lee Chong as Stephen Choi
  • Nicola Stephenson as Margaret Clemence
  • Billie Clements as Imelda Clough
  • Richard Norton as Shane Cochrane
  • Doreen Sloane as Annabelle Collins
  • Nigel Crowley as Gordon Collins
  • Mark Burgess as Gordon Collins
  • Katrin Cartlidge as Lucy Collins
  • Jim Wiggins as Paul Collins
  • John McArdle as Billy Corkhill
  • Paula Frances as Diana Corkhill
  • Kate Fitzgerald as Doreen Corkhill
  • Jason Hope as Rod Corkhill
  • Justine Kerrigan as Tracy Corkhill
  • Jack Mythen as William Corkhill
  • John Burgess as David Crosbie
  • Marcia Ashton as Jean Crosbie
  • Mary Tamm as Penny Crosbie
  • Georgina Smith as Annie Cross
  • Betty Alberge as Edna Cross
  • Bill Dean as Harry Cross
  • Stuart Organ as Kevin Cross
  • Marcus Hutton as Nathan Cuddington
  • Reanne Henesy as Louise Daniels
  • Danny McCall as Owen Daniels
  • Barbara Hatwell as Anthea Dixon
  • Sarah White as Bev Dixon
  • Irene Marot as Deborah 'DD' Dixon
  • Jack McMullen as Josh Dixon
  • Paul Byatt as Mike Dixon
  • Tiffany Chapman as Rachel Dixon
  • Vince Earl as Ron Dixon
  • Stifyn Parri as Christoper Duncan
  • Ann-Marie Davies as Katrina Evans
  • Victoria Bennett as Emily Farnham
  • Molly Stewart as Emma Farnham
  • Michael Garrett as Harry Farnham
  • Alex Fletcher as Jacqui Farnham
  • Gareth Ryan Jones as Matthew Farnham
  • Steven Pinder as Max Farnham
  • Gabrielle Glaister as Patricia Farnham
  • Kieran Warham as Thomas Farnham
  • Steven Pinner as Jonathan Gordon-Davies
  • Paul Usher as Barry Grant
  • Amy Lynch as Claire Grant
  • Simon O'Brien as Damon Grant
  • Shelagh O'Hara as Karen Grant
  • Bhasker Patel as Nawaz Hamoud
  • David Easter as Pat Hancock
  • Ray Dunbobbin as Ralph Hardwicke
  • Roberta Kerr as Sally Haynes
  • James Mawdsley as Brian 'Bumper' Humphreys
  • Brian Downey as Dr Geoff Ivers
  • Leeon Sawyer as Leo Johnson
  • Steven Cole as Leo Johnson
  • Tina Malone as Mo McGee
  • Gillian Kearney as Debbie McGrath
  • Meg Johnson as Brigid McKenna
  • Karen Drury as Susannah Morrisey
  • Katy Lamont as Adele Murray
  • Tony Scoggo as Matty Nolan
  • Ann Haydn-Edwards as Theresa Nolan
  • Vickie Gates as Leanne Powell
  • Rachael Lindsay as Sammy Rogers
  • Bernadette Foley as Margi Shadwick
  • Suzanne Collins as Nikki Chadwick
  • Doc O'Brien as George Williams

Read all about Brookside's key players below.

Dean Sullivan plays Jimmy Corkhill

A close up of Dean Sullivan as Jimmy Corkhill in Brookside.
TV Times / Getty

Who is Jimmy? Jimmy was the son of Margaret and the brother of Billy and Frankie. An ex-drug addict and thug, he became a family man, caring for his wife Jackie and children Lindsey, Jimmy and William.

Where else have I seen Sullivan? Sullivan appeared on Doctors and Crime Stories. He died at the age of 68 in November 2023.

Ricky Tomlinson plays Bobby Grant

Ricky Tomlinson smiles on a red carpet

Who is Bobby? Bobby was the husband of Sheila Grant and the father of Damon, Karen and Claire Grant, and the adoptive father of Barry Grant.

A domineering man, Bobby's marriage to Sheila started to crumble following her rape and the death of their son Damon. They eventually split in 1988.

Where else have I seen Tomlinson? The actor starred in 2016 movie Grimsby with Sacha Baron Cohen and Mark Strong. In 2022, he starred in an episode of The Witchfinder.

Michael Starke plays Thomas Sweeney AKA Sinbad

Michael Starke poses in front of a plain white wall

Who is Sinbad? Introduced in 1984, the character was a window cleaner who also tried his hand at different, but equally illicit, activities.

During his time on Brookside Close, Sinbad was falsely accused of sexual abuse. He was later acquitted and moved away from Brookside.

Where else have I seen Starke? The actor is known for The 51st State and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.

Louis Emerick plays Mick Johnson

Louis Emerick poses on a red carpet

Who is Mick? Mick was the father of Leo and Gemma. He was previously married to Josie and Elaine Johnson.

Originally a cab driver, Mick then ran his own fish and chip shop.

Where else have I seen Emerick? Emerick appeared in film Layer Cake and TV series Zapped.

Anna Friel plays Beth Jordache

Anna Friel (Getty, EH)

Who is Beth? Beth was Mandy and Trevor's daughter and Rachel's sister.

The character was at the centre of a shocking storyline when it was revealed she had been sexually abused by her father, who was ultimately murdered by her mother Mandy.

Beth had two relationships with women on Brookside. Her first love story was with Margaret Clemence, while later on she had a romance with university lecturer Chris.

She and her mother stood trial when Trevor's body was discovered years later, with both landing in jail. There, Beth died of a heart condition.

Where else have I seen Friel? Friel has starred in movies Limitless, Goal! and Timeline. In 2021, she appeared on TV series The Box.

Bryan Murray plays Trevor Jordache

Bryan Murray attends the Irish Film and Television Awards in 2013

Who is Trevor? Trevor was Mandy's abusive husband and Beth and Rachel's father. Not only was he violent towards Mandy, but he also sexually abused his daughter Beth, unbeknownst to his wife.

Sick of his violent ways, Mandy murdered him, with Beth helping her conceal the body under the patio of Number 10. Mandy managed to rebuild her life and had a relationship with Sinbad but was caught once Trevor's body was discovered years later.

Where else have I seen Murray? Murray starred in TV series The Tudors and Fair City.

Jennifer Ellison plays Emily Shadwick

jenniffer ellison

Who is Emily? Emily was the daughter of Margi and Greg Shadwick. She was in an on-again, off-again relationship with Tim 'Tinhead' O'Leary and had a penchant for trouble.

Where else have I seen Ellison? Ellison is known for The Phantom of the Opera, The Cottage and Hotel Babylon.

Claire Sweeney plays Lindsey Corkhill

Claire Sweeney at the British Soap Awards 2023
Mike Marsland/WireImage

Who is Lindsey? Lindsey was Jimmy and Jackie's daughter, and Jimmy and William's sister.

Involved with the criminal Finnegan family, Lindsey's illegal activities became a cause for concern for her parents. She had a relationship with Shelley Bowers which turned into a triangle also involving Lindsey's mother, Jackie.

Where else have I seen Sweeney? Sweeney appeared in TV series Clocking Off and Doctors.

Sue Johnston plays Sheila Grant

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 24/07/2018 - Programme Name: Age Before Beauty - TX: n/a - Episode: Age Before Beauty - GENERICS (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: ***EMBARGOED TILL 24TH JULY 2018*** Ivy-Rae (SUE JOHNSTON) - (C) Mainstreet Pictures - Photographer: Todd Antony

Who is Sheila? Sheila was Bobby's wife and the mother of Damon, Karen, Claire and Barry. In a storyline aired in 1986, Sheila was raped and beaten up by an unknown assailant who was later revealed to be her taxi driver.

Her unprocessed trauma and the death of their son Damon led to a crisis in Sheila and Bobby's marriage, with Bobby leaving his wife.

Sheila then started a romance with Billy Corkhill and the two moved away from the Close in 1990.

Where else have I seen Johnston? Johnston starred in episodes of Downton Abbey, Waking the Dead and film Imagine Me & You.

Philip Lawrence Borg-Olivier plays Tim 'Tinhead' O'Leary

Philip Olivier poses outside a restaurant in 2006

Who is Tinhead? One of the local school's bullies, Tim 'Tinhead' O'Leary was in an on-again, off-again relationship with Emily Shadwick.

The pair continuously engaged in minor crimes, with Tim taking he fall for Emily and going to prison after they stole Susannah's car and blackmailed and outed gay salesman Brian.

Once Tinhead was released, he and Emily tied the knot. The couple lived with Mick for a while before being taken in by Jimmy Corkhill.

Where else have I seen Borg-Olivier? The actor has also starred in Benidorm, Holby City and Doctors.

Sue Jenkins plays Jackie Corkhill

Sue Jenkins smiles on a red carpet

Who is Jackie? Jackie was the ex-wife of Jimmy Corkhill and the mother of William, Lindsey and Jimmy.

Initially estranged from her ex Jimmy, the two briefly got back together while living under the same roof at the Close. She had an affair with their neighbour Ron Dixon and was involved in a love triangle with her daughter Lindsey and her girlfriend Shelley.

Where else have I seen Jenkins? The actress appeared in an episode of Doctor Who in 2021, as well as having roles in both Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

Sandra Maitland plays Mandy Jordache

Sandra Maitland poses in character as Mandy Jordache in Brookside. It's a dark and moody picture.

Who is Mandy? Mandy is the ex-wife of abuser Trevor Jordache and Beth and Rachel's mother.

She is at the centre of one of Brookside's most prominent storylines with the murder of her violent husband, who also sexually abused Beth. Mandy killed him, with Beth helping her mum conceal the body.

Despite her managing to get away with murder at first and starting a new life, embarking on a romance with Sinbad, the character was caught when Trevor's body was discovered. After standing trial with Beth, they were both arrested.

Where else have I seen Maitland? Maitland starred in TV series Doctors, Casualty, Holby City and Misfits.

If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide and Streaming Guide or visit our Soaps hub.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 12 issues for only £1 with delivery to your home – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.