ITV’s vintage cop drama ‘Heartbeat’ made its debut 25 years ago today, spawning a series that ran for 372 episodes and 18 series.
Set in the 1960s, the story revolved around a group of police officers working in the fictional town of Ashfordly and the village of Aidensfield in the North Riding of Yorkshire. Originally centred around the lives of PC Nick Rowan and his wife Kate, new residents freshly arrived from London, later series were built around a more ensemble cast.
We catch up with some of the main cast members from the very first series and find out where they ventured after their ‘Heartbeat’ years…
Played PC Nick Rowan, Series 1-7
Already a heartthrob after his stint in ‘Eastenders’, Nick went on to the less successful ‘Harbour Lights’. Recently, he’s appeared alongside Stephen Tompknson in crime drama ‘In Deep’.
He made a brief return to EastEnders in 2012, for the funeral of his on-screen mother Pat.
Played retired Sgt Oscar Blaketon
Now: Derek was already famous for ‘Yes Minister’ and co-starring with Basil Brush by the time he appeared in ‘Heartbeat’. Following his departure, he appeared in TV series ‘Firm Friends’. Most recently, he was a guest on Lily Savage’s Blankety Blank.
Played PC Alfred Ventress
Now: Already a veteran of the small screen by his time in ‘Heartbeat’, William is a patron of the charity Changing Faces. He appeared in an episode of ‘Casualty’ in 2014.
Played PC Phil Montgomery Bellamy
Now: Following appearances in ‘Emmerdale’, ‘Hollyoaks’, ‘Casualty’ and others, Mark was in ‘Emmerdale’ in 2014, playing Daz Spencer.
Played Dr Alex Ferrenby
Now: Following his role in ‘Heartbeat’, Frank was the fourth and final actor to play Dan Archer in The Archers. He died in September 2006.
Played Dr Kate Rowan
Now: She has often worked as a voice actress on radio, and her film credits include a starring role in ‘In Love with Alma Cogan’ (2011) and ‘Testament of Youth’ (2014). Recent TV appearances include ‘Silent Witness’ and ‘A Touch of Frost’. On stage, she appeared in the award-winning ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’.
Played George Ward, publican
Now: After leaving the Aidensfield-set show, Stuart returned to his roots in the theatre. He toured his self-written play ‘Scrap’ across Canada and also regularly performed his tribute to W.C. Fields in theatres. final television appearance came in ‘Coronation Street’ playing the character of Ernie Wagstaff. He died in September 2003.
Played Claude Jeremiah Greengrass, loveable rogue
Now: Having originally retired from acting in 2000, Bill made a comeback to radio in 2003, presenting a show on Radio Leicester for five years. In October 2009, he made a return to the stage when he appeared as the main guest of honour at the Pride of Bridlington Awards held in the East Riding of Yorkshire.