Brassic series four is currently delighting fans on Sky – but soap fans may recognise Vinnie star Joe Gilgun.

Long before playing Vinnie O'Neill in the hit comedy series, Joe rose to fame on a number of ITV soaps including Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

That's not all, as his life has brought him into contact with other Corrie legends including Michelle Keegan, who plays Erin Croft in Brassic.

READ NEXT: Michelle Keegan's hottest Brassic moments – topless romp, skintight catsuit and minidress

But did you know that parts of Joe's own life inspired the series?

As Brassic continues to air its fourth series, Daily Star takes a closer look at Joe Gilgun's life.

Coronation Street stint

While Joe might be famous for his roles in Brassic and Emmerdale, the star got his first taste of acting in ITV soap Coronation Street.

In 1994, he played Jamie Armstrong – the son of Diedre Barlow's friend Tricia, who was caught shoplifting at BettaBuy.

Jamie was constantly getting into trouble on the soap, with many Weatherfield residents pointing the finger of blame at him if something went wrong.

However, Jamie was kind hearted and misunderstood, with the pre-teen trying to help Josie Clarke after her bike was stolen – despite being blamed for the crime himself.

He also took care of his mum, who was sadly sent to prison for not paying her TV license, and he eventually went to live with Diedre Barlow.

Joe later left the soap in 1997, when his character Jamie departed Weatherfield with his mum Tricia, following her prison stint.

Ghost Hunting with The Dingles

In 2006, Joe made a return to the soaps when he played Marlon Dingle's brother Eli in rival ITV programme Emmerdale.

Eli got into mountains of trouble during his time in the dales, as well as developing a crush on Priya Sharma while working at the sweet factory.

However, Joe's character later bid a tearful goodbye to brother Marlon before leaving the dales after an attempted theft in 2010.

During his time on the soap, Joe also took part in an Emmerdale themed episode of Ghosthunting with… alongside Most Haunted legend Yvette Fielding – featuring his Dingle co-stars.

Together, Yvette and Emmerdale stars Joe, Mark Charnock, Verity Rushworth, Lucy Pargeter and Hayley Tamaddon took part in a special Dingle episode, which saw the cast explore four haunted locations in Yorkshire.

Hollywood fame

Since his soap days, Joe has risen to new heights of fame in films including This Is England and its TV spin-off series, where he played Woody.

That's not all, as he played Rudy in hit series Misfits, as well as spending time in America while filming four series of comic book adaptation Preacher – in which he played a vampire.

However, he revealed to The Sun that his life while filming Preacher was worlds away from his life back home.

"It’s been strange," said Joe.

"I go from living like Brad Pitt in these multimillion-dollar things in the States, to coming back to the house I was squatting in, which didn’t even have running water."

Opening up about his mental health

Away from acting, Joseph has spoken openly about his mental health and living with bipolar disorder, raising awareness of mental health during interviews.

He told The Guardian: "I mean, I understand that it makes me vulnerable, but I’m prepared to go to that place for the sake of anyone who’s suffered like I have."

He added: "Do not make the assumption that because somebody has got mental health issues they are weak-minded.

"That person is terrified, anxious. Getting out of bed alone has been a huge, monumental task. Getting in that shower, brushing the teeth, somehow managing to eat their breakfast… Some will have children, and they have to go and do exactly the same thing you do at work, only they’re suffering like that.

"Now that to me is a f*****g hard dude or gal."

Joe has incorporated his own experience of living with bi-polar disorder in Sky series Brassic, which he wrote and created with Shameless writer Danny Brocklehurst.

The award-winning series follows Vincent 'Vinnie' O'Neill, a man diagnosed with bipolar disorder who had a troubled upbringing and now lives in a shack on the outskirts of Hawley.

Speaking to The Sun, Joe said that Brassic was "autobiographical," and has previously revealed during interviews with the paper and also The Sunday People that some of the stories are based on events that actually happened when Joe was growing up.

Neighbours Harold Bishop comparison

For anyone who has not watched Brassic (and why not?) look away now, as there's a spoiler ahead.

At the end of series one, fans will know that Vinny faked his own death and in an unexpected admission, Joe revealed that he would be happy if his return in series two was compared to Harold Bishop's return in beloved Australian soap Neighbours.

Speaking to Sky about the surprise ending to Brassic series one, Joe said: "I remember Harold Bishop getting washed up and Madge was left just looking out at the ocean, 'where's he gone?' And he rolls in years later."

He added: "If I can be compared to Harold Bishop in any way, I'm happy. That was a real return to form that, our Harold coming back.

"We wanted to leave everybody wondering what would come of it all. It's important to leave your series on a dot dot dot."

Co-star "goddess"

In a strange twist of fate, three of Joe's Brassic co-stars also previously appeared in Coronation Street, including Michelle Keegan, who plays Erin Croft.

In the latest series of Brassic, fans finally saw Vinnie share a kiss with Erin, and during an interview with The Sunday People, Joe praised Michelle Keegan as a "goddess."

"Is she a good kisser? I’m not telling… Let’s just put it this way, it is one of those moments where once you get on your own, you punch the air with your fist and feel like you might have taken over the world somehow," said Joe.

"It’s only brief, then you remember that you’re just pathetic again. But for a split second, I felt like a king!"

Speaking about the kiss, he said: "I was nervous because Michelle’s a f***ing goddess, a married goddess."

He added: "I’d been on my own a long time, I hadn’t kissed anyone for ages ­because of the pandemic. I was just hoping I hadn’t forgotten what to do!"

In the programme, their characters Erin and Vinnie are also the parents of their son Tyler, who is played by non-other than Coronation Street Sam Blakeman actor Jude O'Riordan.

That's not all, as Corrie Rick Neelan star Greg Wood also plays gangster Barry MacDonough in the hit TV series.

Living in the woods

Brassic fans will be familiar with Vinnie's shack in the woods – but did you know that Vinnie actor Joe did live in a house in the woods?

It was reported in 2019 that the star was doing up the house in the North of England with the help of his mum and sisters Rosie and Jennie, which he had previously stumbled upon and decided to live in – according to an interview with The Guardian.

However one year later in 2020, he commented during an interview with The Sun that he had bought another house.

Speaking about the moment he discovered he had a fair bit of money from his TV and film work, he said: "It turns out I’m f***ing wedged.

"I’ve had to buy a f***ing house and everything. I don’t want it! I’m happy feeding the pigeons.

"My happiness genuinely doesn’t come from the material world, I just like making stuff, I like being in things."

Away from the limelight, it is also not known if Joe is in a relationship, but in quite a few interviews, the star has spoken about being single.

Speaking to The Guardian, he said: "I’ve never really had that love, being in love like that," adding: "I can’t meet anyone. I’m nice, as well!"

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