George Costigan

George J. Costigan (born 8 August 1947)[1] is an English actor who is best known for portraying Bob in the 1987 film Rita, Sue and Bob Too as well as his recent role in Happy Valley.

George Costigan
George J. Costigan

(1947-08-08) 8 August 1947 (age 72)
Years active1975–present

Early lifeEdit

Born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, Costigan grew up in Salford, Lancashire. After attending St Augustine's C of E Primary School on Bolton Road in Pendlebury, he went to Wardley Grammar School on Mardale Avenue in Wardley near Swinton.


Costigan has been on television since 1978. He starred in the 1982 series of The Barchester Chronicles, an adaption of the novels by Anthony Trollope, in which he played the part of Tom Towers. In 1984 he appeared as Philip the Bastard in the BBC Television Shakespeare production of The Life and Death of King John (alongside Leonard Rossiter in the title role).[2]

He rose to fame in 1986 as adulterous businessman Bob in the comedy film Rita, Sue and Bob Too. He has since starred or featured in many television productions, including The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (providing mellifluous Peter Lorre-type villainy) Kavanagh QC, Coogan's Run, Connie, A Touch of Frost, Inspector Morse, Murder Most Horrid, So Haunt Me, London's Burning, The Bill, Holby City, The Long Firm, City Central, Vera, Dalziel and Pascoe, The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, The Beiderbecke Connection, New Tricks, Linda Green and Casualty. His film work includes Calendar Girls and Shirley Valentine.

He has appeared in the role of Max Capricorn in the 2007 Doctor Who Christmas special, Voyage of the Damned.[3]

In 1974, he joined the Liverpool Everyman Theatre Company, where he met his second wife, Jooles, remaining with the company for eight years.

In the theatre, he created the role of Mickey Johnstone in Willy Russell's musical Blood Brothers, originally at the Liverpool Playhouse, and later at the Lyric Theatre, London. He then played the role of Estragon in Samuel Beckett's play Waiting for Godot at the Manchester Library Theatre for three weeks from 16 February to 8 March 2008, and played Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman at York Theatre Royal in November 2008. In December 2009, it was announced that he is to join Emmerdale as a friend of Rodney Blackstock. He made his debut in the soap in March 2010 and his last appearance was shown on 23 July 2010. On 4/5 April 2010, he starred as Alan, the ex-husband of Christine, Inspector Frost's new love interest in A Touch of Frost. In 2012 he appeared in William Shakespeare's King Lear at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, alongside David Hayman. In 2014, he appeared in Happy Valley. He resumed the role, Nevison Gallagher, in the 2016 series. He also starred in the hit TV series Line of Duty as Patrick Fairbank.

In July 2016 he played Sir Ethelred in the BBC's 3-part television adaptation of Joseph Conrad's 1907 novel The Secret Agent.[4]

His first novel The Single Soldier was published in Spring 2017. The second and third parts of the trilogy, The Soldier's Home are also published via Urbane Publishers.

George is patron of the Dark Horse Theatre Company.

Personal lifeEdit

His partner is the writer Julia North, with whom he wrote a 1990 episode of Birds of a Feather.[5] They have three sons – Niall (who is also an actor), second who is a schoolteacher and Liam who is a social activist mostly working in French Schools. They have two grandsons, Finn and Dillon.[6]

He first married his childhood sweetheart who supported his ambition to be a professional actor, but this early marriage broke down as he pursued his acting ambitions. He married for the second time, Jooles.

Costigan is a supporter of Everton Football Club.[6]



Year Title Role Notes
1975 Jenny Can't Work Any Faster Brian TV film
1978 The Sailor's Return Harry Targett
1980 Bloody Kids School Master 2 TV film
1981 Somewhere More Central Hotel Manager TV film
1983 Red Monarch Projectionist TV film
1984 The Life and Death of King John Philip TV film
1986 The Great Paper Chase Sargeant Jones TV film
1987 Rita, Sue and Bob Too Bob
1989 Shirley Valentine Dougie
1993 The Hawk Stephen Marsh
1995 A Mind to Murder Robin Cheeseman TV film
1998 Girls' Night Steve
1998 The Tribe Micky
2000 Paranoid Bryan Uncredited
2001 Love or Money Ted TV film
2002 Stranded Quirk TV film
2003 Calendar Girls Eddie
2005 Frozen P.C. Pike
2007 The Good Samaritan Ralph Mayhew TV film
2007 Garage Dan
2008 Hancock and Joan George TV film
2008 Summer Mr. Tanner
2010 Hereafter Foster Father


Year Title Role Notes
1977 Second City Firsts Trevor Episode: "Fattening Frogs for Snakes"
1978 Pickersgill People Duggie Butterworth Episode: "The Sheik of Pickersgill"
1981 Screenplay Ted Episode: "Happy Since I Met You"
1982 Play for Today Nolan Episode: "Under the Skin"
1982 Fame Is the Spur Tom Hannaway Mini-series
1982 The Barchester Chronicles Tom Towers Mini-series
1983 Widows Charlie Mini-series
1985 Connie Arnie Series regular
1985 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Wilson Kemp Episode: "The Greek Interpreter"
1988 Rockliffe's Babies Johnny Wilshire Episode: "Top Man"
1988 The Beiderbecke Connection D.C. Ben Mini-series
1988 London's Burning David 2 episodes
1989 Bergerac Oliver Sutton Episode: "Trenchard's Last Case"
1989 The Jim Henson Hour Father Episode: "Monster Maker"
1990 Inspector Morse Ron Garrett Episode: "The Infernal Serpent"
1990 Stolen Terry 3 episodes
1990 London's Burning Michael 2 episodes
1990 Casualty Robert Episode: "Results"
1991 Chimera Schaffer Mini-series
1991 Minder Billy 2 episodes
1992-1994 So Haunt Me Peter Rokeby Series regular
1993 The Riff Raff Element Billy Series regular
1993 Screenplay Sean Episode: "Safe"
1994 Screen Two Don Episode: "Sin Bin"
1994 The Ruth Rendell Mysteries Detective Inspector Manciple Episode: "Master of the Moor"
1995 Kavanagh QC Michael Duggan Episode: "A Family Affair"
1995 Coogan's Run Barry Parry Episode: "Get Calf"
1996 Madson George Dartnell 1 episode
1996 Murder Most Horrid Dave Jones Episode: "Confess"
1997 Hetty Wainthropp Investigates Wallace Pickering Episode: "Fisticuffs"
1997 Casualty Martin Gregory Episode: "Always on My Mind"
1999 Badger Moncur Episode: "The World According to Carp"
2000 City Central DI Jack Carter Series regular
2000 The Bill Roxanne 2 episodes
2001 Peak Practice Roy Telford Episode: "Win Some, Lose Some"
2001 Holby City James Campbell 3 episodes
2002 Dinotopia Georgio Episode: "Making Good"
2002 Linda Green Brian Episode: "Like Father"
2004 The Long Firm DI George Mooney Mini-series
2005 Down to Earth Ken Ferris Episode: "Cowboys"
2005 Where the Heart Is Ralph Episode: "Together"
2005 Rose and Maloney Marcus Roche Episode: "Alan Richmond"
2006 Dalziel and Pascoe Barry Bendelow Episode: "Glory Days"
2006 The Inspector Lynley Mysteries Owen Harcourt-Baines Episode: "Natural Causes"
2006 See No Evil: The Moors Murders DCI Joe Mounsey Mini-series
2006 Casualty Stephen Gregory 2 episodes
2007 The Royal Hugh Etheridge Episode: "Scabs"
2007 The Whistleblowers David Durrell Episode: "No Child Left Behind"
2007 Doctor Who Max Capricorn Episode: "Voyage of the Damned"
2008 New Tricks Dave Dalston Episode: "Loyalties and Royalties"
2009 Unforgiven Eddie Ackroyd Mini-series
2009 Midsomer Murders Jack Filby Episode: "The Creeper"
2010 A Touch of Frost Allen Moorhead Episode: "If Dogs Run Free"
2010 Emmerdale Charlie Haynes Series regular
2011 Casualty Father Vincent McConnell Episode: "Mea Culpa"
2012 Homefront Sgt Howard Raveley Mini-series
2013 Scott & Bailey Joe Bevan 3 episodes
2013 The Great Train Robbery DCS Ernie Millen Mini-series
2014-2016 Happy Valley Nevison Gallagher Series regualar
2015 Vera Bill Telling Episode: "Old Wounds"
2016 Line of Duty Fairbank 2 episodes
2016 The Secret Agent Sir Ethelred Mini-series
2019 Gentleman Jack James Holt 4 episodes


  1. ^ "George J. Costigan, England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008". FamilySearch. 1947.
  2. ^ "George Costigan". Shakespeare in Performance. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
  3. ^ "George Costigan". Hamilton Hodell. Archived from the original on 31 December 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
  4. ^ "The Secret Agent: Episode 1: Credits". BBC Online. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  5. ^ "Birds of a Feather". 2007. BBC Comedy. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
  6. ^ a b "Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres". 2007. Everyman Theatre. Retrieved 30 December 2007.

External linksEdit