'Farewell to a legend' say Dean Sullivan's Brookside co-stars as Jimmy Corkhill actor is laid to rest at funeral | The Sun

BROOKSIDE legend Dean Sullivan's friends and family gathered to pay their respects at the late star's funeral today.

The Jimmy Corkhill actor died last month aged 68 following a short illness.

The likes of Sue Johnston, Sue Jenkins, Claire Sweeney and Louis Emerick all turned up to Liverpool Parish Church to honour their friend.

Royle Family star Johnston crouched to pet Dean's beloved pet Schnauzer Billy on her way to the service.

Prior to the funeral, Mick Johnson actor Emerick wrote on X: "Today we say goodbye to our colleague, friend, a wonderful actor…known affectionately to millions as #JimmyCorkhill."

Suzanne Collins, who played Nikki Shadwick in Brookside, posted: "Farewell to Liverpool legend Dean Sullivan, aka Brookside’s Jimmy Corkhill. Heartbroken to say goodbye to my best friend, Dino.



Brookside fans in tears as Dean Sullivan makes his final ever TV appearance


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"Immense pain, boundless love. May he soar with angels and rest in eternal peace. #DeanSullivan."

Former royal butler Paul Burrell looked sombre as he was pictured arriving at the funeral.

Dean's coffin was taken to the church in a horse-drawn glass carriage, before pallbearers carried it inside.

A picture of the actor inside a floral frame was placed on stone steps at the front of the church while a slideshow of photographs played through on a screen.

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He gazed out from the order of service with a subtle smile on his face and a Prostate Cancer UK pin on his lapel.

Sullivan was the longest-serving cast member on Brookside – but he was originally only supposed to be in six episodes as recurring character Corkhill.

Jimmy famously found Trevor Jordache's body under the patio with Eddie Banks, and he also battled drug addiction during the show's run.

Dean's agent revealed he had died peacefully following a short illness.

A statement read: "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."

Dean had been due to appear in a Southport production of Jack And The Beanstalk from December 7 – but he pulled out on November 17.

The Atkinson Theatre said: "There has been a change to the line-up for this year’s Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime.

"Dean Sullivan will no longer be performing in the role of Fleshcreep, as previously advertised and the role will now be played by Mark Paterson."

After Brookside, Dean starred in sitcom Terry Across The Mersey and hosted a daily radio show.

In 2019, Dean revealed he had battled prostate cancer but was later given the all-clear.

Speaking to The Mirror at the time, he said: "I remember being a bit shell shocked really, because even though we know these days that one in three of us will be diagnosed with cancer of some sort, you never think it will be you."

Dean's cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

In February 2023, Dean told Metro he wasn't ruling out a revival of Brookside, adding: "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.

"I think there would be a massive appetite for it."

Brookside, the brainchild of Grange Hill creator Phil Redmond, launched in November 1982, with its houses situated in a real cul-de-sac – part of a housing estate in West Derby, Liverpool.

The show launched the careers of dozens of high-profile actors, including Amanda Burton, Claire Sweeney and Anna Friel.

The last episode was filmed in September 2003 and aired in November the same year – and it was Jimmy Corkhill's face that last filled the screen.

Sullivan said at the time: "I will miss it but I won't miss my life being completely controlled by my answer machine. It's rather like being released from prison.

"Last week I started growing my sideburns and I've never been able to do that before."

Sullivan was a two-time British Soap Awards winner and had roles in other TV dramas, including BBC's Doctors and ITV's The Royal.

Screenwriter Jonathan Harvey hailed Dean Sullivan's Brookside character as "iconic" as he paid tribute.

Harvey, who is a writer for Coronation Street, wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: "I do love a soap icon, and they didn't come more iconic than Jimmy Corkhill.

"What terribly sad news. Beloved actor Dean Sullivan has passed away. My thoughts are with his many friends and family xx"

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