Jesse Birdsall

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Jesse Birdsall
Born (1963-02-13) 13 February 1963 (age 51)
Highbury, London, England
Occupation Actor
Years active 1976–present
Spouse(s) Gwyneth Strong (m. 2000)
Children 2

Jesse Birdsall (born 13 February 1963) is an English actor, known for his role as Marcus Tandy in the BBC1 soap opera Eldorado and his role in the adventure series Bugs (1995–99) as Nick Beckett. He currently plays Fraser Black in Hollyoaks.


As a child, he attended the Anna Scher children's theatre school in Islington, and in his teens appeared in Nanette Newman's children's cooking programme, Fun Food Factory and in several television plays and series, usually with his trademark rockabilly look. Also an extra with one line, ("Watch it mate!"), in an episode of Minder from 1980 entitled "Don't Tell Them Willie Boy was Here".[citation needed] He first came to wider public attention in the serial Annika in 1984, his first notable television role. He then subsequently appeared in the films Wish You Were Here (1987), directed by David Leland and co-starring Emily Lloyd[1] and Getting It Right.[2] Another notable television role was his portrayal of slick playboy Marcus Tandy in the infamous BBC1 soap opera Eldorado, which ran for just one year from 1992–93 and gained a reputation as one of the biggest television flops of all time. Nonetheless, the amount of coverage the programme received for its perceived low quality and lack of success would gain Birdsall much exposure, and from 1995 to 1999 he played one of the lead characters in another BBC1 programme, the successful futuristic action/adventure series Bugs.

He appeared in several episodes of the ITV police drama The Bill in 2003 as a character named Ron Gregory, a convicted paedophile, and for the same network appeared as a regular in series 3-5 of the popular drama Footballer's Wives.

He had a small role in the BBC One soap opera EastEnders in August 2012, playing John Hewland, jilted fiancé of Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean), in two episodes.[3][4][5][6]

He currently plays the role of Fraser Black in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks,[7] but will leave in spring 2014 in a whodunit storyline, where he is murdered.[8]

Personal life[edit]

The son of Penguin Books designer Derek Birdsall, Birdsall attended Hampstead School in North London. He has been married to Only Fools and Horses actress Gwyneth Strong, with whom he has two children, since 15 July 2000.

Birdsall has twice been convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The first occasion was an altercation in 1981, and in 1999 he was fined £1000 after an unprovoked attack on a fellow customer at a pub in London.[9]


External links[edit]