London’s Burning was our second favourite fireman-related drama of all time (after Fireman Sam – a gritty animated Welsh drama), and we came to love all of its crazy and sometimes exasperating characters. But where are they now? Well, we’ve found out…
John Alford played Billy, a pint-sized pocket-rocket with a temper to match his sense of humour. Whether picking up girls at strip clubs or coaching his colleagues in the art of boxing, Billy was one of the best-loved faces at Blackwall. He could sing a bit, too...
John’s had a chequered time of it after the highs of his brief pop career while on the show. After legal problems, involving six weeks in prison on a drugs rap, John worked as a roofer before returning to our screens in Mile High, Casualty and the reality show Trust Me...I’m a Beauty Therapist.
Samantha Beckinsale played Kate Stevens, a lively and bubbly firefighter whose rapid progress annoyed some of her male colleagues. It wasn’t all smiles for Kate though, as she had to endure a tangled love-life with many adventure-seeking boyfriends before she left the show.
Samantha was born to be an actress, being the daughter of Porridge legend Richard Beckinsale, and half-sister of Hollywood A-lister Kate. While she may not be bothering Hollywood, Samantha’s stayed in the business, popping up in Holby City, Heartbeat and elsewhere.
Ben Onwukwe played 'Recall', who was so named because of his seriously impressive photographic memory. It wasn't always plain-sailing for Stuart, who endured accidents and even an enforced shave, but he was one of Blue Watch's most popular faces.
Since his time on the show, Ben’s gone on to star in The Bill and Holby City, not to mention a turn as a judge on Coronation Street (his photographic memory would totally come in handy in that career). Ben’s also done voice-over work for audio books and taken to the stage.
Richard Walsh was 'Sicknote', a delicate flower whose constant medical worries were a feature of Blue Watch, and the reason for his unflattering nickname. Bert didn't mind too much - he always had one eye on his dreams of being a singer, a noble goal, and one he would have achieved if he hadn’t exploded later in the show.
Richard’s fared better than poor Bert, and his health’s held out for longer to boot. Since hanging up his fireman’s uniform Richard’s appeared on the small screen in Heartbeat and daytime medical soap Doctors, as well as the one-off drama Daddy’s Girl.
Ross played Kevin Medhurst, whose habit of speaking without thinking got him in trouble on more than one occasion, not to mention leaving him on the receiving end of the odd right hook. His family life was no laughing matter either, with a jailbird father and hoax-calling brother.
Ross doesn’t need to work so hard these days – he’s become a pro Poker player, raking in big money all around the world. He does still act though, appearing in Hard Men and I’ll Sleep While I’m Dead, not to mention saying no to a part in Guy Ritchie’s smash-hit gangster flick Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
James Hazeldine played Mike, otherwise known as Bayleaf, who was the larger-than-life mess manager and long-time servant of Blue Watch, clocking up over 20 years’ service. He had his fair share of low-points over that time, being involved in a car crash and having a wall land on him (that’d give you a bit of a headache), before he left the station to run a restaurant.
Sadly, James passed away in 2002 following heart surgery. Prior to that he’d stayed in the acting game, starring in Dalziel and Pascoe, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Midsomer Murders and The Vice as well as the comedy drama Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years.
Michael Garner was Geoff Pearce, the Leading Firefighter who took over from Malcolm and whose sharp, often malicious tongue earned him his nickname. If all that gossiping wasn't bad enough he was also a terrible suck-up.
Michael's nothing like his back-stabbing character Geoff in real life, luckily, and has gone on to guest star in a number of TV's most popular shows, including Holby City, Heartbeat and Doctors as well as the Martin Clunes comedy Doc Martin.
Tristan Gemmill played Frank Mooney, the resident mystery man of Blue Watch who proved something of a bad egg. With his underworld connections and heavy-handed approach to debt collection, Frank was anything but a team player, and a cheat away from the fire station to boot. Bad Mooney!
Tristan carved out a reputation for playing bad boys following his role as Frank, with his mean-spirited skills being put to full use in The Bill as a corrupt and violent policeman. These days he’s a regular in Casualty, where he finally seems to be helping rather than hindering people...
Glen Murphy played George, who joined the cast in series one and stayed right until the end of the show. George was a former boxer and, despite his hairtrigger temper, was one of the most reliable members of Blue Watch. He broke bones and survived accusations of theft in his time, before finding love in series 14.
Having seen the door close on a huge chapter of his professional life, Glen hasn’t rested on his laurels. He swapped fire-fighting for the beat on The Bill and has also appeared opposite Ray Winstone in Fathers of Girls as well as in the gritty Brit movie Shoreditch.
Andrew Kazamia played Nick, who quickly got the nickname Zorba thanks to his Greek background. Nick was firm but fair, and although his hard-line approach was a shock to the system at first, he was loved and respected by the crew. Unfortunately he didn’t last to the end of the show’s run, as he was squashed by a falling ceiling.
Since hanging up his fireman uniform, Andrew’s moved away from acting and gone into writing and directing, alternating between theatre and film. He’s not come up with anything quite as high profile as London’s Burning yet, but his 2007 film Trust Me was well-received.
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