Created 10th January 2004

About Clive Hornby

Clive Hornby
Born: 20th October 1944


 

A Huge Big Thank you to Paul Berridge who has made various profiles and photos availabe to me. They were previously on his Beckindale site (that is no more). The following is one of those profiles - although information after 2001 has been added

Liverpool in the swinging sixties was a centre of popular culture, most famous for giving the world The Beatles. Another of its sons, Clive Hornby, had ideas about following in their tracks when he gave up his job as an accounts clerk after just six months and became a drummer with the pop group The Dennisons. 'We soon started playing professionally,' says Clive, who is now best known as Jack Sugden in Emmerdale.
'We were booked to do 40 Friday-night gigs at BICC and became very popular, very quickly, in Liverpool. When that happened and we were in demand to play elsewhere, we found ourselves still playing off those dates for almost nothing. We performed on the same bill as The Beatles a few times, at the Cavern and Aintree Institute, before they broke nationally. They were a big group in Liverpool and we could see what they were going to do.
'A lot of people thought The Dennisons would take over from The Beatles, but we just drifted into different areas and split up. I decided I wanted to be an actor and took lessons at the Crane Studios for an hour a week. The other boys in the band took the mick out of me someting rotten then I went to Liverpool Playhouse and was given a job as an assistant stage manager. A year there learning about theatre made me think I should go to drama school. I got in at LAMDA, in London, and I realised this was for me. All I wanted to do was be an actor.' On leaving LAMDA, Clive spent years in repertory theatre.
Television work came along and he made appearances in the Army sitcom Get Some In, the Gerry Anderson live~action sci-fi series Space 1999, Life at Stake and Minder. 'Originally, I was going to be the guy who had the garage where Arthur Daley got his dodgy cars from,' says Clive. 'But then I did another job and couldn't continue in that role.' Clive also had a small part in the film Yanks, although his brief appearance ended up on the cutting-room floor. It was while appearing on stage in a West End production of Murder at the Vicarage that the opportunity to join Emmerdale came along.
Actor Andrew Burt had played the role of Jack Sugden during the serial's first two years on screen and reappeared briefly in 1976. Four years later Yorkshire Television wanted to bring the character back and needed to recast the role. 'I knew Jack had been a popular character,' says Clive, 'and I looked a bit like Andrew. But, because he had been off screen for a few years, I thought I would do my own thing and not try to be like him. A lot of people thought it was the same actor The character was so sparky and volatile, and they liked him.'
Andrew Burt

 

Helen & Clive Clive Hornby and Helen Weir, who played husband and wife Jack and Pat Sugden, are married in real life.
Fact followed fiction when Clive married Helen Weir, who played his first screen wife, Pat. Together, they have a son, Thomas, and Helen has another son, Daniel, from her first marriage. After the birth of Thomas, Helen left the serial. It had been planned to cast the new-born baby as Jack and Pat's, but the couple's insistence that he should be called Thomas on screen as well as off was unacceptable to Yorkshire Television, which pointed out that Pat's first husband had been called Tom. Instead, Christopher Smith stepped in as Robert Sugden and the character of Pat was killed off in a car crash.
As one of the farming Sugdens, from the days when most of the programme's storylines revolved around that family, Clive is in a better position than most to assess how Emmerdale has changed over the years. 'There were times when four of us would spend four or five days filming all the farm scenes,' he recalls. 'The emphasis has changed. It couldn't carry on revolving completely round the farm. I don't mind that at all.'

Clive has also seen changes in twice-married Jack Sugden. 'He's getting older and more content, he says. 'And he has responsibilities, as I do. I have a heavy responsibility to my son and his education. I'm like any other dad. Sometimes I'm a bit intolerant, but I adore my son and love him dearly. If I were a single person, I might not have done Emmerdale for so long, but I have responsibilities, I've built up an established, well-liked character and I still enjoy being in the programme.'

Taken from the emmerdale companion by Anthony Hayward

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