Who is the Lancashire actor Joe Gilgun? His story so far from his early life in Chorley to his next show

Lancashire born actor Joe Gilgun turns the big 40 on Saturday so we thought we would celeberate by sharing everything he has been up to so far in his life...
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Early life

Joe was born in Chorley to Judith and Andrew Gilgun and grew up in Rivington with his two younger sisters, Jennie and Rosie, in what he has described as a a working-class family.

His dad worked in a metalworking factory in Wigan, before he was made redudandant when Joe was 11, around the same time his parents divorced.

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Joe, who has dyslexia and ADHD, attended Rivington VA Primary School and Southlands High School before completing his A-levels at Runshaw College.

Aside from school, he started drama workshops at the age of eight, and trained at the Laine Johnson Theatre School and the Oldham Theatre Workshop.

Lancashire born actor Joe Gilgun's story from birth to now. Credit: GettyLancashire born actor Joe Gilgun's story from birth to now. Credit: Getty
Lancashire born actor Joe Gilgun's story from birth to now. Credit: Getty

Career beginnings

Joe started his career on the ITV soap Coronation Street age 10: he played series regular Jamie Armstrong between 1994 and 1997.

He then went on to work part time as a plasterer and part time as an actor, appearing in stage productions and having small roles on TV shows such as Hollyoaks and Shameless.

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In 2006, Joe returned to acting full-time, securing a role in his first film, playing lead character Richard "Woody" Woodford in the critically acclaimed This Is England which centred on young skinheads in 1983, as well as joining another soap, Emmerdale. Between 2006 and 2010, he played series regular Eli Dingle, but was given time off to shoot the 2009 British crime thriller Harry Brown, also starring Michael Cain.

After Emmerdale, Joe starred in spin off shows This Is England '86 and This Is England '88 before landing a role in the popular Channel 4 show Misfits between 2011–2013 for which he won two television awards. Between 2013 and 2015, Joe starred in TV shows Ripper Street, Coming Up and This Is England '90 as well as the film Pride (also starring Bill Nighy) and The Last Witch Hunter (starring Michael Cain and Vin Diesel).

Then between 2016–2019 Joe played a main character in an American TV show called Preacher. He played drug-addicted, Irish vampire called Cassidy but was also an executive producer.

The star's recent ventures

Since 2019, Joe has been the star of the Sky One comedy series Brassic, which he also helped create.

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Brassic is based on Joe’s experiences of living in his home town of Chorley with the show following his character Vincent "Vinnie" O'Neil and his fellow working-class friends as they find unconventional ways to win at life in northern suburbia.

The show, also starring Michelle Keegan, has had five series so far and has been nominated for eight television awards, winning another two.

Joe filming series 3 of Brassic. Credit: Getty/Charlotte GrahamJoe filming series 3 of Brassic. Credit: Getty/Charlotte Graham
Joe filming series 3 of Brassic. Credit: Getty/Charlotte Graham

Personal life

Over the years, Joe has been very vocal about his bipolar disorder and the effects that it has had on his life - for instance, many of the plot lines of Brassic are based on his experiences of growing up with the disorder.Joe has also opened up about suffering from depression and anxiety.

In terms of relationships, Joe is unmarried and has been fairly private about his love life throughout this career. His last known relationhip was with his This is England co-star Vicky McClure.

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The actor also has multiple tattoos covering both of his arms - one of which spells “Lol”, the name of his character in This is England's true love.

What's next for Joe?

Series six of Brassic is set to air sometime in 2024, most likely in September when the previous five series premiered.

Nothing else new has been announced by Joe yet but watch this space as we will provide updates as and when..

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