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Character Profiles > Jamie Clarke S J Dey, Ryder Susman, Nicholas and James Mason, Angus McLaren

James 'Jamie' Kingsley Clarke 1987-1990, 2003
Lived: 28 Ramsay Street
Born: 1987
Parents: Des and Daphne Clarke
Family Tree: Clarke

A lot of drama and personal tragedy took place in Jamie Clarke's life, and most of it occurred within the first few years of his birth. Jamie was born to Des and Daphne Clarke on 30 July 1987, in somewhat unusual circumstances. Des and the heavily pregnant Daphne had gone for a picnic in the countryside with their friends Jim Robinson and Dr. Beverly Marshall, and while Jim and Beverly were off fishing, Daphne went into labour while resting with Des beside a lake. Luckily, Beverly and Jim returned as the contractions increased, and with no time to get Daphne to a hospital, Beverly was forced to deliver the baby in middle of the bush. Thankfully, Jamie was born safely, and mother and son (plus Des, who had fainted!) were taken back to Erinsborough Hospital.

Jamie was the first baby to be born on Ramsay Street since Lucy Robinson in 1975, so the entire neighbourhood made a huge fuss of him upon his arrival. He was never short of a willing babysitter, with his interfering, but doting grandmother Eileen on hand at all times. Year 12 student Mike Young was also living with Des and Daphne at No. 28, and was effectively a big brother to Jamie. Indeed, Mike claimed a stake in Jamie's name, given that his own middle name was James. However, Jim Robinson also claimed that Jamie was named after him, especially since he had been on hand during the birth. Eileen, meanwhile, was happy to get the old family name of Kingsley included as Jamie's middle name, although she was slightly disappointed that her maiden name of Winston didn't get a look in too.

With all the fuss surrounding Jamie's birth, a lot of people failed to notice that Daphne was suffering. Jamie had taken a long time to settle in after his return from the hospital, and was keeping the Clarke household awake at night. Although Des, Mike and Eileen all took turns in tending to him, Daphne was finding it extremely difficult to cope with the child and Beverly soon diagnosed her as suffering from post natal depression. Luckily, Daphne came through the depression after a few weeks, and preparations got underway for Jamie's christening. The service passed off without a hitch, with Mike, Jim and Beverly all acting as godparents. It was only after the ceremony that drama surfaced with the appearance of Daphne's estranged mother Tina. Tina had left Daphne and her father when Daphne was a little girl, and an icy reunion ensued. Daphne couldn't bring herself to forgive her mum, but did agree to let her hold her grandson, and Tina also set up a trust fund for Jamie, before leaving Erinsborough.

When Daphne's father Allen took ill, Daphne decided to move in with him and nurse him in his final weeks. She took Jamie with her, and Des visited them regularly. Tragedy struck, however, when Daphne, Jamie and Gail Robinson were involved in a car crash on the way home from Allen's funeral. While Jamie and Gail survived the crash relatively unhurt, Daphne's injuries were severe, and she lay in a coma for several weeks. Des brought Jamie to visit his mummy every day in the hope of her waking up, but it was not to be. Daphne finally succumbed to a cardiac arrest after briefly waking to tell Des that she loved him, and Jamie had lost his mother before he had even reached his first birthday.

Des struggled to bring Jamie up on his own, despite the large support network around him. He eventually decided to hire a nanny to move in and care for Jamie, while Des continued with his job as manager of the Pacific Bank. The day before he was due to meet a candidate for the job, Des and Jamie were at a shopping centre when Jamie got out of his buggy and went missing while Des loaded the shopping into his car. Luckily, Jamie was found by Bronwyn Davies, and returned safely to Des - although Bronwyn gave Des a stern lecture on being so irresponsible with his child. Unbeknown to both parties, Bronwyn was the girl who was due at the Clarke house the next day for the nanny's job, and there was awkwardness all round when she showed up at No. 28. But Des was impressed by Bronwyn and offered her the job. She accepted, and moved in - becoming close to Jamie during her time there as nanny, as well as falling for Mike.

As Jamie went through the terrible twos, he found himself getting into various scrapes, such as swallowing the tip off a toy drum stick and almost choking to death, and causing a massive headache for his dad by spilling his drink all over the tax papers Des had been working on for Hilary Robinson. Bronwyn came to Jamie's rescue on another occasion when he fell into the swimming pool at No. 30 while her younger sister Sharon was looking after him one day. Jamie also found a friend when Kerry Bishop moved into Ramsay Street with her toddler daughter, Sky. Jamie and Sky spent a lot of time together, as Kerry started minding Jamie for a time after Bronwyn began going to teach and could no longer care for him. Jamie and Sky were also frequent visitors to the legendary Mrs. Kirkwood's creche nearby.

Jamie found himself a mother in 1990 when Des met Fiona while on a business trip to Perth and they became engaged. Fiona also had kids of her own, Michael and Elyse, meaning that Jamie would be part of a happy family at last. Des sold No. 28 to the Willis family shortly after the engagement, and lived with Jamie above Beverly's surgery for a while, before moving to Perth for good. When Des’ relationship with Fiona broke up and he lost his job, he took Jamie and moved to Adelaide. Here, Des’ life began to fall apart. Unable to find a job, it fell to Jamie to look after the home - and ultimately, his father. When Des became so depressed that he had to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital, Jamie - by now aged 15 - had to go into care. While in care, Jamie became the victim of bullying at the hands of older boys, and after having enough, he ran away.

Jamie decided to make his way to his place of birth - Erinsborough. He found a place to stay when he came across a caravan park just outside of Erinsborough, and had company in the shape of a little terrier he found along the way, which Jamie called Scruff. In order to eat Jamie was forced to steal scraps of food from the caravans, and it was while taking a sandwich from one caravan one day that he befriended Stuart Parker. Stuart was staying in the park for a while after becoming alienated from his friends in the wake of his involvement in the controversial Life Mechanics cult, and he took Jamie under his wing as they confided in each other about their problems.

When Jamie told Stuart that Erinsborough was his birth place and that his mother had died when he was a baby, Stuart realised that Jamie was the same Jamie Clarke who Karl and Susan Kennedy - the current occupants of Jamie’s old house on Ramsay Street - had been trying to track down. The Kennedys had discovered some share certificates under the floor at No.28, which Daphne had left there for Jamie years before, and had spent weeks trying to locate Jamie to give him his shares. After Jamie confirmed that he had indeed lived in Ramsay Street once, Stuart brought him back there to meet the Kennedys. Karl was satisfied that Jamie was the one they were looking for after taking a look at his birth certificate, and Jamie was shocked when Karl revealed the shares Daphne had left him were now worth $80,000. The only problem was that because Jamie was only 16, he wasn’t eligible to cash them in until his 18th birthday, unless he had the consent of his father. But Jamie ruled out contacting Des, and even after Karl urged him to give his dad a chance, Jamie opted to leave the share certificate with the Kennedys for the time being.

Stuart was puzzled by Jamie’s refusal to get back in touch with his dad, but eventually uncovered the truth about Des’ condition and Jamie’s experiences in care. However, just as Jamie had trusted Stuart enough to tell him everything, he discovered an old edition of the Erinsborough News with Stuart on the front cover. The article detailed Stuart’s involvement in Life Mechanics and the money the organisation had embezzled from various people. Jamie immediately suspected Stuart of befriending him purely to get to the money he had been left, and he stormed off. The next day, Stuart caught up with Jamie and managed to assure him that although he had been involved in Life Mechanics, he had nothing to do with the defrauding of people, and insisted he looked on Jamie as a mate and nothing else. Jamie agreed to start afresh with Stu, and after a heart-to-heart with him, finally admitted he wanted to return to Adelaide and be reunited with his dad. Stuart brought Jamie to see Harold Bishop, who as well as having contacts in the social services who could help in reuniting Jamie with his father, was also a long-time Erinsborough resident and old friend of the Clarkes. Harold was delighted to see Jamie again and told him how the Coffee Shop he now ran used to belong to Jamie’s mother. And Jamie was thrilled when Harold got word from his social worker friend that she had located Des in Adelaide and he was ready to see Jamie. Before leaving Erinsborough, Jamie left Scruff in Stuart’s care and after thanking Stuart for all the help and support he had given him, departed for Adelaide to be reunited at last with his father.

Trivia Notes
• Jamie Clarke was played by a girl for two years, hence Sarah Jane Dey being credited as S J Dey
• Sarah played Jamie between episodes 544 and 979 (with a short break from 877-894 when Ryder Susman took over), while twins Nicholas and James Mason played Jamie from episode 981 until his final appearance in 1156. When the character returned for several weeks in 2003, Angus McClaren had taken over the part
• To read our interview with Sarah Dey, the first Jamie, click here

544-876, 877-894, 912-979, 981-1156, 4389-4393

Magic Moments
Episode 544: Jamie's Birth

Biography by Moe