Jackson Walsh is portrayed by Marc Silcock, who was first introduced in March of 2010. He appeared as a love interest for the already established character Aaron Livesy, and has been part of a huge storyline which included Aaron’s gay self-loathing and him finally admitting that he is gay. Jackson soon after begins to interact more and gets involved with village life.
Jackson was first seen in a gay bar in Hotten when Aaron Livesy finally plucked up the courage to go in. He was hanging out with some mates of his, and appeared quite obvious that he was gay, as he then asked Aaron for a game of pool. Aaron got freaked out that a gay guy was asking him a question, and left his mobile behind in the bar once he had ran out. Jackson appeared in Emmerdale the next day when he rang Paddy Kirk and told him that he had Aaron’s phone. Aaron noticed him with Paddy and assumed that Jackson would have told Paddy what bar that it was in which they met at.
Thankfully for him Jackson had kept it to himself, and after he left Smithy Cottage, he did make quite an impression on Pearl Ladderbanks who said if she was 25 years younger, he’d be the man she’d go for. After Jackson had rode off in his van, Paddy told Aaron to ring him back and thank him for finding his phone, but Aaron chucked his number away. The following day, when Aaron wanted to go into town, he took Jackson’s number out of the bin and Paddy offered him a lift into town. Aaron bumped into Jackson outside the bar and Jackson tried to make conversation, when he asked Aaron if he wanted a drink, Aaron made an excuse and told Jackson he no longer had his number, so Jackson gave Aaron his business card. What they didn’t realise was that Paddy had been watching them, and assumed Aaron was dealing drugs.
Jackson later bumped into Aaron again in the village, and they agreed to meet for a drink, but Jackson was left stood up when Aaron bottled out of going to meet him. The following day, Jackson sees Aaron again the Woolpack as he is doing some local building work, and he and Aaron have an intense conversation, which ends in Aaron taking a girl, Bryony back to his place. When Jackson sees her leaving he knocks on the door and he and Aaron discuss what it was like before Jackson came out to his friends and family, it’s at this time Aaron finally begins to accept himself and realises he and Jackson have a lot in common.
They both lean in to kiss each other, but are interrupted by Paddy and Marlon, Aaron tells Jackson to leave, but then asks him to stay. Aaron breaks down on the phone asking Jackson to hear him out, which Jackson soon does and the seem to start the beginnings of a relationship. A couple weeks on, Jackson meets Aaron for a date in the bar and they get along amazingly well, when they leave, Jackson and Aaron continue to flirt with each other and they finally share their first kiss, but the kiss is spotted by Adam Barton and it terrifies Aaron.
In the Wollpack Jackson meets Aaron’s friend Ryan Lamb, when Aaron wants to go Jackson touches Aaron’s hand causing the villagers to look in horror, Aaron tells him to get off him and then punches him, Aaron is later arrested, but released. Soon after, Aaron tries to take his own life but Jackson knows nothing about it, and continues to press charges against for hitting him. Adam decides to tell Jackson about Aaron’s attempted sucide bid and Jackson seems to be worried. Later Adam and Jackson arrive to see Aaron, but he tells them to go away. prompting an angry response from Jackson, Aaron ends up in court and is supported by Paddy, Adam, Chas, Carl, Lisa, Zak and Cain, but there is no sign of Jackson. When Jackson does turn up, Aaron plucks the courage and finally admits to everyone he is gay, so the judge gives him 150 hours community service.
The next time Jackson is seen, is when Aaron turns up at the gay bar a few weeks later, but Jackson makes it very clear to Aaron that they are through and he wants nothing more to do with him. He further makes his points when he kisses another man in full view of Aaron. The following day, Adam finds out that Declan Macey needs a builder to help with the construction on his new property and tentatively suggests Jackson. Jackson then arrives in the village, and decides to take up the job offer, much to the charging of Aaron.
Soon Jackson begins to integrate with the rest of the village and forms a friendship with his boss Declan, but very quickly comes into conflict with Aaron’s uncle Cain Dingle. Aaron tries to stay away from Jackson and his constant arguing with his uncle, but is constantly drawn to him, as he is still attracted to Jackson. When Jackson witnesses Aaron about to be attacked by homophobic thug Wayne Dobson, he steps in and plays the hero, protecting Aaron and hinting at a possible reconciliation between the two.
Later, Aaron and Jackson decide to have a heart to heart in the Woolpack after Aaron helps Jackson finish his work, and they finally discuss Aaron’s problems and his recent suicide attempt. Jackson finally starts to listen to Aaron and tells him that he is glad that he didn’t die, and that before all their drama, he really liked him, this then leads to Jackson going back to Aaron’s house. Jackson tells Aaron that they don’t have to anything he doesn’t want to, but Aaron decides that enough is enough and passionately kisses Jackson.
The following day, Jackson wakes up in Aaron’s bed, after the two have slept together, and when Paddy catches them in the kitchen together he feels a little awkward. Jackson and Aaron spend the day at their respective works and are clearly happy with each other and their new relationship, and Paddy eventually catches up with them and tells Aaron that he’s happy that Aaron’s happy. After Aaron tells his mother Chas that Jackson stayed the night, she decides to pay him a visit, and she then tells Jackson she hopes he doesn’t hurt Aaron. Jackson replies to this saying that he cares for Aaron and he takes a new relationship very seriously. Aaron and Jackson continue to see each other, and Jackson tells him that next time they sleep together, maybe Aaron should stay at his place.
Aaron and Jackson begin a full relationship and later agree to go on a night out with Holly, even though her brother Adam decided against it. Whilst they are at the club, they meet up with Holly’s drug dealing friend Roz, and Holly agrees to take a line of cocaine. When Roz catches Holly freaking out in the toilets, she asks the boys for help. Jackson and Aaron manage to get her back to Smithy Cottage, and agree to keep it quiet for the time being, and won’t tell Holly’s father John or Paddy, and Jackson heads back to his house, instead of staying with Aaron as originally intended. The following day, Chas invites Aaron and Jackson to have tea with her and Carl, Jackson likes the evening, but there is still animosity between Aaron and Carl, but Aaron does refer to how many times he and Jackson have “done it.”
In August, Jackson’s mother Hazel turned up in the villiage and quickly clashed with Aaron when they first met in a bar, as she can be quite out spoken and doesn’t take life to seriously. After Hazel floods Jackson’s flat, he is evicted and Paddy suggest that they move in with him for the time being, but Aaron doesn’t take to kindly to being under the same roof as Hazel. Jackson see’s how uncomfortable he is and suggests moving Hazel into the B&B and tells Aaron he is going on holiday to Lanzarote, but then Aaron steps up and surprises Jackson by saying that Hazel can stay with Paddy and that he has bought an extra ticket to go with him, to which Jackson accepts.
Once Jackson and Aaron arrive back in the village they decide that they want to try living together permanently, which initially shocks Hazel, but she soon comes to understand. But things soon hit a rocky patch in their relationship when Aaron sells a clocked car to the dodgy Mickey, and this eventually leads to Mickey killing Aaron’s dog Clyde when Aaron tries to threaten him. Jackson realises Aaron will always be an angry character and moves into Andy’s.
After sorting things out with Aaron, Jackson and he get into another big fight about Jackson paying Mickey off, and Jackson shocks Aaron by telling him that he loves him. Once Jackson has confessed his feelings, Aaron tells Adam that Jackson has got too serious for him and they go days without speaking to each other. In October 2010, Aaron decides to make it up to Jackson by arranging a night out at Bar West, and Paddy and Marlon decide to join them, without realising they are going to a gay bar.
The four men take Jackson’s van as they can’t get a taxi, and they end up having a really good time. Jackson and Aaron sort out their issues and share a kiss when Jackson calls Aaron his boyfriend and realises that he wouldn’t want to change him, but tragedy strikes at the end of the night. Aaron encounters Mickey and Jackson breaks up with him after realising that he will never change his violent ways, but Aaron won’t take no for an answer and they bundle into Jackson’s van together. On the drive back, Aaron calls for Jackson to stop the van, and Aaron is honest with Jackson for the first time, and tells him that he doesn’t know if he loves him or not, and he’s unsure about whether he will ever love anyone. Aaron says that he was afraid to tell Jackson the truth as he didn’t want to lose him and that he is the best thing to ever happen to him, but now he’s lost him, so Jackson drives off alone, after telling Aaron, “You didn’t lose me, I never had you.”
Aaron is calling after Jackson and shouting “You’ve got me,” but Jackson carries on driving away and stares at his phone when Aaron begins to call him. When he goes to pick up his phone, he drops it and loses control of the car, causing him to steer off and crash onto a railway line. Aaron hears the crash and chases off after Jackson, not realising it’s too late. There is an oncoming train which smashes into Jackson’s van with him still inside.
Aaron reaches the van with seriously hurt Jackson inside and asks Jackson to not leave him like this, and Jackson is rushed to hospital with his life hanging in the balance. Paddy arrives and Aaron tells him that he can’t lose Jackson, and begs him not to let him die. The police question Aaron about the accident and Jackson’s mum Hazel arrives at the hospital with Bob. She too questions Aaron about what happened. Hazel calls Jackson’s dad to tell him about what had happened to Jackson, before a nurse treating Jackson tells Bob, Aaron, Hazel and Paddy that Jackson is on life support. Aaron then breaks down in tears, blaming himself and Hazel tells him that no one is to blame and that her son will pull through, but the audience then sees Jackson lying on an operating table with machines hooked up to him.
When she is allowed to see him, Hazel talks to Jackson while he lies in a coma. Aaron refuses to go in and talk to him because he thinks Jackson wouldn’t want him there but Hazel and Paddy try to reassure him. Jerry, Jackson’s father, arrives in the hospital and blames Aaron for what happened, and when Jerry goes in to see Jackson with Hazel, he says that he thinks that it was Hazel’s meddling that caused the accident too. Aaron says he’ll do anything Jerry asks to make it up to him and Jerry tells him to leave and never to come back. Aaron takes one last look at Jackson through the window and begins to cry. He says that he isn’t family so Aaron walks out in tears and Paddy follows him.
While Aaron is working Paddy pays him a visit and tells him he’s going to the hospital and asks if Aaron would like to go with him. Aaron replies by saying no and Paddy tells him to ignore Jerry. Aaron still refuses and Paddy says Jackson needs him there and he will let Aaron know if there is any news. Jackson is being accompanied by his parents when Paddy arrives. Hazel asks for Aaron and before Paddy can say a word to her Jerry tells her that he told him to go as he is to blame for Jackson’s accident. Hazel tells Jerry that he had no right to tell him that and says that if any of Jackson’s friends or Aaron want to visit they can and tells him that if Jerry has a problem with it he can get out.
For the next few days Aaron never returns to the hospital. While Paddy is having a drink in The Woolpack Hazel arrives. She questions Paddy why Aaron is avoiding her and Paddy says it’s because what Jerry said. Hazel runs into Aaron and tells him to come to the hospital. He has doubts but eventually turns up and Hazel leaves Aaron alone with Jackson. He talks to him about what happened and how he feels .When Aaron is finished talking, his heart machine goes off and Aaron and Hazel have to leave with everyone else. A nurse tells Aaron that Jackson’s heart stopped beating and its possible it could happen again.
Aaron arrives at the hospital the next day and later on Jackson wakes up from his coma. Hazel and Jerry visit him but he asks to speak to Aaron. Aaron talks to but Jackson doesn’t say much because Aaron told him not to talk. While in the waiting area later that day the nurse tells everyone that Jackson has broken 2 bones in his neck and that he may never be able to walk again.
Unconvinced by the medical jargon-laden reassurances of the doctors, Hazel decides to speak to the doctor alone and, eventually, the physician admits that Jackson is permanently paralysed from the shoulders down. Whilst Hazel puts on a cheery, motherly front in the face of this crisis, Aaron is overtly distraught and, to make matters more complicated, when he visits Jackson following the (albeit unofficial) diagnosis, Jackson reacts by blaming Aaron for the crash. Whilst Aaron vows to stay with Jackson and care for him, Jackson tells Aaron to end the relationship and find another man. Furthermore, he states that he wished they had never met, as none of this would have happened to him, and tells him that he never wants to see or hear from Aaron again.
On 9 December 2010, Aaron takes Jackson to the same bar they were at before his accident. While there Hazel arrives knowing where they were before putting her’s and Jackson’s names down for the karaoke. When Aaron takes Jackson back to the hospital, he breaks down and begins to cry saying after seeing everyone at the bar enjoy themselves, it made him realise how much he wanted to be released from his “broken body” while knowing he’ll never break out from it, while comparing his situation to being trapped between glass walls.
Speaking about Jackson’s arrival in the village, Emmerdale’s producer Gavin Blyth said that “like Aaron, Jackson’s a very contemporary gay character, he is not a stereotype. He’s someone who exists in his own right in the world because of who he is, not what he is in terms of his sexuality. We have got to realise that for everything that Aaron’s fighting, if he’s ever going to let anyone in, it’s going to be someone he can relate to.”
Marc Silcock was also thrilled that he got to the part and has spoke about it himself, “I’ve always been a fan of Emmerdale, so I’m thrilled to be joining the cast. Jackson will play a big part in Aaron’s journey and I’m so pleased to be involved in this story.” The character has also proved very popular with viewers, so much so that Jackson’s mother has also been cast, played by actress Pauline Quirk.