Dean Gaffney

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Dean Gaffney
Gaffney, Dean.jpg
Gaffney in 2004
Born (1978-02-14) 14 February 1978 (age 41)
Years active1991; 1993–present

Dean Martin Gaffney (born 14 February 1978) is an English actor. He is best known for his role as Robbie Jackson on the BBC soap opera EastEnders from 1993 to 2003 and again full-time from 2017, he however made guest appearances in the soap in 2004, 2010 and 2015, and has also appeared in various reality television shows such as I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!

Early life[edit]

Gaffney was born in Hammersmith, London. He attended St Mark's Catholic School, Hounslow,[1] and later trained at the Sylvia Young Theatre School in Marylebone[2] and the Corona Theatre School in Kew Bridge.[3]



Gaffney's first appearance in the show aired in December 1993 and he remained in the role for eleven years. In 2003, executive producer, Louise Berridge, made the decision to axe Gaffney along with the actress Bindya Solanki, who played his on-screen girlfriend Nita Mistry. In a press report Berridge commented, "we do feel that the characters have reached the end of their natural course in the show, and they will both be leaving in Spring 2003".[4] Gaffney made a further appearance in the soap, returning for a brief visit in 2004 for the wedding of his on-screen half-sister Sonia Jackson (portrayed by Natalie Cassidy).[5]

On 25 October 2009 it was announced that Gaffney would briefly reprise his role as Jackson with his on-screen family Lindsey Coulson, who played Carol Jackson, Natalie Cassidy and Devon Anderson, who played Billie Jackson. The Jackson family made their comeback in February 2010 and were reunited with Bianca Jackson (Patsy Palmer) as part of her wedding plot and EastEnders' 25th anniversary celebrations.[6]

Gaffney and Cassidy left later that month but Anderson and Coulson stayed. In June 2015 it was announced that Gaffney would once again briefly reprise his role as part of Coulson's departure from the show.[7] On 17 April 2017, it was announced that he would return to the soap full-time.[8]

Other roles[edit]

In 1991, Gaffney played the Boy (alternating with another actor) in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot in the West End, alongside Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson.

In November 2006, Gaffney appeared as a guest star on the long-running ITV serial drama The Bill. Gaffney played Gavin Josef, a cocky wide-boy who was connected to an assault investigation.[9] This is Gaffney's second role in the programme, having previously appeared briefly as Paul Moose in 1993.[citation needed]

In 2007, Gaffney toured with the Agatha Christie Theatre Company, performing The Unexpected Guest. He played Jan, a 19-year-old murder suspect with learning difficulties.[10] He appeared in Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's Christmas 2007 Special of Extras, playing a fictionalised version of himself, working at the Carphone Warehouse with Merchant's character, Darren Lamb, and former EastEnders co-star Shaun Williamson.[citation needed]

In August 2008, Gaffney did some work for MTV, sharing some of his favourite songs which aired on MTV Hits. The show was named Dean Gaffney's Well Ard Hits, referring to his fictional dog Wellard on EastEnders. In September 2008, Gaffney appeared in an advert for the washing powder Daz as part of their running "Cleaner Close" advert.[citation needed]

He appeared in M.I. High in January 2009 in an episode called "The Mole". He also performed in a touring production of the play Calendar Girls throughout May – July 2010. He appeared annually on The Chris Moyles Show to turn on their studio's Christmas tree lights. It is unknown if new presenter Nick Grimshaw will keep up this festive tradition.[citation needed]

During Christmas 2011 he appeared in pantomime at the Thurrock Thameside Theatre in Grays, Essex.[11]

Reality television appearances[edit]

In 2003 Gaffney took part in the ITV reality television series The Club. Gaffney took on management of a bar in a London club named Nylon and competed with two other celebrities, Richard Blackwood and Samantha Fox, to be awarded the title of 'the most successful bar manager'. Gaffney was the eventual winner.[12]

Gaffney appeared on the 2006 series of the ITV reality show, I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! Gaffney eventually left the jungle in fifth place following a double eviction on Thursday 30 November 2006. Gaffney was the eighth person to be voted out of the jungle, leaving just one day before the live final. In February 2013 he took part in Let's Dance for Comic Relief along with Natalie Cassidy, Claire Sweeney and Ricky Groves, dancing to "You Can't Stop the Beat" from Hairspray.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Gaffney lives in Dorking, Surrey. He and Sarah Burge are the parents of twin daughters, Charlotte and Chloe. Gaffney and Burge were in a relationship for 10 years and were engaged.[13] While appearing on I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, Gaffney admitted to David Gest that he had an affair.[14]

In January 2013, Gaffney suffered serious head injuries when a car he was travelling in collided with the central reservation on the A38 in Derby.[15] Gaffney admitted he had not been wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident, and said "It could have been a lot worse. One inch down and I would have been blind. One inch up and I would have been brain damaged."[16]



Year Title Role
2003 Rain in Hell


Year Title Role Notes
1993 The Bill Paul Moore Guest appearance
1993–2004, 2010, 2015, 2017– EastEnders Robbie Jackson Regular role
2003 The Club Himself
2006 The Bill Gavin Josef Guest appearance
2006 I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! Contestant Reality-television competition
2007 Extras Himself
2008 Daz Advert Himself
2009 M.I. High The Mole
2013 Let's Dance for Comic Relief Himself Charity appearance
2013 Misfits Mick


Year Title Role
1991 Waiting for Godot The Boy
2007 The Unexpected Guest Jan
2010 Calendar Girls
2013 A Murder is Announced Patrick Simmons
2013 Murder in Play Simon Brett
2014 Peter Pan Captain Hook[17]


  1. ^ "Why I love...Brentford",; accessed 25 September 2006.
  2. ^ "Sylvia Young Theatre School Archived 26 November 2005 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 10 December 2006.
  3. ^ ""Ravenscourt Theatre School",; accessed 10 December 2006.
  4. ^ "Dean Gaffney to leave 'EastEnders'" Archived 9 March 2005 at the Wayback Machine, Digital Spy; accessed 25 September 2006.
  5. ^ ""Gaffney returns to 'EastEnders'", Digital Spy; accessed 19 September 2008.
  6. ^ Green, Kris (25 October 2009). "The Jacksons return to 'EastEnders'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  7. ^ "EastEnders' Robbie Jackson returning to Square". BBC. 26 June 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  8. ^ McCreesh, Louise (17 April 2017). "Dean Gaffney is heading back to EastEnders to reprise his role as Robbie Jackson". Digital Spy. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  9. ^ "Gaffney, Robson and Stapleton to guest on 'The Bill'" Archived 29 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 25 September 2006.
  10. ^ "The Unexpected Guest",; accessed 21 June 2007.
  11. ^ "Panto closes as a record breaker (From Thurrock Gazette)". Thurrock Gazette. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  12. ^ "THE CLUB",; accessed 25 September 2006. Archived 14 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Dean Gaffney dumped by fiancee?",; accessed 18 March 2007.
  14. ^ "'I'm A Celebrity's Dean Gaffney Admits To Affairs – Entertainment News, Reviews, Competitions". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
  15. ^ "Dean Gaffney in Derby hospital after car crash". BBC Online. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  16. ^ Battersby, Matilda. "Dean Gaffney on his car crash: I wasn't wearing my seatbelt". The Independent. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  17. ^ Evans, Bethan (29 September 2014). "Playhouse panto star Dean ready for Weston night out". Weston, Worle and Somerset Mercury. Retrieved 13 December 2014.

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