Late Brookside star Dean Sullivan wanted to revive Channel 4 soap and Jimmy Corkhill

The actor thought there would be a big appetite for a reboot

Dean Sullivan has died after battling cancer. (Getty Images)
Dean Sullivan has died after battling cancer. (Getty Images)

Brookside star Dean Sullivan has passed away aged 68 after a short illness.

The actor – who found fame as Jimmy Corkhill in the Channel 4 soap – died on Wednesday, 29 November.

He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018.

"It is with deep sadness we must tell you that actor Dean Sullivan passed away on 29th November 2023 peacefully following a short illness," a statement from Hamilton Management said.

"Dean is best remembered as the longest serving cast member of C4’s ground-breaking Brookside playing Jimmy Corkhill making him a British Soap icon.

Dean Sullivan Actor plays Jimmy Corkhill in Brookside
The actor is best known as Jimmy Corkhill in Brookside. (PA/Alamy)

"To millions he was and very much still is remembered as Jimmy, to family and friends he was Dino.

"Dean’s family wants to thank Arrowe Park Hospital for their unwavering and consistent support.

"We ask that you respect their privacy in their time of grief.

"Thank you."

Sullivan was best known to TV viewers as Jimmy, a character he played from 1986 to 2003 when the show ended, and never ruled out the possibility of it being resurrected one day.

Fans were ‘baffled’ over Brookside ending

The actor previously said that fans often recognised him as Jimmy and that they had a lot of warm feelings towards the character.

He said many also questioned why Brookside ended.

“Whenever I go out into the public, every day of my life somebody wants an autograph or a photograph or they want to speak, they want to engage,” he told Metro earlier this year.

“They’re always very complimentary to me, they always say we loved Jimmy.

“And they’re as baffled as anybody, a lot of people are asking those questions as to why did it finish.”

Sullivan was interested in Brookside reboot

The star liked the idea of bringing Brookside back and was often asked about it in interviews.

Brookside Close in Liverpool (UK), dedicated film location set for the popular Channel 4 soap opera / TV-series
Brookside Close from the Channel 4 soap. (PA/Alamy)

And the idea gathered pace when old episodes started being shown on television.

He told Metro he thought there would be a “massive appetite” for it and that he would “never say never” to a reboot.

Noting that the show needed to be relevant to viewers, he said he believed it could have its place in the current TV schedule.

"I think it could work even more so these days because one of the big initial storylines, the Grants were a true working-class family,” he explained.

File photo dated 28/03/04 of Dean Sullivan during a photocall for ITV's Celebrity 24 Hour Quiz at Three Mills Studios in Bow, east London. The actor and director who starred in Brookside, has died at the age of 68, it has been announced. Issue date: Thursday November 30, 2023.
Dean Sullivan was interested in a reboot of Brookside. (PA/Alamy)

Sullivan thought a revival could see the show follow the characters in the present day, and even discussed it with Brookside’s creator.

“I've mentioned this to (creator) Phil Redmond in the past,” he told the Liverpool Echo this summer.

“It would be great to do a whole series based around where are they now."

Where would Jimmy be?

The star had a few ideas up his sleeve when it came to what Jimmy’s life would be like now.

The actor thought there would be a big appetite for a reboot. (PA/Alamy)

He told the Echo that “a leopard doesn’t change his spots", adding: “He'd still be on the wrong side of the law because that's the way he always was.”

“He'd probably be in a care home somewhere looking after old people but maybe dipping into their pensions,” the actor joked.

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