Celebrated for his starring roles in Rita, Sue and Bob Too, and BAFTA-award-winning drama series Happy Valley, it’s a lesser known fact that actor George Costigan was brought up in Salford. Now, on his 76th birthday, let’s look back on the life and career on one of the most-esteemed English actors.

Born in Portsmouth in 1947, George grew up in Salford, attending St Augustine’s C of E Primary School on Bolton Road in Pendlebury, and Wardley Grammar School on Mardale Avenue in Wardley.

By the age of 20, George felt “lost”, having worked more than 35 jobs, and his parents begging him to get a ‘proper job’. It wasn’t until that year that he was approached to play the lead role in a play at the local amateur dramatics society, and the rapturous applause had hooked him.

It wasn’t until 11 years later, at age 31 that Costigan appeared on our screens, in the likes of TV movie Jenny Can’t Work Any Faster, Second City Firsts, and The Sailor’s Return.

In 1987, George appeared in what would be his first, and most respected film role, as working-class Yorkshire man, Bob in comedy-drama Rita, Sue and Bob Too.

His TV and film career exploded after the release of Rita, Sue and Bob Too, since establishing himself in the likes of BAFTA-award-winning drama series Happy Valley, Line of Duty, Emmerdale, Holby City, and Gentleman Jack.

George has recently taken to writing his book The Single Soldier: A Moving War-Time Drama.


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