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Jimmy Corkhill
Portrayed by Dean Sullivan
Duration 1986-2003
First appearance 24 February 1986
Last appearance 4 November 2003
Created by Phil Redmond

James 'Jimmy' Corkhill is a fictional character in the defunct Channel 4 soap opera Brookside. He was portrayed by Dean Sullivan and was in the series for 17 years, originally arriving in a bit-part role as a foil to his (slightly) more straight-laced brother, Billy Corkhill, before developing into one of the show's most popular characters[1].

In the early 1990s one of the storylines featuring the jimmy corkill character showed jimmy claiming to have invented living to the max and also claiming that he could see camera crews in his house following him and other members of the street,he started refering to himself as jimmy truman, it was then revealed that Corkhill suffered from a drug addiction which nearly destroyed his relationship with Jackie Corkhill. He had numerous jobs including a barman and bouncer at "Bar Brookie", working for Mick Johnson in his pizza takeaway, a cleaner in a school and ultimately a history teacher at his local school. In October 1993, his cocaine addiction seriously affected his driving and he caused neighbour Frank Rogers to swerve off a road and crash. Frank, who had just married Lyn Matthews, was badly injured and died just after arriving in hospital. His passenger, fourteen-year-old Tony Dixon, suffered a fractured skull and spent four months in a coma before dying.

A short time after, his son "Little Jimmy" became a heroin addict; later being murdered by drug dealers.

Jimmy started taking ecstasy tablets in 1994, and actor Dean Sullivan urged Brookside producers to kill off his character in a bid to warn youngsters about the dangers of taking drugs. But he was not killed off.

More bad news was to come for Corkhill as he was eventually rumbled at his job at the school for falsifying certificates, which he had enlisted the help neighbour Danny Simpson to do so. He developed manic-depression (bipolar disorder) and was eventually removed from his job. This precipitated a severe bi-polar episode culminating in him losing the will to live and experiencing hallucinations. He also suffered delusions. On occasion - convinced he was still a teacher - he arrived at school to teach a lesson clad in odd shoes. This culminated in him locking his pupils in his classroom where he shook tables and starting ranting and screaming. A boy in his class protested about this and called him a "weirdo". This led to the boy having a bloody nose as Corkhill grabbed him and smacked his face on a table. Consumed with guilt he ran out the class and went up to the roof where he was ready to commit suicide. His daughter Lindsey Corkhill and a neighbour Ray Hilton heard about this and tried to convince him not to kill himself. The police were also informed and rushed to the scene, two policemen went up to the roof and were standing behind Corkhill. Corkhill jumped off the roof but was saved just in time by one of the policemen. After this he was advised to go to his GP and he was put on anti-depressants.

Jimmy Corkhill remained in the series until the show ended in 2003. He starred in the show's surreal final scenes which included him painting "Game Over" on his house and adding a "D" to the street-sign so it read "Brookside Closed." He then went to live with his son-in-law and daughter in their mansion. The final scene of Brookside saw Jimmy winking at the camera[2].


In 2000, Jimmy and Jackie Corkhill received the the best on-screen partnership award at the British Soap Awards[3]. In 2003 Dean Sullivan received the Special Achievement Award at the British Soap Awards for his portrayal of the character. [4]

In popular culture

Jimmy was parodied in a segment of Shooting Stars where he was played by Vic Reeves [5].



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