ITV's Heartbeat cast and where they are now? From tragic deaths to soap success

For many people ITV's Heartbeat was synonymous with Sunday night. It was an end of the weekend staple that let you know Monday was looming ahead.

And for the show's 18 series it garnered a huge viewing with the characters becoming beloved by fans of the fictional village set right here in Yorkshire. The soap was set in the fictional village of Aidensfield in North Yorkshire and it ran from 1992 all the way to 2010.

Fans fell in love with all 372 episodes so we thought we would have a look at the long-running ITV drama and see what some of your favourite characters are up to now.

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In its heyday a staggering 13 million people used to switch on ITV 1 to catch the latest Heartbeat episode and soak in the latest from the village. Over the 18 series we all got to know the village locals and characters that we know and love today.

And, even though it finished over a decade ago you can now watch the whole series on streaming service ITVX. So, given its popularity still we decided to catch up with the characters to see where they all are now - 13 years after the show ended.

Joe McFadden

Joe McFadden captured the hearts of soap fans when he debuted as PC Joe Mason in Heartbeat between 2007 until 2010. Since then he has appeared in Casualty and then Holby City.

He also competed in BBC dance show Strictly Come Dancing back in 2017.

On 21 January 2019 it was announced that McFadden would appear in the 2019-20 UK tour of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. More recently, he has toured with The Rocky Horror Show.

William Simmons

William Simmons was a veteran of the Heartbeat series. He starred as PC Alf Ventress throughout the entire 18 series. The PC was known for his superior local knowledge - rather than his prowess as a policeman.

After the ITV soap ended he bagged himself a role in Casualty as Jacob Hinter in a 2014 episode. He also had brief stints in Emmerdale and Coronation street.

Sadly, William Simmons died in June 2019 at the age of 78.

Derek Fowlds

For seven of those he was a sergeant before he had to step back and retire in the show after a heart attack.

He went on to be the owner of the Aidensfield Arms pub.

Once the show ended he also had roles in other TV shows such as Doctors and Casualty

He also made a cameo appearance in film Run for Your Wife, which starred Danny Dyer and Sarah Harding. Another role he was known for was as Bernard Woolley in Yes Minister, a part he played for four years.

Derek died at the age of 82 in January 2020.

Nikki Sanderson

Nikki burst onto the Heartbeat screen as popular Dawn Bellamy. She played the role from 2008 until 2009 and she quickly became a fan favourite.

She is now best known for her role as Maxine Minnver in Hollyoaks - which she has played since 2012, her character is still on the show.

Nikki has also previously appeared in Coronation Street.

Peter Benson

Peter Benson was best known for playing Bernie Scripps in Heartbeat between 1995 and 2010. He was the soap's funeral director and also ran a garage.

Once the show ended he played two different cameo roles in Casualty in 2011 and then again in 2013. He also appeared in A Touch of Frost, The Bill and Coronation Street as Mr Murdoch.

Sadly, Peter died in September 2018 at the age of 75.

Tricia Penrose

Tricia Penrose played Gina Ward in Heartbeat
Joe McFadden went on to win the Strictly Come Dancing crown after Heartbeat finished

Tricia rose to fame after starring as Gina Ward in Heartbeat. She played the role continuously for 17 years from 1993 to 2010 after making her first appearance in series two, staying until the very end.

Despite being best known for Heartbeat, where she appeared in over 300 episodes, the actor has also been on Heartbeat's spin-off show, The Royal, Boon, Justice, Fort Boyard, The Bill and Dancin' Thru the Dark.

She has also appeared in soaps Coronation Street as a Receptionist at the hotel in the Cotswolds where Ken Barlow and Alma Sedgewick booked in for New Year's Eve, 1991 and Emmerdale where she played Elsa Feldmann's friend, Louise, in June, July and December 1991.

As well as her acting roles, Tricia has had her own show on Radio Wirral and for BBC Radio 4 since 2021.

Mark Jordon

Mark's role in Heartbeat was as PC Phil Bellamy. He played the character from series one all the way until series 17. He was best known for his on/off relationship with Gina who he eventually married before being killed off.

He is now best known for his role as Dan Spencer in ITV soap Emmerdale until being written out in January 2019.

He also had roles in Coronation Street, Hollyoaks and Casualty. Mark's current partner is Emmerdale co-star Laura Norton and the pair have recently been on a campaign to raise awareness for a rare genetic condition which affects their children.

Clare Wille

Many know Clare for playing local DS Rachel Dawson from 2006 until the series ended in 2010. She was one of the few female officers who had an affair with PC Joe Mason.

She then went on to have a recurring role as Trisha Davidson in Coronation Street in 2012. She was a private detective hired by Frank Foster to track Peter Barlow and Carla Connor to find out fi there was anything going on between them.

Other roles have included parts in Victoria, W1A, Vera and Silent Witness.

Nick Berry

William Simmons died in June 2019 aged 78
William Simmons died in June 2019 aged 78

Nick Berry played Sgt Nick Rowan all the way from series one until series seven. Storylines included him losing his wife to cancer and then him moving to Canada.

But TV wasn't the only thing he was successful at. He also had a career as a singer with the track Every Loser Wins. It went to number one in 1986. He also sang Heartbeat's iconic theme tune.

His other popular acting roles included playing Simon Wicks in EastEnders from 1985 to 1990.

Nick made a cameo appearance in 2012 after the death of his mother Pat Butcher.

Nick stepped away from the spotlight after he met and married film star and model, Rachel Robertson. He decided to become a stay at home dad in Epping, Essex.

In 2011, Nick told the Daily Mail he loved being a stay-at-home Dad. He said: "I chose to be a stay-at-home dad and have loved it. I always said that when the boys were teenagers I could go back, but the longer you don't do something the harder it is to do it, and I haven't really missed it."

Bill Maynard

What the cast of ITV's Heartbeat are up to now
Derek Fowlds died at the age of 82 in January 2020

Bill played Claude Jeremiah Greengrass from 1992 to 2000. Known simply by his surname, Greengrass had a reputation as a lovable rogue that caused trouble for the force.

The actor spent more than 60 years in showbiz. He first appeared on our screens in 1955 in Great Scott, It’s Maynard.

He appeared in Carry On films during the 1970s and also starred in Oh No, It’s Selwyn Froggitt.

Bill died in hospital in Leicestershire in 2018 shortly after breaking his hip in a fall off his mobility scooter. He was 89 when he died.

David Lonsdale

David Lonsdale
Nikki Sanderson is now familiar to many from her role in Hollyoaks

David is best known for his role as David Stockwell in Heartbeat, which he appeared on until it ended in 2010.

Since, he’s had bit parts in Corrie and Casualty, as well as film roles in The Real Full Monty and Downton Abbey.

More recently he has starred in roles for Anne, The Suspect, The Thief his wife and the Canoe and The Bay.

The actor has been married for over 30 years and has three children.

Jason Durr

Jason was PC and DC Mike Bradley in Heartbeat from 1997 until 2003. His character arrived from London and initially rubbed people up the wrong way before settling in.

He has remained on TV since Heartbeat finished and up until last year he played nurse David Hide in Casualty. He also appeared in Holby City as the same character.

Other TV credits include The Wrong Side of the Rainbow, Mysterious Island and Summer Solstice.

The actor has three children with TV presenter and gardener wife, Kate Charman. He is currently starring as Colonel Mustard in the new play Cluedo 2 alongside fellow soap star Brooke Vincent.

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