Francis K. Beirne continues his series on the Stars of Heartbeat


‘Heartbeat’ was originally planned as a show for former ‘Eastenders’ Nick Berry. He in fact recorded the show’s theme-song, the Buddy Holly song of the same name and reached No. 2 in the charts in June 1992. Nicholas Rowan entered ‘Heartbeat’ as a P.C. in Aidensfield and left as Sergeant Rowan. He was always addressed as ‘Constable Ronan’ by Greengrass.

Constable Nick was good-natured and after some initial hostility, he became popular with the people of Aidensfield. He was happily married to Dr. Kate Rowan (Niamh Cusack), and they had a daughter Katie, but by the time Kate gave birth she was ill with leukemia which eventually claimed her life. The baby was going to be named Sarah but Nick called her after her late mother.

Two years after the death of his wife, Nick first met schoolteacher Jo Weston and they became close friends. When the couple had dinner with Jo’s parents, her mother, an unmitigated snob, was not pleased to discover that her daughter was not only going out with a mere village policeman but that he was also widower with a daughter.

However, against her mother’s wishes, Jo and Nick got married. P.C. Phil Bellamy was their best man. Nick and Jo arrived home from their honeymoon to find that he was now in charge and Oscar Blaketon, having been invalided out of the force, was running the Post Office. P.C. Mike Bradley had arrived and Nick was promoted to Sergeant.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own