Updated October 7th 2000
Mickey Starke first appeared in Brookside as a window cleaner with the nickname Sinbad in 1984. His real name was Thomas Sweeny but he was known as Sinbad because of the way in cleaned windows, with a circular motion, just like a sailor cleaning portholes on a ship.
His best mate at the time was Jimmy Corkhill and between them they got involved in many money making scams. One Christmas they “ borrowed “ a Father Christmas sleigh belonging to Max Farnham., Then with Jimmy dressed up as Santa and Sinbad as one of his helpers they collected money at a local shopping centre, claiming it was for charity.
Sinbad always seemed to be unlucky in love, his first love interest was Caroline Choi who moved into No 7 Brookside Close with her brother Michael in 1989. For Sinbad it was love at first sight and he did all he could to impress her but Caroline only ever saw him as a friend. Caroline did not stay on the close long moving away in 1990 after being cheated in a business deal by her former boyfriend.
When the Choi's moved out Sinbad was left in charge of the house to show prospective buyers around. Instead Sinbad moved in himself with his mate Jimmy and set up a catalogue scam ordering mail order goods which they then sold without bothering to pay for them first.
The next girl in Sinbad's life was Marcia Barrett who he met through is mate Mick Johnson. Marcia and Sinbad had a lot in common and were both committed to a serious relationship. Sinbad had never know his parents having grown up in a children’s home. Marcia helped discover that Sinbad’s mother was still alive and was not long before they were reunited. Sinbad was overjoyed to discover that he not only had a mother but also brothers and sisters.
It was not long after this that Sinbad decided to declare his love for Marcia, he took her to the Everton football ground where he had arranged for a message to be displayed on the electronic scoreboard. When they walked into the stadium a message flashed on screen asking Marcia to marry him, and to Sinbad’s delight she agreed.
Sinbad thought nothing could spoil their happiness, but Marcia seemed reluctant to set a date for the wedding. Marcia later confessed that she couldn't have children due to an infection she had caught a few years earlier. Sinbad wrongly accused Mick’s brother Ellis a former boyfriend of Marcia of giving her the infection. Marcia and Sinbad argued about this and although Sinbad tried to make amends afterwards Marcia called off the engagement.
When Mandy Jordache and her two daughters moved into No 10 Brookside Close in 1993 it was not long before Sinbad called round offering to clean her windows and do other odd jobs about the house. Sinbad and Mandy became very close over the following months as he became involved in her attempt to cover up the murder of her husband Trevor.
Meanwhile Sinbad’s mother Ruth had emigrated to Australia, sold her house and given the money to Sinbad. No 10 Brookside Close was owned by a charity for battered wives so when they decided to sell it Sinbad bought the house hoping to secure a future for himself, Mandy and the girls.
Fate was to intervene in the form of the Water Board who arrived to dig up the patio ( where Trevor was buried ) to investigate flooding. Sinbad decided they should all flee to Ireland to avoid arrest should the body of Trevor be discovered. Despite Sinbad’s efforts it was not long before they were caught and Mandy and Beth arrested. Mandy and Beth were convicted of murder and although Mandy was released on appeal, Beth died in Prison.
It was while waiting for the trial that Mandy discovered she was pregnant, so after her release from prison Sinbad planned to get married, but when Trevor’s sister Brenna arrived on their doorstep their future was put in jeopardy. Brenna convinced Mandy that she wanted to be friends and persuaded them to let her stay and help with the wedding arrangements. While Mandy prepared for the wedding Brenna was plotting to slowly kill her by poisoning the food.
The day of the wedding arrived but while Sinbad waited at the Registry Office Mandy discovered what Brenna was really up to. They had a fight which ended with Mandy falling down the stairs, Brenna left the house believing that Mandy was seriously injured. Sinbad returned to the house and discovered Mandy at the foot of the stairs, luckily she wasn't badly hurt.
Sinbad decided to sell the house to Jimmy Corkhill but both he and Mandy stayed on as lodgers until after the baby was born. A few weeks later Mandy gave birth to daughter Ruth in the back of Ron Dixons van on the way to hospital. Sinbad was delighted with the new arrival, but a few months later Mandy moved away to help look after other battered wives in a women's refuge. Sinbad was on his own once more.
After the sale of No 10 Sinbad wanted to make a new start so used the money to set himself up in business selling second hand kitchen appliances in a shop on Brookside Parade. He was very successful in this new venture and it was while working in his shop that he met Carmel O’Leary who originally called in to buy some kitchen appliances but soon became a regular visitor. Carmel and Sinbad were soon good friends much to the annoyance of her youngest son Timothy ( Tinhead ). Tinhead did his best to spoil Carmel’s friendship with Sinbad but their relationship continued to to develop.
Sinbad often supplied friends with furniture and kitchen equipment, so one day he was quite happy to sell a gas cooker to Ron Dixon who had just moved into the flat above his shop. Ron decided to save some money by installing the cooker himself, but this caused a gas leak resulting in an explosion causing major damage to Brookside Parade.
Sinbad and Carmel’s oldest son Ben were both caught in the blast, but while Sinbad just sustained injuries to his legs, Ben’s injury's were far worse and he was paralysed for life. Carmel could not forgive Sinbad for his part in causing the explosion and left him to live away from Brookside Close. Tinhead could not forgive him either and vowed to get revenge for his brother. See the Tinhead O’leary Profile for details
Later though Sinbad and Tinhead’s brother Ben convinced him to forgive Sinbad for the accident so when Carmel moved away Sinbad offered to let Tinhead stay with him.
Now that his business was gone Sinbad was finding it hard to manage, even though his mate Mick Johnson gave him a job at the chip shop. As his money worries increased Sinbad decided an easy way of raising cash would be to take in a lodger, so advertised in the local paper.
It was not long before he had found what appeared the ideal person Mr Moore, who seemed pleasant enough. A few days after moving in Sinbad and Tinhead were alarmed by strange noises coming from Mr Moore’s room and were soon in fear of their lives as their imagination ran riot.
Unable to contain their curiosity any longer they waited for Mr Moore to go out one day, and broke into his room, only to discover that Mr Moore was just a football supporter who had been busy putting up shelves for his football mementoes and listening to taped interviews with the players, which explained the strange voices they had heard. When Mr Moore returned and discovered them in his room, resenting Sinbad’s invasion of his privacy he decided to leave.
Sinbad re-advertised the room and this time decided to rent it to Alec O’Brien an older man who once again seemed ideal. A few days later though the rest of his family, the Musgroves appeared on his doorstep asking if they could stay, as they had been flooded out of their own house. As more of the family arrived Sinbad decided to let them rent the whole house while he and Tinhead moved in with Mick Johnson.
With the extra money coming in from his new tenants, Sinbad thought his troubles were over, but soon changed his mind when one of the Musgroves was accused of rape and Sinbad was put under pressure by other residents of Brookside Close to evict the Musgrove family.
Mandy was never far from Sinbad's thoughts as he still loved her, so when he heard that Mandy was getting married he was devastated and became very depressed as he feared he would also lose contact with his daughter Ruth. Rachel became very worried about Sinbad but managed to cheer him up by bringing Ruth to stay with her while Mandy was on her honeymoon.
Ruth's brief stay with Rachel was far from uneventful. While preparing a surprise party for Sinbad, Rachel left Ruth with Ron Dixon. While in his care she drank from a bottle of bleach and was rushed to hospital. Although it was an accident, and Ruth made a full recovery Sinbad held Ron fully responsible for Ruths injury.
Sinbad thought his job at the chippie was secure, but after selling a stale pie to Ron Dixon a health inspector ( Mr Moore ) called round to investigate a local outbreak of food poisoning.
Mick confessed to Mr Moore that his shop had sold stale food, and although it was discovered the chippie was not responsible for the food poisoning, Mr Moore reported Mick anyway. As a result of Mr Moore's report Mick received a hefty fine and decided to close " Chips With Everything " for good.
Meanwhile a gang of racists had arrived in the area and one night they attacked both Mick and Sinbad. Mick escaped with cuts and bruises but Sinbad's injuries were far worse. As a result of the attack he was left partially deaf and was told by the doctors that he may never recover his full hearing.
Sinbad found it very difficult to accept he now had a hearing disability, so when he attended an interview for a job arranged for him by Niamh, he walked out during the interview when his prospective employer treated him in a condescending manner.
At first he was at first reluctant to accept he may never hear properly again, but after talking to Mr Moore who he met while attending outpatients at the hospital he decided to accept the situation, and even bought himself a hearing aid. Mr Moore took Sinbad along to a special school for deaf children, where he soon discovered that he enjoyed helping out with the children. Sinbad had some more good news when Rachel announced she was pregnant and later gave birth to a beautiful baby girl who she named Beth after her sister.
After the Musgrove's left Brookside close Sinbad decided to let Mike and Rachel rent his house along with their friend Katie. The bad feeling continued between Sinbad and Ron which often resulted in arguments between them. When Ron was kicked out by Anthea he secretly stayed with Mike and Rachel, but when Ron later invited Jacqui's future in-laws, the Cuddingtons for tea, Sinbad found out and told Ron to leave.
While helping at the special school Sinbad became good friends with Andrew one of the children there. Andrew was living in a children's home so when someone offered to foster both Andrew and his brother Kevin Sinbad was pleased for them both. Later though Sinbad was disappointed to find that Andrew's new foster mum Barbara would not allow Sinbad to spend time with Andrew.
Barbara was later convinced by Sinbad that he only wanted what was best for Andrew and he and Barbara soon became good friends, often taking the boys out together. Kevin didn't like Sinbad though and did his best to turn Andrew against him. One day Sinbad promised to take Andrew and Kevin out for a special treat to Alton Towers but there was trouble ahead for Sinbad when he later told Andrew he wouldn't be able to take him to Alton Towers after all as he had to look after baby Beth. Kevin took advantage of Andrew's disappointment and persuaded him to accuse Sinbad of abusing him.
When Barbara called round to see Sinbad and told him about Andrew's allegation he was devastated that Andrew would accuse him of such a thing and also by the fact that Barbara believed him. After Barbara decided to call in the police Sinbad was questioned then released without charge while they made further inquiries.
At first Sinbad tried to keep news of the allegations to himself but later confided in his best mate Mick and Rachel who both believed he was innocent. The news of the allegations against Sinbad gradually spread round the close with several neighbours believing Sinbad was guilty, particularly Ron Dixon who revelled in Sinbads misery.
The situation became worse for Sinbad after Mick asked Victoria to check Gemma's computer for a fault. While listing the files Victoria came across some child pornography pictures. She was shocked by the discovery and when she discovered that Sinbad was the main user of the computer, Victoria reported her findings to the police.
The police soon arrested Sinbad and charged him for downloading child pornography from the Internet. When Mick heard about the charges against Sinbad he became concerned about Leo, so asked him if Sinbad had ever touched him. Leo soon put his mind at rest but he was furious that Mick could suspect Sinbad. The pictures had in fact been downloaded by Tim and Emily while they were looking for pictures to discredit Susannah. When Tim heard about Sinbads being charged he confessed to both Sinbad and the police, but the police were reluctant to believe his story.
Meanwhile Leo told Sinbad what Mick had asked him, resulting in Sinbad moving out of Micks house as he no longer considered Mick a mate. Although Mick apologized to Sinbad for having doubts, Sinbad couldn't forgive his betrayal of trust and moved in with the Corkhills.
Rachel had asked Sinbad to be baby Beths godfather at her Christening and despite protests from Ron the ceremony went ahead. Sinbad became distraught after the christening and decided to confront Andrew and ask him why he made up the allegation of child abuse. Although Andrew confessed he had made up the allegation, Sinbad's solicitor told him Andrew's confession was obtained illegally.
Later Kevin called to see Sinbad and told him to stay away from Andrew, but after questioning him Sinbad released that Kevin was behind the allegation. Sinbad shared his suspicions with Tim but told him not to interfere. Tim though was determined to make Kevin tell the truth, so called round with Emily to see him while Barbara was out. Kevin refused to co-operate despite Tim first threatening him and then giving him a brutal beating.
Sinbad was furious when he discovered what Tim had done but when they realized that Kevin hadn't reported Tim to the police , it became obvious that he had something to hide. Rachel suspected that Kevin had been a victim of abuse himself and decided to visit him in hospital, where she told him of her experience with her own father Trevor.
After Rachel's visit, Kevin called round to see Sinbad and told him that he had forced Andrew to make up the allegation. It soon transpired that Kevin had been abused by his step father and with some coaxing from Sinbad he eventually told the police that the allegations against Sinbad were false. Kevin was also persuaded to report his Step father for abuse.
The word of Sinbad's innocence soon spread round the close but his neighbours were slow to apologize, making Sinbad doubt whether he still had a future on the close. Eventualy Sinbad forgave Mick, moved back to N0 5 and even agreed to be Mick's best man.
Meanwhile Tim had run away with Emily after discovering Susannah had seen a video tape of them confessing their crimes. Sinbad believed he had failed to look after Tim, and found it difficult to stay on the close where some people still didn't trust him. After a great deal of thought Sinbad decided to leave the close, but hadn't really decided where to go.
He was just about to leave when Barbara arrived with Kevin and Andrew who managed to convince him to move in with them. Sinbad had decided to make a fresh start with Barbara and so left Brookside Close for good.
Actor Profile Michael Starke
Updated October 7th 2000
Michael Starke is forty two years old and was born in Liverpool on the 13th November 1957. He is married to Lynne Francis who is an actress, and has two daughters Jamie aged twelve and Hayley aged ten. He describes it as having a typical lived in look about it, with washing all over the place making it rather untidy. However Michael and Lynne wouldn't have it any other way.
Education - Career
Michael started his working life as they refuse disposal officer but had always harboured ambitions to become an Actor since his early teens. As most other people went for a career in the docks or with a car manufacturing company, his decision to perform Shakespeare surprised people.. His ambition was helped along by helpful teacher called Ed Cummings who obtained a prospectuses from several drama schools. Michael knew nothing about this at the time and was really grateful for his help.
He first appeared on stage as a front man who for a comedy show band which toured the variety Club circuit in Liverpool Newcastle and Scotland and later he joined a Liverpool theatre and it was while performing there in in 1984 that he became known to Brookside casting director Dorothy Andrew who cast him as a window cleaner Sinbad in Brookside. For the first five years Michael only work for Brookside for a couple of days at the time but became a regular in 1989 after talking to Phil Redmond's and asking about a contract which was immediately granted .Working for Brookside meant Michael was able to live at home with his family rather then having to travel all over the place to work everyday.
Hobbies and Interests
Michael spends a lot of his spare time reading and his favourite book is called " The Catcher In The Rye ", although at the moment he's into reading biographies. He also likes listening to music and has large collection of CD's. On his 40th Birthday his friends and family all pitched in to buy him a guitar as he has been playing since he was a child. The people he admires are actors Sue Johnson and Dot Cotton, Sue made him realize that there's life after soap, while Dot is a marvel of the small screen.
After he leaves Brookside Michael will be kept busy with other work, and will soon be seen again on our screens in a feature length episode of Casualty, where he appears alongside Beverley Callard from Coronation Street. Apart from Casualty he will be seen in a film with Pulp Fiction star Samuel L Jackson and he also has a part in a film about John Lennon.
Although he found it hard to leave Brookside, Michael is quite excited about the future.
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