Updated 11th October 2003


Ronald Magill
Born: 21st April 1920


Emmerdale Farm fan card of Amos from 1980s

IMDB entry for: Ronald Magill

Appeared: 1972-1994, 15 June - 6 July 1995
3rd Husband of Annie
Born: 1 April 1920

5 Nov 1995

A Huge Big Thank you to Paul Berridge who has made various profiles and photos availabe to me. They were previously on his Beckindale site (that is no more). This is one of those profiles - although the coloured boxes have been added.

Amos Emmerdale fan card 1989-1991 - signed by Ronald Magill

Amos Brearly was the licencee of the Woolpack from 1948 till his retirement in 1991
Amos Brearly was born on April Fools day 1920. In reality Ronald Magill who plays Amos celebrated his 80th birthday on 21st of April 2000.


The bushy sideburns that Ronald Magill grew for a stage play were to become the trademark of Woolpack landlord Amos Brearly when the actor landed the role in Emmerdale Farm when it began in 1972. Within a year, Ronald had also teamed up behind the bar of the serial's village pub with Arthur Pentelow who, as Henry Wilks, became his business partner. It was a double-act that was to continue until Ronald's decision to retire in 1991

Amos and Henry

Amos was the village gossip and very much a loner,' recalls Ronald. 'I saw him as a man who found it difficult to make friends yet, once he was behind the bar and lord of all he surveyed, he was able to relate to people. But he had the bar between them, of course. Originally, Henry had nothing to do with the pub, but Kevin Laffan, the creator, spotted a rapport between me and Arthur and came up with the idea of moving Henry into The Woolpack. Henry was originally to have been the villain of the piece and Amos was to find a wife and get married.
'Arthur and I had so much in common. We both loved doing The Times crossword every day - which is a great bond - both smoked a pipe and both liked good food and a bottle of wine. We would often go out and have a good meal together.'
'Like his screen alter~ego, the quietly spoken actor has always been something of a loner. Born in Hull, East Yorkshire, in 1920, Ronald was brought up in a Birmingham orphanage from the age of nine, after his schoolteacher father died. He used to visit his mother on the family farm in Ireland during the holidays. I'm a city slicker, I must admit,' says Ronald. 'Arthur was the one who really loved the countryside. When someone remarked that Amos was rarely seen outside the pub and I never had any location filming to do.
Kevin dreamed up the idea of him becoming local correspondent for the Hotten Courier. He also made him a keen gardener.'I loved it. It wasn't exactly strange to me because my father came from farming stock in Ulster and I used to go to the farm during holidays as a child. But, when I joined Emmerdle, I was gobsmacked by the Dales and the villages we used to visit.'
Ronald had entered acting with the Arena travelling theatre company, which performed around the country in a circus tent. This was after working as a tyre salesman and serving with the Royal Corps of Signals during the Second World War, when he toured with the Stars In Battledress concert party, acting alongside other then 'unknowns' like Terry Thomas, Michael Denison and Charlie Chester.
A great lover of the classics, Ronald joined the new Nottingham Playhouse in 1963 and stayed for nine years, as actor and artistic director. He appeared in the film Julius Caesar and on television in Special Branch and Parkins Patch before auditioning for Emmerdale Farm in 1972. Coming straight from an Edwardian play, he turned up with bushy sideburns and expected to shave them off if he landed the role of licensee Amos Brearly, but he was told they were perfect for the part - and so was he.
In 1972 Amos Brearly proposed to Annie Sugden but she turned him down. 23 years later SHE proposed to him and they were married on 5th november 1995 and now live in Spain.
Ronald, who has never married, finally ended his screen partnership with Arthur Pentelow when he left the programme in early 1991. Arthur died less than a year later. 'I wanted to do more theatre, but it never materialised,' says Ronald. However, he has since reappeared as Amos on brief visits to whisk Annie Sugden off for long holidays in Spain - and eventually marry her.

Taken from the emmerdale companion by Anthony Hayward

Emmerdale Books

Profile Index

Full Cast & Characters Index

Emmerdale Home Page