Inside Jimmi Harkishins life – cocaine binge, tragic loss and saved by a tree

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Coronation Street star Jimmi Harkishin is a soap legend and his chaotic life story may give even Dev Alahan a run for his money.

The 56-year-old actor was born in Paris, France to an Indian father and Italian mum and later moved to England where he began practicing his craft.

Jimmi, whose birth name is Rajan Harkishindas, had his breakout TV role in 1987, appearing in the limited ITV crime drama A Killing on the Exchange.

He later landed a long-running part in the hit British show Medics in 1990 where he stayed until 1995, securing his Weatherfield role four years later.

The street's famous cobbles are far from the only bumps he's faced since, but the actor is now living a healthier and happier lifestyle, partially thanks to a tree.

Cocaine binge

Jimmi was pictured ingesting cocaine from a kitchen worktop in 2004, with the photographs soon hitting the headlines.

The actor consequently took a brief break from Coronation Street while he received private drug counselling and was back filming the ITV soap a short while later.

A Coronation Street spokesman said previously told Manchester Evening News: "There was never any question of him being sacked.

"We are a responsible employer with duty of care to employees.

"The pressures Jimmi has been under are the result of him appearing in our show. We will help him seek the help he needs."

Tragic loss

Both Dev and Jimmi himself have endured their fair share of loss and heartache.

Dev tragically lost his ex-wife Sunita in 2013, after she succumbed to injuries caused by a fire at the Rovers Return.

In 2011, it was sadly revealed that Jimmi would be taking a few days away from filming Coronation Street following the death of his own father Deepak.

A source told The Sun at the time: "It's a difficult time for Jimmi but everybody on the programme has been very supportive.

They added: "It will be hard for Jimmi when he returns to work but everyone will understand and try to do what they can to help him."

Rival soap stints

Jimmi may be a Weatherfield legend these days, but his soap career didn't begin with Coronation Street.

The actor has also appeared in minor stints on the BBC medical drama Casualty and the potentially soon-to-be rebooted ITV police series, The Bill.

Jimmi appeared in one episode of Casualty in 1992.

He cropped up in one episode of The Bill a year later, gracing screens in 1993.

'Saved' by a tree

Jimmi has now set his sights on a quieter life.

Speaking previously to the Daily Star, the actor revealed that his penchant for Japanese Acer trees helped him transition into a calmer and more tranquil state of mind.

He said: "I think the older you get, the more you appreciate the beauty of nature around you.

"I find it all very relaxing, and it's not what people would expect me to be into. But I really am into everything horticultural these days."

Coronation Street airs Monday, Wednesday and Friday on ITV at 7.30pm

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