Skins introduced the world to future Hollywood stars like Nicholas Hoult and Dev Patel while other former cast members have gone in much different directions, while some have even criticised the show.
The Bristol-based teen drama followed a group of friends at sixth form while they experienced dysfunctional family lives, mental illness, substance abuse death and bullying.
Upon its debut on E4 in January 2007, the series became a ratings winner in part due to its provocative storylines. The series finished in 2013 and even spawned a panned American remake - the less we talk about that the better.
Mike Bailey – Sid Jenkins
The Bristol native starred in Skins for two series as Sid Jenkins, who started out as a stereotypical nice guy who was very unlucky when it comes to girls.
After his last project in 2017, a web series titled Hers and History, Bailey, who is now 34, retired from acting and he now works as a secondary school drama teacher. He studied a degree in theatre and drama and in 2017 he opened up about his career switch with Radio Times.
“I kind of thought 'what the f*** am I doing with my life?' and ended up getting in a conversation with the wife a couple of years ago and decided that those who can’t act teach,” he said.
Jack O’Connell – James Cook
James was initially just a womaniser but it was soon revealed that it was all an act to cover up his real emotions. O’Connell played the promiscuous teen in series three, four and seven but he has since said he was ‘very naïve’ and felt 'compromised' filming sex scenes for the show.
In an interview with the Independent, he said: “Listen, I admit I was very naive at the time, enough so as to not check in with myself and question if I was feeling comfortable or not. It just felt like part and parcel of the programme in a very different time than the one we’re in now.”
Kathryn and Megan Prescott – Emily and Katie Fitch
Real-life twins Kathryn and Megan Prescott played twins Katie and Emily Fitch in Skins. The ‘second generation’ characters created their own secret language only their could understand. While Katie was the more savage and outgoing twin, Emily was an introvert.
Over 14 years later, the actresses careers have gone in separate directions.
Megan became a bodybuilder and she keeps fans up to date with her training with pics of her physique on social media. This year she revealed she joined OnlyFans during the pandemic.
Meanwhile her sister has had starring and recurring roles in American TV shows including MTV’s Finding Carter and New Amsterdam and 24: Legacy.
In September 2021 she was involved in a horrific accident when she was hit by a cement truck in New York, leaving her hospitalised for one month.
She had two breaks in her pelvis and injuries to her feet, legs and left hand but has since made a full recovery.
In a post about her recovery on social media, she wrote: “Thank you to everyone who has reached out and helped in every and any way they could. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”
April Pearson – Michelle Richardson
After making her debut in Casualty, Pearson’s breakthrough role was as Michelle in Skins who she played for two series.
The highly impressionable MySpace obsessive was primarily only interested in serving her boyfriend Tony’s needs.
The 33-year-old actor – who was only 18 while on the show was nominate for the golden Nymph Award for Outstanding actress in a Drama Series at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival for her role.
In recent years she has been critical of the show and spoke out about some of the ‘weird scenes’ she had to film.
She has since starred in and produced several horror and independent films and she also hosts the podcast Are you Michelle from Skins where she talks to other actors and musicians about being associated with one big role.
Nicholas Hoult – Tony Stonem, Hannah Murray – Cassie Ainsworth, Joe Dempsie – Chris Miles
Two of the main stars in Skins also appeared in the hugely popular fantasy series Game of Thrones.
Murray starred as the Cassie Ainsworth in Skins, who suffered from anorexia nervosa as well as suicidal thoughts and drug addiction.
Murray starred in two series before taking on the role of Gilly in Game of Thrones.
Dempsie’s Skins character Chris Miles was very into pills and in love with his psychology teacher. He died in season two of a brain haemorrhage. After leaving Skins in 2008, Dempsie starred as Gendry Baratheon in the HBO hit series.
Game of Thrones could have been a bonafide Skins reunion if casting directors made a different decision. Hoult played Tony, the main anti-hero who his hit by a bus and experiences head trauma.
The 33-year-old and went on to star in the X-Men film franchise, Warm Bodies and Mad Max: Fury Road was in the running to play Jon Snow. The role eventually went to another British actor, Kit Harington.
Dev Patel – Anwar Kharral
Patel’s first acting role came about after his mum spotted a casting advert in the Metro newspaper for Skins which is hilarious given the show’s outrageousness.
His mum's encouragement was the best possible decision for Patel, who won the role of Anwar, the light-hearted and awkward chap who had his fair share of sex and substance use with his friends.
The 32-year-old rose to international film after starring as Jamal Malik in Danny Boyle’s drama Slumdog Millionaire for which he was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Actor.
He now has a big list of acclaimed roles in his repertoire, such as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Lion, The Personal History of David Copperfield and The Green Knight.
Luke Pasqualino – Freddie McClair
In 2008, Pasqualino became one of the series regulars in Skins as Freddie, a laid-back weed-smoking sixth form pupil.
Describing himself as a ‘part time actor’ on his Instagram account, the 32-year-old has since starred in the film Snowpiercer in 2017 and the hit period BBC drama The Musketeers, war drama Our Girl and crime drama Snatch.
Pasqualino originally auditioned for the role of Tony but he said in a 2014 interview with Den of Geek that Hoult was the right man for the job.
“I think everything happens for a reason and I don’t think I was ready for it at sixteen years old,” he said.
“My first real acting job was Skins at eighteen years old and I just kind of grew into myself in those two years; I would have done terribly if I’d have got that job at sixteen. I think it was right to go to Nick Hoult.”
If you’re now feeling nostalgic, all episodes of Skins are available on All4.Featured Image Credit: E4
Topics: TV and Film