Jackson Walsh

Last updated

Jackson Walsh
Jackson Walsh.jpg
Emmerdale character
Portrayed by Marc Silcock
First appearance22 March 2010
Last appearance26 July 2011
Introduced by Gavin Blyth
Classification Former; regular
Occupation Builder (Until 2010)

Jackson Walsh is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale , played by Marc Silcock. He made his first on-screen appearance on 22 March 2010. The character was introduced as a love interest for the established Aaron Livesy (Danny Miller), and Jackson became central to Aaron's coming out storyline. Jackson also began interacting with other characters and events in the village and his family were introduced. Jackson was given his own storyline in October 2010 and it saw him become a quadriplegic following a train accident. Jackson subsequently struggles with his situation and he asks Aaron and his mother, Hazel Rhodes (Pauline Quirke), to end his life.



In March 2010, Digital Spy announced that former Hollyoaks actor Silcock had joined the cast of Emmerdale as Jackson Walsh, a potential love interest for Aaron Livesy (Danny Miller). [1] Emmerdale series producer Gavin Blyth said Jackson is a "very contemporary gay character" and not a stereotype. [1] Of his casting, Silcock said "I've always been a fan of Emmerdale, so I'm thrilled to be joining the cast. Jackson will play a big part in Aaron's journey and I'm so pleased to be involved in this story." [1] Jackson is Silcock's second role with Emmerdale having previously appeared as Josh Hope. [2]

Six months after joining the show, Silcock had his contract extended until early 2011. [3] The actor revealed that he had not expected to be asked back as he thought he would just be helping out with Aaron's storyline and leaving. [4]


Jackson was described as existing in his own right and not letting his sexuality define him. [1] The serial's official website describe him as a confident gay man who dislikes unnecessary violence. [5]

In May 2010 it was announced that established actress Pauline Quirke had been cast as Jackson's mother, Hazel Rhodes. Hazel's arrival was to coincide with a "major storyline" for Jackson. [6] Michael J. Jackson was later cast to play his father, Jerry. [7] Silcock said it was "a big key to understanding why Jackson is like he is." Jerry's interaction with Hazel also gave viewers an insight to Jackson's backstory. It also helped show why he was so understanding towards Aaron. [7]

Aaron and Hazel later arrange a surprise challenge to help Jackson feel more motivated about life. When he finds out it is a skydive, Jackson decides to take part. [8] Silcock performed the skydive for real and opted out of using a stunt double. He had previously never wanted to skydive, but wanted to stay true to his character. [9] He knew the scenes would look more authentic and important for the storyline "to show Jackson how good life could be." The fact Jackson is tetraplegic meant there were potential logistic challenges during filming. A tetraplegic person would not be strapped into the same harness as an able-bodied person, so the team had to think of a way in to harness him to prevent body movement. [9] Describing the scenes Silcock stated: "All the emotion you see on screen at the landing from me, Pauline Quirke and Danny Miller was genuine." This way because upon landing the aftermath scenes were shot straight away. Silcock said he found it interesting landing and immediately having to remember his lines. [9] On-screen the event only boosts his quality of life for a short while, until he becomes depressed again. [10]


Jackson meets Aaron in a gay bar in Hotten. After Aaron leaves, Jackson finds his mobile phone and he comes to Emmerdale to return it. He speaks to Paddy Kirk (Dominic Brunt) and gives Aaron his number. Aaron sees Jackson again and they agree to meet for a drink, but Aaron stands him up. Jackson tries to encourage Aaron to come out and they go on a date and share their first kiss. Whilst in The Woolpack, Aaron believes Jackson is going to out him and he punches him. Aaron is arrested and Jackson presses charges. Adam Barton (Adam Thomas) tells Jackson that Aaron attempted suicide and Jackson goes to his court case. Aaron then admits that he is gay. Jackson makes it clear that he is not interested in Aaron anymore and he gets a building job with Declan Macey (Jason Merrells). Jackson witnesses Aaron being threatened by Wayne Dobson (Gary Hanks) and he sticks up for Aaron. After talking things through, Aaron and Jackson begin a relationship.

Jackson's mother Hazel arrives and after she floods Jackson's flat, he is evicted. Paddy suggests that they both move in with him. Jackson decides to move in with Andy Sugden (Kelvin Fletcher) instead. After a fight, Jackson tells Aaron that he loves him. Aaron is not comfortable with this and they stop speaking to each other for a few days. Aaron decides to make it up to Jackson by arranging a night out. Paddy and Marlon Dingle (Mark Charnock) join them and Jackson and Aaron try to sort out their issues. Jackson is hurt when Aaron does not admit he loves him too and drives off. Jackson loses control of his van after trying to answer his phone and he crashes onto a railway line. A train then hits the van. Jackson is taken to hospital and placed on life support. He eventually wakes up and is told he has broken two bones in his neck, forcing him to wear a halo brace and paralysing him from the neck down. Jackson blames Aaron for the crash and they break up. Aaron and Jackson get back together and when Aaron realises he loves Jackson and is able to tell him.

Hazel hires Joe Chappell (Scott Taylor) to help care for Jackson. Jackson's father, Jerry, asks him to be godfather to his son, Josh (Benjamin Murphy), but Jackson refuses. Jackson records a video diary and reveals that he does not want to live anymore. Aaron later confesses to Jackson that he watched his diary and knows that he wants to die. Aaron tries to convince Jackson that he still has a life to live. Just as they are about to go and see a comedy gig, Jackson starts to choke and he is taken to hospital. He is told that he has a chest infection and will continue to have them, as he cannot clear his lungs. Jackson admits that he wants to die, as he cannot continue living the way he is. In an attempt to show Jackson that his life is worth living, Hazel and Aaron take him to the seaside and he goes skydiving. However, he does not change his mind and Hazel and Aaron agree to help him end his life. Jackson has a party for his friends and family in The Woolpack. The next day, Hazel brings Jackson some pills to take and Jackson tells his mother and Aaron how grateful he is for their support. Hazel cannot give Jackson the pills, even when he begs, so Aaron takes the cup and gives it to Jackson. Jackson then dies. Jackson is later seen on a videotaped message at his funeral, addressing the congregation and exonerating Hazel and Aaron of blame for his death and telling his father that he loves him. He is last seen on another video message he had recorded which is played at Aaron's trial for Jackson's murder as evidence, exonerating Aaron of blame and explaining that his death was his own choice and nobody else's.


Silcock has earned various nominations for his portrayal of Jackson. In July 2010, Silcock was nominated for "Best Newcomer" at the Inside Soap Awards. [11] The following year, he was nominated for "Most Popular Newcomer" at the National Television Awards. [12] The crash that left Jackson paralysed received a nomination for "Spectacular Scene of the Year" at The British Soap Awards. [13] Silcock earned a nomination for "Best Soap Actor" from the TV Choice Awards in May 2011. [14] At the 2012 British Soap Awards, "Jackson's choice" won the accolade for "Best storyline". [15]

Holy Soap said Jackson's most memorable moment was "The horrific car crash that left him paralysed." [2] Kris Green writing for Digital Spy, chose Jackson and Aaron's first kiss as their picture of the day in April 2010. [16]

Mark Perigard writing for the Boston Herald praised Silcock observing him as giving "one gripping performance after another". He also applauded the realism of Jackson being quadriplegic, stating that if it were an American soap opera he would have "fully recovered and been back to building shelves in two months". [17]

Perigard of the Boston Herald praised Silcock for the parachute jump and called it a "great sequence." [18] He gave credit to the actor for remaining still throughout and opined that no U.S. actor would have done the stunt for real. According to Perigard the scenes were a "welcome respite for fans" in the wake of a dramatic storyline. [18] He also said Emmerdale were making a mistake in letting Silcock leave because he had demonstrated "once again his talent for finding the heart of every scene." [18] What's on TV opined that "The tandem skydive initially worked wonders for the tetraplegic's attitude to life", but noted he soon slipped back into depression. [10] Whilst Daniel Kilkelly of Digital Spy chose the scene as his "Picture of the day" and said the scenes were heartwarming to watch. [8]

Following Jackson's death by assisted suicide, viewers had complained about the scenes being aired hours before the watershed. Media regulator Ofcom announced that it would be looking into the controversial scenes after receiving complaints overnight. [19] Spinal injury charity, Aspire, also voiced its criticism of the scenes in a statement on their website. [19] They revealed that when they learnt of the storyline, they voiced their concerns and asked the producers to move away from it and show Jackson's "journey back to independence in a positive light." [19] Aspire's director of services, Alex Rankin, added, "This storyline had the potential to be ground-breaking in its approach to disability, and to challenge misguided opinions on spinal cord injury. Instead, too often, the script has opted for poor stereotypes or sensational misrepresentation. I sincerely hope that the 1,200 people who will be paralysed by spinal cord injuries this year, and their families, do not find themselves believing that Jackson's story represents their future." [19]

Boston Herald writer Perigard praised the acting by Silcock, Miller and Quirke during the storyline. [20] Of the scenes in which Jackson died, Perigard said "The tragedy unfolding in one home is contrasted with scenes of gentle domesticity around the village. This is drama at its most wrenching and yet so realistic it transcends the genre." [20] Perigard called the storyline "brilliant", but was not happy that it led to Silcock's exit. [20]

Related Research Articles

Aaron Livesy Fictional character from Emmerdale

Aaron Dingle is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by Danny Miller. The character was originally played by Danny Webb and appeared in a recurring capacity. Aaron made his first appearance during the episode broadcast on 24 December 2003. When Aaron was reintroduced in 2008, he was promoted to the full-time cast and the decision was made to recast the role. Miller successfully auditioned for the part and later admitted that he would have quit acting if he had not been cast.

Sarah Barnes

Sarah Barnes is a fictional character from the British Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks, played by Loui Batley. She debuted on-screen during the episode airing on 10 October 2005. Sarah was created by executive producer David Hanson as part of the Barnes family. In 2009, Batley quit the serial in order to pursue other projects. The character has been central to many key storylines, one of the earliest the high-profile gay storyline involving supercouple John Paul McQueen and Craig Dean.

Zoe Carpenter

Zoe Carpenter is a fictional character from the British Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks, played by Zoë Lister. The character first appeared on-screen on 1 September 2006, as one of three new students at Hollyoaks Community College. It was announced in 2009 that Lister had quit her role in order to pursue other projects; she subsequently left the series in January 2010. During Zoe's time in Hollyoaks she has been portrayed as a bubbly tomboy who often makes the wrong choices in life and has had a number of failed relationships. In March 2017, it was reported that Lister would be reprising the role and it was later confirmed that she would return for Amy Barnes' funeral. Her return aired on 24 April 2017.

Marco "Marc" Silcock is an English former actor, best known for his portrayal of Jackson Walsh in the British soap opera Emmerdale.

Lizzie Lakely

Lizzie Lakely was a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera Emmerdale, played by Kitty McGeever. She was Emmerdale's first blind character, and was played by a blind actress. She made her first on-screen appearance on 28 April 2009. Lizzie's last appearance was on 28 March 2013. McGeever had health problems, but, in June 2013, producer Kate Oates stated there had been plans for her to return. McGeever died in August 2015, however, without having returned to the series.

Lydia Hart Fictional character from Hollyoaks

Lydia Hart is a fictional character from the British Channel 4 soap opera, Hollyoaks, played by Lydia Kelly. Lydia was created by series producer Bryan Kirkwood as one of many characters introduced that year. She made her debut in the soap on 4 March 2009, and remained for ten months.

Becky McDonald character from the British soap opera Coronation Street

Becky McDonald is a fictional character from the British soap opera Coronation Street, played by Katherine Kelly. Becky was created by producer Tony Wood, and made her debut in the episode airing on 5 February 2006. Kelly was initially contracted to appear for three months, but became a series regular after impressing the serial's producers. In April 2011, Kelly announced her decision to leave the soap. Producer Phil Collinson created dramatic storylines in the build-up to her exit.

Rae Wilson

Rae Wilson is a fictional character from the British Channel 4 soap opera, Hollyoaks, played by Alice Barlow. She appeared in the series from 5 October 2009 until 13 September 2011. Actress Helen Russell-Clark – who went on to play Jem Costello – originally auditioned for the role, but the part was awarded to Barlow. Producer Lucy Allan said Barlow was her favourite addition to the cast during 2009.

Adam Barton (<i>Emmerdale</i>)

Adam Barton is a fictional character from the ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, portrayed by Adam Thomas. The character and Thomas' casting was announced alongside that of the Barton family in May 2009. Thomas called Adam "a family man". The character first appeared during the episode broadcast on 17 July 2009. Following a break to participate in I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! in 2016, Thomas opted to leave the serial and Adam's departure was announced on 22 June 2017, with his exit airing on 2 January 2018.

Holly Barton

Holly Barton is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by Sophie Powles. She made her first on-screen appearance during the episode broadcast on 17 July 2009. Holly was introduced to the soap as part of the Bartons, a new farming family who took over the running of Butler's Farm. Holly was joined by her mother, father and two siblings. The family were described as being "sexy, modern and contemporary" by the show's series producer, Gavin Blyth. Holly departed on 20 June 2012, but Powles later reprised her role and Holly returned on 24 March 2016 for a six-month stint. The character was killed off on 29 September 2016.

Vanessa Gold EastEnders character

Vanessa Gold is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders. She is portrayed by Zöe Lucker, and first appeared in EastEnders in the episode broadcast on 4 June 2010. A "dynamic and assured" businesswoman, Vanessa was created by series consultant Simon Ashdown to be "a Zöe Lucker-type". Lucker accepted the role on a seven-episode contract, which was extended after she impressed the series producers with her performance. In April 2011, it was announced that Lucker was to leave the show. She departed on 6 October 2011, after the conclusion of her storylines.

Hollyoaks began airing on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom on 23 October 1995. The target audience was that of teenagers and it initially dramatised the lives of seven of that age group who lived in Hollyoaks, a fictional suburb in the city of Chester in Cheshire, England.

Gavin John Blyth was a British television producer and journalist. He was well known for being series producer of Emmerdale from January 2009 until his death. Beginning his career in 2002, he joined Emmerdale in 2003 as a writer. He later went on to be an assistant producer and also a story editor on Coronation Street.

Ella Hart is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by Corrinne Wicks. She made her first on-screen appearance on 17 November 2010. Ella is a businesswoman who is described as "sexy and savvy". She is the ex-wife of Declan Macey and mother of Mia. Wicks left Emmerdale in 2011, and departed on 25 August.

Amy Wyatt Fictional character from Emmerdale

Amy Wyatt is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by Natalie Ann Jamieson. She debuted on-screen during the episode airing on 8 October 2010, played by Chelsea Halfpenny. Since her inception Amy has been central to main storylines and has been played as the serial's rebellious teenager. Halfpenny has said she enjoys playing the character's mischievous side. Amy's unstable upbringing in children's homes and foster care has impacted on her persona. She is a troubled character and protects herself by creating a hard exterior. Amy's biggest fear is embarrassment and she aspires to lead a normal family life with her foster parents Val Pollard and Eric Pollard. As her storylines have developed she has grown close to the pair, yet rebelled at various stages. Charlie Hardwick and Chris Chittell who play Val and Eric have expressed their delight with the positive impact Amy has had on their on-screen family. She has a kooky style and wears heavy make-up.

Ciaran McCarthy

Ciaran McCarthy is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Coronation Street, portrayed by Keith Duffy. He made his first on-screen appearance on 7 August 2002, before departing in 2005. He returned in 2010 until Duffy temporary departed in January 2011 to go on Boyzone Tour, and returned on 3 November 2011. Duffy departed the role again on 25 November 2011 due to family commitments although he stated his intention to eventually return as Ciaran. In his duration on the show the character has been at the centre of several romances including relationships with Sunita Alahan, Tracy Barlow and Michelle Connor. Ciaran has been characterised as a ladies' man and a charmer. The character is also known for his "sex symbol" status. Duffy has received nominations at various soap award ceremonies for his portrayal of Ciaran.

John Barton (<i>Emmerdale</i>)

John Barton is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by James Thornton. The actor was asked to audition for the part and he called it the "most frightening audition" he had ever done. Thornton won the role of John, who was introduced to Emmerdale along with his family as part of an overhaul of the show by the series producer Gavin Blyth. The Barton family took over the running of Butler's Farm and they were described as being "sexy, modern and contemporary". Thornton made his debut screen appearance during the episode broadcast on 17 July 2009. The following year, he signed a one-year extension to his contract. In November 2011, Thornton revealed that he was to leave Emmerdale after three years and he departed on 16 February 2012.

Leyla Harding Fictional character from Emmerdale

Leyla Harding is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by Roxy Shahidi. She made her first on-screen appearance on 11 August 2008 and was introduced by series producer, Anita Turner. The character departed on 5 August 2011. Shahidi returned to Emmerdale for two episodes on 25 December 2013. She returned full-time in January 2014. On 5 January 2018, Shahadi took maternity leave from the show whilst pregnant with her first child. She returned on 3 October 2018.


  1. 1 2 3 4 Green, Kris (2 March 2010). "Exclusive: New gay character for 'Emmerdale'". Digital Spy . Hachette Filipacchi UK . Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  2. 1 2 "Jackson Walsh Played by Marc Silcock". Holy Soap . Channel 5. Archived from the original on 11 March 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  3. Love, Ryan (29 September 2010). "Marc Silcock extends 'Emmerdale' contract". Digital Spy . Hachette Filipacchi UK . Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  4. "'Emmerdale' star Marc Silcock has said that he was shocked when his contract for the show was extended". RTÉ TEN . Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 29 October 2010. Archived from the original on 30 May 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  5. "Jackson Walsh". itv.com . (ITV Plc). Archived from the original on 5 September 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  6. "Birds of a Feather actress Pauline Quirke to join Emmerdale". The Daily Telegraph . (Telegraph Media Group). 29 May 2010. Archived from the original on 30 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  7. 1 2 Love, Ryan (6 October 2010). "Exclusive: Jackson's dad cast in 'Emmerdale'". Digital Spy . (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Archived from the original on 30 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  8. 1 2 Kilkelly, Daniel (6 May 2011). "POTD: Jackson goes skydiving in 'Emmerdale'". Digital Spy . Hachette Filipacchi UK. Archived from the original on 30 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  9. 1 2 3 Rainey, Naomi (26 April 2011). "Marc Silcock 'chose to do Emmerdale skydive'". Digital Spy . (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Archived from the original on 30 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  10. 1 2 "Can Aaron prevent Jackson's deathwish? (VIDEO)". What's on TV . IPC Media. 6 May 2011. Archived from the original on 30 May 2011.
  11. Cooper, Lorna (13 July 2010). "Inside Soap Awards: 2010 nominations". MSN . Microsoft. Archived from the original on 9 August 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  12. "Dales Danny backs co-star". Holy Soap . Channel 5. 26 January 2011. Archived from the original on 30 May 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  13. Kilkelly, Daniel (15 May 2011). "British Soap Awards 2011: The Winners". Digital Spy . Hachette Filipacchi UK . Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  14. Wightman, Catriona (18 May 2011). "In Full: TV Choice Awards 2011 - Nominees". Digital Spy . Hachette Filipacchi UK . Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  15. Taylor, Jim (29 April 2012). "Eastenders wins top prize at British Soap Awards". Newsbeat . (BBC). Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  16. Green, Kris (16 April 2010). "POTD: Aaron and Jackson kiss in 'Emmerdale'". Digital Spy . Hachette Filipacchi UK . Retrieved 15 April 2010.
  17. Perigard, Mark (3 April 2011). "The last taboo". Boston Herald . Herald Media Inc. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  18. 1 2 3 Perigard, Mark (6 May 2011). "British star takes a flying leap". Boston Herald . Herald Media Inc. Archived from the original on 30 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  19. 1 2 3 4 Love, Ryan (8 June 2011). "'Emmerdale' Jackson plot complaints assessed by Ofcom". Digital Spy . Hachette Filipacchi UK . Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  20. 1 2 3 Perigard, Mark (7 June 2011). "'Emmerdale' suicide story is a sobfest for all". Boston Herald . Herald Media Inc. Retrieved 8 June 2011.