James MacPherson

James MacPherson

Mar. 18th, 1960
Born in
Hamilton Scotland

James MacPherson's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Taggart (UK) TV Show
Taggart (UK)

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


James MacPherson (born 18 March 1960) is a Scottish actor, best known for his role as Detective Michael Jardine in the ITV drama, Taggart.[1]
MacPherson was raised in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. He left Hamilton Grammar School at 17 and got a job as a laboratory technician at Glasgow's Institute of Neurosciences at the Southern General Hospital. Part of his job was to collect brain samples for experimentation. MacPherson worked in the lab for five years and met his future wife Jacqueline while there.
MacPherson went for an interview to be a police officer, but soon realised he didn't have the requisite personality for the job. It was then that his thoughts turned to acting. He joined an amateur dramatics group in Motherwell, before moving onto a repertory theatre in East Kilbride and a place in drama school.
It was after MacPherson landed the part in BBC Radio 4's Citizens that his television career began to take off. While based in London, MacPherson auditioned for a part in the children's series Dramarama but was unsuccessful. Then in 1986, his agent told him about the part that had come up in Taggart, and, having regained his Glasgow accent (which had been diluted by working in London), he was offered the part.
Taggart, career and personal life Initially, the character of Jardine was to be a foil to DC Livingstone, assistant of DI Jim Taggart (Mark McManus) but when Neil Duncan left the show shortly after MacPherson joined, he felt sure his own time with the show would be short lived. In reality, he was already being lined up as Jim Taggart's permanent right-hand man. He became the central character following McManus' death in 1994. McManus was godfather to MacPherson's daughter Katie.
2002 saw MacPherson' last appearance as DCI Michael Jardine. MacPherson was forced to leave the show due to ill health. He had a collapsed lung and underwent life-saving surgery, which resulted in the lung being stapled to the inside of his chest. His health status prevented him from doing many of the activities that life as Jardine required. MacPherson's final episode, "Death Trap", aired on 14 January 2002.
Since Taggart, MacPherson has taken a back seat from television work, concentrating on the theatre. Much of his early work still saw him cast as a policeman. He appeared as Jardine in all but name in a TV documentary investigating claims that Scottish MPs were bribed during the build-up to the Acts of Union of 1707 which merged the English and Scottish Parliaments. He even guest-starred in several episodes of The Bill as a former officer whose sister was raped by other policemen. He provided the voice for Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus in the talking book series. It was even reported in a Scottish newspaper in 2003 that MacPherson wanted to become an astronomer.
In 2000, James appeared in a Channel 4 Schools History series The Scots Detective, playing DI Scott.
In July 2002, he set up an acting company, with fellow Scots actress Emma Currie, called Acting Up.
In October 2003, MacPherson formed a Rock & Roll band called The Cams with ex-Wet Wet Wet drummer Tommy Cunningham, and was seen singing with the band on BBC One Scotland's Children in Need the following month.
Christmas of 2003 saw MacPherson appear as "Abananzar" in Aladdin at His Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen.
In 2007, he starred in the stage version of Dial M for Murder, along with Faye Tozer of Steps.

  • Appeared in his last Taggart episode in 2001, after being forced to give up his acting due to a health condition which left his lungs spontaneously collapsing.

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