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Nottingham Post
Nottingham Post
Paul Speed

What happened to cast of Soldier Soldier - from Hollywood blockbusters to a 'meditation shed'

Its title taken from the traditional song ‘Soldier, soldier won’t you marry me?’, this slice of none-more-90s popular bit of telly proved a massive hit back in the day. Spawning the unlikely pop careers of main stars Robson Green and Jerome Flynn, it also proved a huge springboard for Loose Women’s Denise Welch.

Soldier Soldier ran from 1991 to 1997 and followed the trials and tribulations of the officers and men of the fictional 1st Battalion The King's Fusiliers regiment, chronicling pretty much everything from their home lives to training exercises and the battlefield.

The show saw a noticeable slide in popularity once Robson (Fusilier Dave Tucker) and Jerome (Corporal Paddy Garvey) quit at the end of the fifth series in 1995. The duo were bitten by the musical bug on the show after performing Unchained Melody – which later got to Number One in the charts. The pair then went on to have a string of other top-selling singles and a massive-selling album.

READ MORE: What happened to the cast of hit firefighter TV show London's Burning - from EastEnders to pro poker playing

Soldier Soldier was eventually axed in 1997 after an impressive seven series. So without further ado … ATTEN-TION! Let’s see what the stars of the show have been up to since ...

Soldier Soldier's Jerome Flynn and Holly Aird as Paddy and Nancy (Carlton Television)

Lance Corporal Patrick "Paddy" Garvey - Jerome Flynn

The eminently likeable Jerome Flynn became a household name thanks to Soldier Soldier. Following five successful seasons in the show, and a new music career with co-star Robson Green, Jerome all but vanished from the world of showbiz.

At the height of his fame, the popular actor journeyed to India for a fortnight’s retreat before moving into a commune in North London. Jerome described this period of his life as a "very intense spiritual experience" and claimed it was "the equivalent to being a monk for eight years".

After this hiatus, Jerome took on the role of Bronn in HBO's Game of Thrones, as well as playing Det. Sgt. Bennet Drake in ITV's Ripper Street. In 2019, he was seen starring alongside Keanu Reeves and Halle Berry in action thriller John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum. Jerome now lives on a remote Welsh farm in Pembrokeshire and meditates daily in his special shed.

Robson Green (PA)

Fusilier David "Dave" Tucker - Robson Green

Already fairly well-known to UK audiences as hospital porter Jimmy in BBC medical drama Casualty, the equally likeable Robson Green was truly catapulted to mega-fame by Soldier Soldier. But his newfound stardom came at quite the cost, with the actor turning to drink and drugs as a means to escape.

Later in his career he presented Extreme Fishing with Robson Green as well as the spin-off Robson’s Extreme Fishing Challenge. More recently, Robson has played site manager Rob Scotcher in school drama Waterloo Road, as well as portraying crabby detective Geordie Keating in 1950s crime series Grantchester.

Robson says that he now shuns the celebrity lifestyle. He told The Mirror: "I don't like being classed as a celebrity. I'm a normal actor who's survived". He currently lives in his native Northumberland with partner Zoila Short.

Actress Annabelle Apsion when she received her honorary degree from Swansea University (Matthew Horwood)

Joy Wilton- Annabelle Apsion

Annabelle Apsion enjoyed her time in her role as civilian Joy Wilton, though younger readers might know her better as Monica Gallagher from the riotous TV comedy Shameless. The actress features in the first five seasons of Soldier Soldier, but pre-acting she studied Russian, politics, English and drama at Swansea University.

Annabelle used to perform in plays with her university pals, with the institution awarding her an honorary degree in 2019 at a ceremony for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. In 2001 she co-starred with Johnny Depp, Heather Graham and Robbie Coltrane in Jack The Ripper thriller From Hell.

Annabelle was also in a string of other films including About A Boy, adapted from the book by Nick Hornby, in 2002. She has also appeared in an episode of Inspector Morse spin-off Lewis and more recently Call The Midwife and Doc Martin.

Denise Welch as Marsha Stubbs in Soldier Soldier (Carlton Television)

Marsha Stubbs - Denise Welch

Denise Welch relished her role as civilian Martha Stubbs. The actress, who was in the series for two of its seven seasons, clearly recalls how much of a battle it was to win the part. She remembers having to steal her best friend’s identity to land the job, as the casting director had specified they didn't want any more Geordies in the show. Denise hailed from Tynemouth.

Following on from Soldier Soldier, Denise has appeared in an abundance of long-running TV shows such as Coronation Street, Benidorm and Hollyoaks, and is, of course, a firm fan favourite on Loose Women.

Actress Rosie Rowell pictured in Where The Heart Is (Granada Television)

Donna Tucker- Rosie Rowell

Rosie Rowell played Robson Green's on-screen better half in the popular 90s show. The Newcastle-raised actress ran away to London at just 16, bunking down in squats while attending the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama.

Throughout the mid-90s she played Donna Tucker, before going on to land roles in Dalziel & Pascoe, The Bill and Where The Heart Is. Rosie also starred as Eileen Callan in Channel 5 soap Family Affairs. Her most recent acting credits include narrating documentary series Dispatches, as well as roles in Casualty and The Bill.

Actress Holly Aird pictured here in her role in Waking The Dead (ITV)

Corporal Nancy Thorpe - Holly Aird

Holly portrayed the girlfriend, wife and eventually former wife of Paddy Garvey. While her first acting role was way back in 1981, it was the role of Nancy that really propelled her into the mainstream. Since then she has starred as Frankie Wharton in mystery drama Waking The Dead but left the role to concentrate on her family. Blessed with a lovely voice, you can often hear Holly’s dulcet tones on BBC natural history projects.

More recently, Holly has portrayed Francoise in A Discovery of Witches as well as resuming her role as Laura Merriman in Casualty.

Ben Nealon with two African children during a break in filming (Carlton Television)

Captain Jeremy Forsythe - Ben Nealon

Without question, Ben is most well-known for playing Captain Jeremy Forsythe in seasons four to seven of the show. He has since been in TV series such as action adventure series Bugs, Casualty, The Bill, docudrama series I Shouldn't Be Alive, daytime TV favourite Doctors and EastEnders. Ben also cropped up in Indian films Lagaan – a near-four-hour epic musical sports film - and Mangal Pandey: The Rising.

Aside from his acting career, Ben has been heavily involved with clean water charity Pump Aid since filming in Zimbabwe in 1998. He convened the first trustees meeting a year later and is now the charity’s development director.

A tweet from Denise Welch showing actor Gary Love (Denise Welch via Twitter)

Sergeant Tony Wilton - Gary Love

Gary Love was in his element playing Sergeant Tony Wilton for four seasons, before eventually being killed off in 1994. The actor was discovered at a mere 12 years old by revered theatrical producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh (of Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera fame) who immediately offered him the part of the Artful Dodger in Oliver!

These days, Gary now favours being behind the lens and was recently nominated for best director at the Edinburgh Film Festival for his debut feature film ‘Sugarhouse’, starring Lord of the Rings’ Andy Serkis. Now living in Los Angeles, the busy chap has been working with numerous A-listers and writers on an assortment of high-end dramas.

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