Jimmy McKenna as Jack in 2011.
|Portrayed by||Jimmy McKenna|
|First appearance||18 November 1996|
|Introduced by||Phil Redmond|
Pub landlord (1996–2008)
Pub manager (2010–)
|Home||The Dog in the Pond|
Jack William Osborne is a fictional character from the long-running Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks, played by Jimmy McKenna. He first appeared on 18 November 1996 and is the second longest serving character in the serial. He was introduced as part of the Osborne family along with son Darren and wife Celia who joined daughter Ruth to live at Hollyoaks. His storylines have included three marriages and an insurance scam which saw him fake his own death. He has also been the landlord of The Dog in the Pond between 1996-2008.
McKenna is the serial's second longest serving cast member having appeared consecutively since 1996. The Daily Record initially said he'd been "drafted in to quicken the pace" of the soap. McKenna started soon after Nick Pickard who said McKenna joined "about 20 or 30 episodes" later with Pickard starting "in October and he [McKenna] came in at Christmas".
The Osbornes suffered financial crisis when Darren's gambling addiction grew out of control. It was announced that Jack would fake his own death to claim on the life insurance. Darren found Jack about to commit suicide, before finding the body of Eamon Fisher. Darren and Jack decide to fake Jack's death, which Jack reluctantly agreed to. A Hollyoaks spokesperson spoke to Digital Spy saying "Jack's at an all-time low and the finding of a dead body is too good an opportunity for him and Darren to pass up. They swap the dead man's identity with Jack's, forcing Jack to slope off into the night. Darren's then left with the formidable task of telling step-mum Frankie of the 'death'. As Darren's tangled web of lies continues to grow, he's left in an extremely tricky position when he learns that Kris and brother Malachy are searching for their father. It's only then that Darren discovers the true identity of the corpse. Will Darren be able to keep his cool, or will he crack under the pressure? It's only when Jack turns up at his own funeral that Darren realises that the situation has truly spiralled out of control".
Jack's mother walked out on him and his brother when they were young. Growing up, Jack's father died on Christmas Eve. Jack became a police officer. In the 1980s, Jack arrested Martin Brownlow, who later died in prison. Martin was the former love-interest of Myra McQueen and father to Niall Rafferty.
Jack arrives in Hollyoaks with his wife Celia and son Darren, where they join Jack's daughter Ruth. Jack becomes the landlord of The Dog in the Pond, after Celia's brother Greg decides to sell up following the death of his daughter Natasha. Jack immediately causes a stir when it is revealed that he is the father of teenager Dawn Cunningham's child Bethany, who needs a kidney transplant. Jack donates one of his kidneys to the daughter he has never known. Dawn's sister Jude tries to blackmail Jack about Bethany. However, she ends up telling everyone in The Dog. Jack tries to explain to Celia, but she ends their marriage and leaves for America with Darren.
Jack's love life takes another twist when new barmaid Jill Patrick arrives with her children Kate, Gina and Sol. Jack and Jill end up in a relationship, eventually getting married. The marriage goes well, despite a feud between the Patrick children and the Osborne children. Jack is then devastated when Jill reveals she has a fatal brain tumour. He then agrees to look after her children when she dies. When Jill does die, Jack keeps his promise and cares for her children, helping Sol flee from the police abroad. Jack embarks on several other relationships after Jill, including Geri Hudson's mother Jacqui and Izzy Cornwell mother Patty. Natalie Osborne, Jack's troubled niece, arrives from Scotland for the half-term after her parents have marital trouble. Natalie starts at Hollyoaks High School. However, her older sister Rachel arrives and tells Jack that Natalie is hiding that she has not got good grades at school in Scotland. For her own good, Jack sends her back home.
Jack provides a home for the Dean family after their eviction from their home. After first being sceptical, he soon warms to the family. Jack then begins a relationship with Frankie Dean after the collpase of her marriage to her husband Johnno, and the pair later marry. Jack and Frankie decide to enter foster care. They foster Barry Newton. Darren sells Frankie's jewellery to a pawn shop, and blames it on Newt. After threatening to send him back to care, Darren is finally caught out. Darren starts having a gambling addiction. During a game of poker with Mike Barnes, Tony Hutchinson and Warren Fox, he bets his half of The Dog, which Warren wins. After finding this out, Jack suffers a heart attack and Darren is told to leave the house. Warren then signs his half of The Dog over to Jack again for a low price. Despite this low price, Jack goes through money worries, and begins to water down drinks. An inspector finds this out and declares he is to take him to court. Seeing no other way, Jack decides to commit suicide so his family can claim his life insurance money. However, Darren stops him. They then discover the body of Eamon Fisher. Darren tells Jack that they could fake his death, claiming Jack is the deceased body. Jack goes along with this and his family are horrified at his apparent death. Frankie discovers Jack is alive and the pair agree to flee to Spain. Niall Rafferty, the secret son of Myra McQueen, finds out Jack is still alive and hiding in the attic of The Dog. Niall's father Martin was arrested and sent to prison by Jack. He later died. Niall attacks Jack, holding him responsible for it. He then confesses he is Myra's son and that he is going to kill his family. Jack then alerts Darren as the pair rush to find them. Tony and Dom Reilly, who are also trying to find the McQueens, are shocked, and angry, to see Jack. The four head to an abandoned church. Jack bursts in and tells Niall it is over, however Niall detonates explosives, which eventually kills Tina Reilly. Jack is then arrested and Darren admits he knew of the fake death. They are both imprisoned. During his time in prison, the Osbornes are forced to sell The Dog to the Ashworths.
Jack is released from prison four months later. Upon his return, Frankie, Steph, Newt and Darren throw a party for him. He visits Eamon's sons, Kris and Malachy Fisher, where he learns that Darren had only offered to buy them a drink as an apology. He then kicks Darren out of the flat. Jack grows depressed, and he does not want to leave the house. After learning that Darren took £100, 000 from Warren Fox to get stepbrother Jake to confess to Sean Kennedy's murder, before gambling the money away, Jack disowns him.
Jack gets a manager job in the dog thanks to Darren. When Jack sees that Darren has become close friends with teenager Duncan Button, he realises that he has changed, so decides to reconcile with him and offers him to move in with him, which he wants to include Duncan. Darren is delighted and happily accepts.
Jack supports Frankie when Steph reveals she is dying from cervical cancer. When Steph dies in a fire at Il Gnosh, he gets deeply concerned for Frankie when she sets a table for Steph for Christmas dinner. On Christmas Eve, while taking his dog for a walk with Duncan in a nearby woods, they both discover India Longford's body, leading Jack to call the police. Jack becomes a grandfather when Suzanne Ashworth gives birth to Darren's twins Francine and Jack Osborne, named after Frankie and himself, and Frankie and Jack also take on Frankie's granddaughter Esther Bloom and Duncan's sister Ruby Button. The Osborne house becomes even more crowded when Darren and his new fiancée Nancy Hayton move in.
Following the departure of Carl Costello his son Riley Costello allows Jack, Frankie and their growing family to move back in The Dog. Jack helps Darren plan a surprise wedding to Nancy which doesn't go according to plan but ends well. Jack gains another grandson when Nancy gives birth to her and Darren's son Oscar. Jack, Frankie and Tom attend the joint wedding of Tony Hutchinson and Cindy Longford, Ste Hay and Doug Carter but Maddie Morrison crashes a minibus into the venue. Jack, Frankie and Tom survive and Jack is instrumental in helping other people escape alive. Jack helps Darren and Nancy come to terms with Oscar being deaf. He then helps Darren, Nancy, Frankie, Callum Kane and Seamus Brady search for Nancy's nephew Charlie when he goes missing and elects to stay with Charlie in the hospital, sending Nancy and Frankie home when they both want to stay.
In September 2013, Sandy Roscoe (Gillian Taylforth) reveals that she is Darren's biological mother and he is shocked at the revelation and furious with his father for lying to him for his entire life. He punches Jack during the row that follows. Darren, Sienna and Oscar move out and Darren disowns his dad leaving Jack heartbroken. However, they make up when Darren is nearly killed in an explosion.
Bryan Kirkwood said "I love Jack and Frankie – they're essentially the heart of the show". Temporary workplace provider Regus carried out a survey in 2010 and found that Jack Osborne was the third most popular boss from Soaps. The character was selected as one of the "top 100 British soap characters" by industry experts for a poll to be run by What's on TV, with readers able to vote for their favourite character to discover "Who is Soap's greatest Legend?" In 2003, Jack was nominated as "Best TV Barman" in a poll run by Blackthorn Cider.
On how she would write character's exits if she were to axe them Jaci Stephen of the Daily Mail said "Hollyoaks' Jack could just disappear in a puff of smoke, because who would notice anyway?". On the announcement Jack would have more money problems Stephens added "Oh, not again. Maybe, this time, Jack could actually die for real? Please. real? Please". Jack McKenna has been referred to as the "grandfather of Hollyoaks".
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