| C H A R A C T E R
Sergeant Nick Rowan
Nick Berry as PC Nick Rowan prior to being promoted
Ruby Rowan (mother)
Katie Rowan (daughter)
Dr Kate Rowan (wife, deceased)
Jo Rowan (wife)
Sergeant Nicholas "Nick" Rowan (Also a PC) when he left the series, was played by Nick Berry and appeared in 96 episodes from 1992 - 1998. To clarify, Nick entered Heartbeat as a PC in Aidensfield and left as Sergeant Rowan.
Newly arrived from London to become Aidensfield's Police Constable, Nick was good-natured. After some initial hostility he became popular with the people of Aidensfield. Nick was very happily married to Dr Kate Rowan, and they had a daughter Katie but by the time Kate gave birth she was ill with leukemia which eventually claimed her life. About two years later, after veiled suggestions that he might be paired off with Nurse Maggie Bolton, Nick met school teacher Jo Weston, and they started courting and later married. He was promoted to sergeant and took over from Oscar Blaketon when the latter was invalided out of the force. He wasn't happy in his new job and after several months of him and Jo being married he accepted a request to join the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. They left Aidensfield and was never featured in Heartbeat again until the special; Changing Places which followed the life of Nick, Jo and Katie in Canada.Nick was brought up in Hackney, in London's East End, by his mother, he started life as a pan am pilot.
Sergeant Rowan had two duties, one of being the Village Constable in Aidensfield and the Seargeant at Ashfordly. He was succeeded in Aidensfield by PC Mike Bradley and succeeded in Ashfordly by Sgt Raymond Craddock.
Main Family RelationshipsEdit
Dr Kate RowanEdit
PC Nick Rowan was happily married to his first wife, Kate, when he first arrived in Aidensfield in 1964 to take over as the village bobby. The pair had married in 1961 and by 1964 had been married for three years. During their time together in Aidensfield, Nick and Kate would experience all sorts of conflicts in their police and medical work. Their marriage began to suffer, however, when Kate joined forces with Dr James Radcliffe in Whitby. Kate later revealed that she was pregnant, putting more strain on it. Yet, this soon turned to delight, when she gave birth to a baby girl, who was originally going to be called Sarah. However, their happiness was soon short-lived when Kate was diagnosed of lukemia. It was in Thief in the Night that she died in the early hours of the morning. A distraught Nick then decided to call their baby Katie, in her mother's memory. Katie's full name is Katherine Sarah Rowan.
Jo Rowan née WestonEdit
Nick first met his future second wife, Jo Weston, some two years after the death of Dr Kate Rowan in Blood Sports. They struck up a friendship and then began dating before finally getting married. They had to overcome a lot of obstacles along the way. In the episode A Long Shot, Nick went out riding with Jo for the first time and she could believe that she managed to get him on a horse. In Something of Value, Nick and Jo shared a kiss. Afterwards, he and Jo went out riding regularly together such as in Frail Mortality. He said that they should do it more often. In the episode, Snapped, Jo ended the relationship briefly when they were meant to be going on a romantic weekend away but his police work took up much of their time. They ended up getting back together, however. When they had dinner with Jo's parents, Graham and Fiona Weston, Fiona was not so pleased to discover that her daughter was not only going out with a mere village bobby but that he was also widower with a daughter. In the episode Charity Begins at Home, Nick asked Jo to marry him, to which she said yes. In the following episode, Bad Apple, he and Jo got her an engagement ring; when they told Graham and Fiona, Fiona wasn't happy one bit about the marriage taking place. She was convinced that Nick was not good enough for her daughter whereas Graham was much happier about having him as a son-in-law. Before the wedding could take place, Fiona died suddenly, which greatly upset Jo and her father. They eventually got married in the episode, Affairs of the Heart, where PC Phil Bellamy was their best man. After he got married to Jo and PC Mike Bradley arrived, Nick got promoted to Sergeant after Oscar Blaketon was invalided out of the force. Nick passed his Sergeant's exams but still had to wait for a posistion. This chance happened while he and Jo were on honeymoon. Blaketon had had a heart attack in the episode Substitute. Nick and Jo arrived home in the episode In On the Act to find that he was now in charge and Oscar running the Post Office. In the episode Bad Penny, Nick started thinking of emigrating although he said to Jo that it was only an idea at the time. However, this idea became definitive in Appearances. Nick had sent off for some information about a job with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Jo wasn't so sure at first and brought in the information to Nick at the station, which they discussed in his office. She said that they didn't have to go all the way to the other side of the world and she was worried about leaving her dad. Yet she thought about it later on and agreed to the idea. Even her dad said that it was a wonderful idea; Nick knew it was the right move for them. He then revealed that he'd got the job - except the only snag was they wanted him to start in six weeks' time. In Local Knowledge, Nick and Jo began packing for Cananda and towards the end of the episode, had a farewell party at The Aidensfield Arms, where they were even presented with a goat! They then left Aidensfield for good and boarded the train to Cananda after saying their goodbyes. Oscar, Mike, Phil, Alf, Gina and Maggie waved goodbye while Greengrass waved to them on the bridge with Alfred.
Sgt. Oscar BlaketonEdit
Nick found his new boss, Oscar Blaketon, to be more or less bad-tempered, crotchety and old-fashioned and that he ruled Ashfordly with a rod of iron. He also discovered that he was determined to get Claude Jeremiah Greengrass behind bars. They first met in the episode Changing Places when Nick arrived in Aidensfield with his wife Kate. Oscar wasn't happy due to the fact that Greengrass couldn't be charged because Alfred the dog killed a budgie. Oscar looked as if he was feeling guilt when Kate died in the episode Thief in the Night shortly after the birth of their daughter Katie. Things gradually got better over time and in Affairs of the Heart, he attended Nick's wedding to Jo Weston. Nick eventually returned from his honeymoon with Jo to find that things were changed and Oscar was now running the Post Office. Oscar was quick to add to Alf that they'd be getting a new bobby. He also waved goodbye to them with the others when the pair of them started a new life in Canada with Katie. He appeared to be friends with Kate's aunt Eileen but it appeared to be more of friendship, rather than romance.
PC Alf VentressEdit
Nick was introduced to Alf when he arrived in Aidensfield with wife Kate in Changing Places. Nick learned from Alf that Sergeant Blaketon, their superior officer was obsessed with trying to get Greengrass behind bars - at least that's how Ventress saw it. In Something of Value, Nick helped Alf after he was short of almost £1200 after playing card games with Charlie Wallace. Alf later attended Nick and Jo's wedding in Affairs of the Heart. In the episode In On the Act, Nick returned from his honeymoon in Spain with Jo where Nick eventually became his superior officer. He was shocked to discover that Alf was one of the many people who threatened Trevor Lammas by funding some cash to fund a gravestone with his name on in the churchyard along with the likes of Claude, Gina and Bernie! Lammas also made a complaint against Ventress and said it was no wonder that Nick had been promoted over the top of his head - due to his laziness. In The Queen's message, Alf was upset when Miriam sacked him from the choir as lead vocalist and felt that Rex Hawkins was behind the decision, When Rex was beaten up outside The Aidensfield Arms and ended up in hospital, Nick had to investigate when Hawkin's mother assumed that it was Ventress who did it. Obviously Alf denied it and made Lol Baxter the prime suspect - who denied it as well. It turned out that it was Neville, the husband of fellow choir member Sylvia who did it after Miriam told him about Rex and his wife. This meant that Alf was now out of the picture. When Nick and his family departed for Canada, Alf was one of the many who said goodbye as they got on the train.
PC Phil BellamyEdit
Like with Oscar, Alf and Greengrass, Nick first met PC Phil Bellamy in Changing Places and they became friends from that day onwards. When Nick married Jo Weston, he became their best man. After Oscar Blaketon was invalided out of the force, Nick became his sergeant. On one occasion, Nick had to remind Phil to wear his whistle after he had left it at home and bring it in the next day. This was recieved with a reply of "Yes, Serge," just as he would say with Blaketon. If Phil was accused of being guilty of something, Nick was always certain that he was innocence and do no such thing. When Nick departed for Canada with Jo, he said goodbye to them on the train.
Other Aidensfield ResidentsEdit
Nick and George got on well after they first met, and they regularly exchanged words with each other over cases to see if George had seen anything or knew anything.
Georgina "Gina" Bellamy née WardEdit
Nick first met Gina Bellamy née Ward when she arrived from Liverpool, after being sent by her probation officer to live with her 'Uncle George' at the Aidensfield Arms.
Claude Jeremiah GreengrassEdit
Nick first met Claude in the episode Changing Places, after he arrived in Aidensfield and Oscar Blaketon introduced them. Nick discovered that Blaketon depised Greengrass from the start and was obsessed with getting the old rogue behind bars. Nick would have numerous run-ins with Greengrass over the years, yet did not seem to mind him so much as Oscar did. Claude would often ask Nick about the possibility of a reward for telling him information, which Nick just passed on to Oscar, who ridiculed Greengrass.
Whilst on duty Nick would use a Francis Barnett Falcon-150, this was the same motorbike that Nick Rhea writes about in the Heartbeat books. In the second series Nick buys a an MG TA from Claude Greengrass for the sum of £25, he goes on to restore the vehicle and uses it until he leaves the series, the MG is even used as his wedding car when he marries Jo Weston.
From Nicholas Rhea
PC Nick Rowan was the lead character in the series, and most strongly based on the original character in the Rhea novels - in many ways he was an autobiographical reflection of Rhea's own experience in the rural police force. Nick Berry appeared in the first seven series of Heartbeat, and was a driving force behind its success. Series 7, however, saw PC Rowan's departure from Aidensfield, and with him went Nick Berry - to broaden his acting career and develop his knowledge of TV production.
Rhea about Nick Rowan:
"I liked Nick Berry's portrayal of Constable Nick. He depicted an honest and very sincere bobby who was sympathetic to everyone and who regarded himself as a helper to all within the community rather than someone overbearing and authoritarian. I like to think that Constable Nick typified the country constable of that time and he did fit the image of the constable in my books, even if the name is slightly different!"
On his departure from Heartbeat, Nick Berry spoke fondly of the series he was leaving: "I think the storylines are brilliant, and clearly all the characters have emerged as interesting personalities in their own right. The stories in series 7 are as good, perhaps better, than anything we have done before. From a personal point of view, it has kept my interest in the series for over six years, and clearly the viewers feel the same way."
Nick freely admitted it would not be easy to hang up his police uniform: "I feel very privileged to have been a part of Heartbeat for so long." He added, "I never doubted its potential as a series and I have had some of the happiest times of my life since I joined the show. I have also made friends that I will keep for life. But I always said that when the time was right to move on, I would. I feel the time is now and I will be looking at a number of possible projects before deciding what I do next."
"I made my mind up when I was told that there were going to be 24 episodes this time, instead of 16. That would have doubled the amount of time I was going to be away from home, and I've missed enough of my son Louis growing up as it is. I just want to be at home, have a bit of rest and do the nursery school run. Normal things like that."
"They [wife Rachel and son Louis] are the most important things in my life and this business can eat you up. Rachel gave up acting and is happy being a mum, out of the rat race. It's a meat market, especially if you're young, female and pretty. If Louis ever wanted to be an actor he would be taking the decision after seeing what can happen. I have a circle of friends, actors I have grown up with, and some are working and some aren't. There are good times and bad times - it's all about survival and luck."
Nick Berry, therefore, has been a very lucky man who used his acting ability and image wisely. He started at the age of eight, in a show that toured hospitals and old people's homes. After that, he attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School in London and appeared in adverts and small parts on TV. His big break came aged 22, with the role of Wicksy in Eastenders. He's grateful for the exposure the part gave him, but is glad he left the soap when he did - at the height of his fame. "It felt like working in a factory - just churning out - so I left and did some theatre, radio and other bits on the box. Then this great job came along at exactly the right time."