Brookside child actor unrecognisable 20 years after soap exit as he lands huge Hollywood role alongside Idris Elba | The Sun
8th August 2023

BROOKSIDE actor Jack McMullen landed his biggest role to date this year starring opposite Idris Elba in Hijack.

The big budget Apple TV+ series sees expert negotiator Sam Nelson (Idris) try and talk down a group of hijackers that have taken over Kindom Airlines' Flight KA29 during its journey from Dubai to London.

Jack, 32, plays Lewis, one of the terrorists, in the six-part series and is a major part of the action.

It's a long way from the domestic drama of Brookside Close where he made his name two decades ago.

Jack played Josh McLoughlin in the soap. His character was born from a one night stand between Mike Dixon and his dad Ron's girlfriend Bev.

The messy situation escalated when Ron wanted to adopt the youngster, but Mike prevented it. Eventually Ron and Bev got married and Josh took the Dixon surname, before the trio moved away to start a new life.


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Following his time on Brookside, Jack landed the role of Tigger Johnson in iconic kids' show Grange Hill, which he starred in for four years.

Two years later he landed another regular part in a major drama as Finn Sharkey in the BBC's Waterloo Road.

In more recent years he's bagged a number of hard-hitting roles including jail drama Time, opposite Sean Bean, and the dramatisation of real-life tragedy Little Boy Blue.

Meanwhile, we recently revealed that talks are in place to tee up a second series of the drama, which is set on board a plane taken over by terrorists.

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Idris plays Sam Nelson, a trained corporate negotiator who ends up having to outsmart the bad guys while thousands of feet up in the air.

A TV insider said: “This is great news for Idris, who isn’t just the leading man of the show, he’s also one of the executive producers.

“So he has a great deal invested in the drama, which was reflected in just how enthusiastically he promoted it before it launched last month.

“The programme will help reframe Idris as an actor, making him known for more than playing the lead in BBC detective drama Luther.

"And since he is now 50, he wants to more than just an action hero.

“He wants to be seen as an actor who can take on a greater range of roles.

"The streaming giant’s bosses are keen on him exploring this new chapter with them, which is why there are now discussions about delivering a second helping of Hijack.

“After all, it has turned out to be one of their most-watched shows and the reviews have generally been full of praise.”

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The seven-parter sees Sam on board Kingdom Airlines flight KA29 from Dubai to London as he returns to his estranged wife, but then the bad guys take over the plane.

It’s not clear how the creators could continue the story, though there is the suggestion it could involve a similar scenario or maybe a different mode of transport.

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