Brookside’s Terry Sullivan actor Brian Regan – from drug dealing to solitary confinement

Brookside was a staple part of many people's childhoods in the 80s and 90s. So when news recently came out that episodes are on STV to watch again, viewers were delighted.

The show, which was set in Liverpool on a specially made street, first aired in November 1982 and produced a number of iconic and memorable moments. One of these was the first pre-watershed lesbian kiss.

Brian Regan, who played Terry Sullivan, also had a number of explosive storylines, from being deceived by Sue Harper into thinking she was carrying his baby, to being cheated on.

He was one of the most recognisable characters on the show, which also acted as a launchpad for many of our most-loved stars. These include Anna Friel and Sue Johnston. But it's not been quite so simple for Brian since the show and here we look more closely at his life…

Early life and Brookside

Brian grew up in Dovecot and attended Yew Tree Comprehensive School. He got his acting training at the Liverpool Playhouse and had other roles alongside Brookside.

On screen, he was in The Bill, Paparazzo and Murphy's Mob. Brian was also in Soccer AM as "The Cat" in the early ears of the show. Brookside is what Brian is most known for and he first appeared in the series in episode six. His character Terry Sullivan was embroiled in a series of dramatic storylines.

Wife Sue cheated on him and deceived him into thinking she was carrying his baby. He also ended up in the frame for her murder. It was later revealed that his best friend Barry had killed her.

In a fit of rage, he almost shot Barry dead when he discovered what he had done, but he stopped himself before he pulled the trigger. He also strangled Graeme Curtis when he blamed him for his wife's murder but the police stopped him.

Brian was in the show for 15 years as Terry, finally leaving in February 1997. He briefly left the show for a short time before that to move to London and pursue his acting career but later returned.

Drug dealing and crime

Life wasn't easy for Brian after Brookside as acting work dried up. As a result, he turned to drug dealing and became an addict. Simon O'Brien, who played Damon Grant in Brookside, said Brian's involvement with drugs was a "slow burn".

He told the BBC in 2012: ""It is a very difficult place when you're acting, particularly on something as high-profile as a soap, because fame and infamy attract each other."

"Actors and gangsters, for some reason, almost get off on each other. It's a really strange mutual attraction because I think the hard man gives the actor a kind of security out in public and the actor gives the gangster kudos. The two worlds often get intertwined and when that happens, inevitably drugs become involved. So it was kind of a slow thing from what I remember, it was a slow burn."

Brian was also handed a four year and 10 month sentence in 2012 for selling drugs and lying to police about his role in the murder of Iranian doorman Bahman Faraji in Aigburth.

He was cleared him of murder but he was convicted of perverting the course of justice as it came out that he had lied when first arrested.

In HMP Liverpool in 2013, Brian was given VP (Vulnerable Prisoner) status and was put in solitary confinement after he was attacked and threatened. This came after he helped convict a murder gang and there were fears he could be beaten up by them.

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