Created 10th April 2004
20th April 2004

About Ken Farrington who plays Emmerdale's Tom King



The Mirror (London, England); 4/4/1997

For 24 years Ken Farrington was in and out of Coronation Street as Annie Walker's surly son, Billy. Now back on the screens in Channel 5's new soap Family Affairs (6.30pm), Ken is enjoying his role as randy grandfather Jack Gates with co-star Delena Kidd.

Name: Ken Farrington.

Age: 60.

Status: Divorced.

Qualifications: 9 O-levels, 2 A-levels, LT RA - RADA Honours Diploma.

Car: Volvo 480 ES.

Favourite soap and favourite character: EastEnders/Annie Walker.

Favourite other TV programme: Have I Got News For You - Paul Merton is a brilliant wit.

Which TV programme makes you turn off? Blind Date because of the scripted replies and The Clive James Show because of the cheap, nasty humour.

First ever job: On TV in The Splendid Spur.

One job you would have loved and why: Cyrano De Bergerac because of the comedy and pathos.

Who makes you laugh? Eric Morecambe and Harry Enfield.

Favourite movie star: Walter Matthau.

Favourite all-time films: Jean De Floret and Manon Des Sources.

Favourite pop act: Johnny Mathis.

Favourite royal: Queen Mum.

Describe yourself in five words: Medium, stocky, aggressive, sensitive, trier.

Worst item of clothing ever bought: A fox fur for my lady.

What do you wear in bed: Nothing.

Favourite sportsman: Sir Stanley Matthews CBE.

Where in the world would you live apart from the UK? Southern France - I love the food, wine and the space.

What is your most disgusting habit? Licking my plate.

What is the great love of your life? Soccer and tennis.

If you had three wishes what would you wish for? Enough money to buy an old house in the country, a horse and a boat.


Brood awakening; Annie will add spice to Family Affairs.(Features)

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland); 3/29/1997; Smith, Aidan

One of Brookside's tragic mums and a former Coronation Street bad boy and are set to spice up Britain's newest soap opera.

Annie Miles - who plunged to her death trying to escape Brookie's Barry Grant six years ago - will play the sexy screen siren in Channel 5's Family Affairs.

She quickly starts tongues wagging by dumping her toy boy for the show's resident dirty old man played by Ken Farrington, best- remembered as Corrie's Billy Walker.

Family Affairs, British TV's first daily soap, follows three generations of the Hart family of Maidenhead in Berkshire.

And because the show goes out at 6.30pm, there will be no wife-beating, no incest, no lesbian love scandals and no bodies buried under the patio.

However there will be some sex and 38-year-old Annie is delighted about that.

She said: "Brookside's Sue Sullivan was a provincial housewife with a terrible dilemma. So it's great to be playing a strong, sexy woman who has a toy boy.

"My character, Maria Simmons, runs a restaurant.

"She doesn't suffers fools, wears her heart on her sleeve and dresses to kill.

"A lot of thirtysomething women will relate to her."

Maria thinks she's found Mr Right in Duncan Hart, played by Rocky Marshall. But while she wants commitment and kids, he just wants to live it up.

Annie added: "Maria jilts him for Jack `Pearly' Gates. He's Jack the Lad, but more charming and mature."

In real life Annie is married to her Scots stage sound-man Bobby Aitken, and is the proud mum of one-year-old daughter Ellie.

The couple married in Barbados last year after a 15-year courtship and Annie reckons Ellie is the best thing that has ever happened to her.

Annie, who starred in Back Up after quitting Brookie in 1991, said: "Ellie has changed my perspective on things.

"My life is no longer about me, me, me. After two decades of concentrating on my career, it's lovely to devote myself to something other than work.

"It was my decision to quit Brookside. I played Sue for three and a half years and it was great to go out in a blaze of glory.

"The 7.7 million viewers who witnessed my death was the show's second- highest audience.

"My career is still very important, but when I go for a part now I'm torn between wanting it and secretly hoping I miss out so I can rush home to see Ellie."

Ken Farrington, 61, is making his soap comeback after a Street stint which, on and off, lasted a quarter of a century.

The pressures of fame as Annie Walker's son cost Ken his marriage to actress Patricia Heneghan.

But, after a 12-year break, Ken has been lured back to telly soaps to play a crumbly Casanova.

Ken, whose partner now is actress Sandra Dixon, says: "Jack Gates is a dirty old man.

"His success owes a lot to the motto of Michael Caine's Alfie - `Get a bird laughing and you're half way there'.

"There are plenty of women who don't go for looks. They want a man who'll make them laugh."

Former Brookside supremo Mal Young and Morag Bain, the Scots producer who was in at the start of EastEnders, are the brains behind Family Affairs.

And Morag believes the show will be a ratings winner.

She said: "Family Affairs is bright, energetic, funny and very 90s. There are characters who have the potential to be telly icons.

"On EastEnders, no-one had great expectations for Den and Angie Watts - but look what happened."

Hospital - Channel 5

Dashing Greg Wise won over thousands of female fans when he sizzled in Sense And Sensibility.

But the heart-throb, who stars in Channel 5's opening night, was almost scared out of acting by the poisoned pen of a Scots critic.

Greg, 30, who's also the man in Emma Thompson's life, spent his student years in Edinburgh, studying architecture.

And at nights he would dabble in amateur dramatics.

He recalled: "Angus MacFadyen, who went on to play Robert the Bruce in Braveheart, was one of my chums and we did these dreadful Star Trek spoofs.

"During one Edinburgh Festival, I played the comedian Lenny Bruce.

"A critic said that I had `all the verve and wit of a mortuary attendant' and that caused me to climb up Calton Hill at midnight and scream at the universe!"

But Greg persevered and got his big break in Sense And Sensibility. He followed that with another period drama, The Moonstone, but takes a break from breeches and big hair for the one- off comedy, Hospital!

He said: "I play a sexy neurosurgeon who wants to start a new life with his fiancee on an ostrich farm in Oz.

"But Julian Clary, Nicholas Parsons, Caprice and a Fatal Attraction-type bunny boiler all conspire against him!"

Greg is glad of the chance to show his wacky side again after fearing he might end up typecast as a costume- drama cad.

He added: "I think I'm lukewarm rather than hot just now - but that's not a bad thing."

COPYRIGHT 1997 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday

SERIAL SOAP SWAPPERS; Channel hopping stars just won't die.(Features)

Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland); 2/20/2000; Barr, Noreen

YOU only live twice, or, in soap land, three or four times.

For the chances are that a character who dies horribly in one series will soon be resurrected elsewhere.

Gabrielle Glaister is the latest to overhaul her image.

She was snooty Patricia Farnham in Brookside. Now she has another persona in Coronation Street, as Debs Brownlow, the working- class sister of Rovers' landlady Natalie Barnes (Denise Welsh).

As if that's not enough, along strolls David Roper, in the guise of Councillor Bob Bradshaw.

In 1994 and 1995, he was Geoff Barnes and falling for Michelle Fowler in EastEnders. Back in 1991 he was Sam Bishop in Brookside and, even further back in 1974, he was PC Sadler on Coronation Street.

And you can bet your bottom dollar that battleaxe Pat Evans in EastEnders, played by Pat St Clement since 1986, has never told hubby Roy that in 1978 she moonlighted as Home Farm's housekeeper, Mrs Eckersley, in Emmerdale.

Scot Ross Davidson is at it, too. He started in EastEnders as Andy O'Brien and was mown down by a lorry. Then he popped up in High Road as bed- hopping psycho Peter O'Dell, who committed murder and killed himself.

It didn't stop Ross coming back from the dead to join Hollyoaks as father of four Andy Morgan.

As BBC tonight celebrate 15 years of EastEnders, we have compiled a list of born-again soap stars and their multiple lives.


ROSS KEMP made female viewers swoon as Grant Mitchell from 1990 until last October. Back when he had a full head of hair, he was in Emmerdale as Dolly Skilbeck's illegitimate son, Graham Lodsworth.

Michael Melia is best known for his role as Eddie Royle, the Queen Vic landlord who lived in the Square before being murdered by evil Nick Cotton in 1991. But Michael also acted in Coronation Street for a few episodes back in 1979, as Sergeant Cummings, who struggled to control the pickets outside Mike Baldwin's factory.


STIRLING-BORN Jaqueline Pirie joined the Street in 1998 as femme fatale Linda Sykes, who has captured Mike Baldwin's heart while she romps with his son Mark. Perhaps the locals should have been warned. Jaqueline also played man-mad Tina Dingle in Emmerdale between 1994 and 1996. The actress made her TV debut, aged 11, in Crossroads.

Linda's official man, Mike Baldwin, arrived in 1976. Actor Johnny Briggs had spent three years as taxi firm gaffer Clifford Leyton in Crossroads.

Her unofficial man, Mark, played by Paul Fox, turned up in the Street last October. Paul spent the previous two years in Emmerdale, as weedy Will Cairns.

Sue Nicholls played gad-about Audrey Roberts off and on from 1979, becoming a regular in 1985.

Earlier, Sue found fame in Crossroads, where she played waitress Marilyn Gates from 1964 to 1970 - and she even released a Top 20 single, Where Will You Be, on the back of the role.

Bryan Mosley made a one-off appearance in 1961 as Alf Roberts, returning full-time between 1968 and January 1999. Brian died in February 1999 but do you remember his earlier soap role, as Denis Rutledge in Crossroads?


SINCE 1991, Sue Jenkins has played long-suffering Jackie Corkhill. Sue appeared as barmaid Gloria Todd in Coronation Street for four years until 1989.

Marji Campi has playedJessi Shadwick in Brookside since 1998. This is her second coming on The Close - in the late 80s, she spent two years as Betty Hunt.

Marji was also Dulcie Froggatt, Jack Duckworth's fancy woman, in Coronation Street.

Scot Gerard Kelly terrorised Brookside as extortionist gangster Callum Finnegan between 1997 and 1999. He played another baddie, Jimmy, in EastEnders for three months in 1994.

Anna Friel played Beth Jordache, who helped bury her dad under the patio, between 1993 and 1995.

She also appeared in Emmerdale in 1992 as Poppy Bruce, who had a crush on Joe Sugden, and appeared in one episode of Coronation Street in 1991 as Vicky McDonald's pal Belinda Johnson.

Alan Rothwell was drug addict Nicholas Black in 1986. From 1960, he was Coronation Street's David Barlow, who married Irma Ogden and emigrated to Australia in 1968.

The unjust jailing of George Jackson in 1994 sparked a national campaign to free him.

Actor Cliff Howells had already been a plumber in Emmerdale and in 1991 he turned up in Corrie as Terry Seymour, whose car was smashed up by a moonlighting Kevin Webster.

For a year, Judith Barker was Audrey Manners, who died of the virus that hit the close in 1995. In the 70s, she was in Corrie as Ken Barlow's second wife, Janet Reid.

Sue Johnston portrayed mum-of-four Sheila Grant between 1982 and 1992. She was also in a few 1982 episodes of Corrie as Mrs Chadwick, who abandoned Annie Walker's beloved Rover in Wigan.

Lawrence Mullin had a short stint in Brookside in 1993 as Steve Mathews. From 1976 to 1979, he played Steve Fisher, Mike Baldwin's right-hand-man in Corrie.


ROBERT BECK has only just quit his nine-month role as two-timing Gavin Ferris in Emmerdale. He had already played Peter Harrison, who was cleared of raping Diana Corkill, in Brookside for two years.

For four years, until 1998, Roberta Kerr was hard- working Jan Glover. But Roberta had a shocking past - as Wendy Crozier, whose 1989 affair with Ken Barlow broke up his third marriage to Deirdre. Earlier still, she played Sally Haynes, whose baby died in Brookside.


ACTRESS Nicola Duffett has been fiery Cat Matthews in Family Affairs since 1998. She was also in EastEnders, between 1992 and 1995, as poor Debbie Bates, who married fashion- disaster Nigel before being killed by a car.

Since 1997, Annie Miles has starred as Maria Simons, who is so desperate for a baby she even tried to snatch one last year. From 1988 till 1991, she was Sue Sullivan from Brookside who plunged to her death trying to escape Barry Grant.

David Easter's pub-owning character, Pete Callan, is a nasty piece of work. Since joining in 1997, he has been involved in drug dealing and protection rackets. Previously he was an angel, playing Brookside's heart-throb nurse Pat Hancock for three years.

From 1997 to 1998, Ken Farrington played Jack Gates, who killed his wife and committed suicide.

Long before, as Billy Walker in Coronation Street, he had a long string of girlfriends before running off to Jersey in 1985.

For three months, Dominic Taylor was Jon Tylor, who was accused of rape and has just been dragged off to jail. He was also in EastEnders in 1998 as Cindy Beale's boyfriend, Nick Holland.


MIKE HAYWARD was Alun Morgan for five years until the character left in disgrace in 1995 after an affair with the minister's wife.

In 1977, Hayward was in Coronation Street as the man who ran off with Ken Barlow's second wife, Janet. Last year he sneaked back into Corrie as the owner of a campsite.

COPYRIGHT 2000 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday

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