Ram John Holder on the Coronation Street background comp image

Ram John Holder in Coronation Street: Sarge Bailey actor is best-known for sitcom Desmond’s

He's playing Sarge Bailey in Corrie, but he has been on our TV screens, in film and on stage for more than 60 years!

Ram John Holder has arrived in Coronation Street playing Sarge Bailey, dad to Ed Bailey and his brother Ronnie.

The actor, whose real name is John Wesley Holder, is a Guyanese-British actor who actually started his career as a singer in New York City.

So how did he get from there to Weatherfield? Here’s Ram John’s story.

Ram John was appointed CBE in 2021
Ram John was appointed CBE in 2021 (Credit: Justin Ng/CPNA Pool/Shutterstock)

Who plays Sarge Bailey in Coronation Street?

Ram John came to Britain in the 1960s and worked first as a musician, but then he shifted his focus a little and became an actor. He trod the boards at the National Theatre, Bristol Old Vic and the Donmar Warehouse, before he landed a role in a film – called Two Gentlemen Sharing.

He went on to roles in many other films, though he continued to work as a musician alongside his acting roles.

C4 sitcom Desmond's
Ram John played Porkpie in Desmond’s (Credit: C4/YouTube)

Who did Ram John Holder play in Desmond’s?

In 1989, Ram John won the part of Porkpie in the Channel 4 sitcom, Desmond’s.

Desmond’s was set in a barber shop in Peckham, and had a mostly Guyanese-British cast, including Norman Beaton as Desmond Ambrose who ran the barber shop.

Ram John played Augustus Grant, known as Porkpie because of the hat he wore. He was a lollipop man and he was Desmond’s best friend and a musician.

Porkpie was such a hit with viewers that Ram John went on to star in his own spin-off called Porkpie. It featured Porkpie becoming a millionaire!

Was Ram John in EastEnders?

In 2006, Cedric Lucas – played by Ram John Holder – arrived in Walford looking for his old friend, and former band mate, Patrick Trueman.

Cedric revealed that he was dying from cancer. And after his death Denise Fox confessed that she thought he could have been her biological father, because her mother had said he was a musician.

TV Legend Ram John Holder Is Spotted Heading To Work On Coronation Street For The First Time
Ram John joined Coronation Street recently (Credit: SplashNews.com)

What else has Ram John been in?

Ram John is always busy! He’s appeared in Death in Paradise, The Story of Tracy Beaker, and many more television shows. He’s also been on stage in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at the Royal Exchange in Manchester.

And in 2021 he was appointed CBE in the birthday honours list for services to music and drama.

Not everyone in the family was pleased when Sarge arrived! (Credit: ITV)

Who does Ram John play in Coronation Street

Ram is playing Sarge Bailey. He’s the stern father of Ed and Ronnie, who’s quick to criticise Ed in particular. Ed wasn’t pleased to see his dad, because he’d been protecting him from the truth about his gambling habit (otherwise known as telling lies!).

Since Sarge arrived, Ed has confessed to his past gambling addiction, although he’s keeping very quiet about his current struggles.

We’ll see how long that lasts!

What do the viewers think of Sarge?

Sarge has only been on the cobbles a short while but he’s proving a hit with Corrie fans.

“Love grandad,” said one fan on social media.

While another said Sarge was becoming their new favourite!

Another added: “Ok, I can vibe with Sarge. Hope he doesn’t become a problematic character, the Baileys are struggling in that department as it is.”

“I love Sarge already,” agreed one more.

We’re looking forward to seeing what he gets up to next!

Read more: Complete Coronation Street cast list 2023 – meet them all here!

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Coronation Street usually airs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8pm on ITV.

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Kerry Barrett
Freelance Soap Writer