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Top 10 ‘Skins’ characters

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Here we look back on the collection of troublesome youths who have enjoyed themselves far too much on television for our enjoyment. After all, no other show makes you feel discontent with your social life like Skins. Apart from the vomiting.


10. Franky (Dakota Blue Richards)

Franky’s oddness and impulsiveness makes her an outsider at the beginning of Series 5, and even once she has friends, they seem to bring her even more grief.

Never happy, always confused, always running, and never quite letting on exactly what’s wrong… Franky kept us guessing all the way up to the end.


9. Effy (Kaya Scodelario)

Effy was the only character cooler than her brother Tony in the first two series, mainly because she never spoke, and when she did, the words were cutting and direct. Becoming a main cast member for Series 3 and 4, Effy’s hedonistic lifestyle and ultracool queen-bee image began to give way to her insecurities, mainly due to falling in love with pretty boy Freddie.

The only character to span two Skins generations, one minute we hate Effy, the next we love her, but most of the time we haven’t got a clue what to make of her.


8. JJ (Ollie Barbieri)

Geeky weirdo on the surface, troubled autistic teen underneath, JJ is one of Skins‘ most adorable creations. Crippled by his excessive medication and lack of social skills at first, it is a joy to watch JJ come out of his shell and show us just how magical (literally) he is, and even find love in Series 4.

His ukulele rendition of Spandau Ballet’s ‘True’ goes down as one of Skins‘ all time greatest moments.


7. Grace (Jessica Sula)

Series 5 brought us, for the first time, a relatively pleasant, charming character in the form of the beautiful Grace Blood. Keeping cynicism and peer pressure at bay with her butter-wouldn’t-melt smile, Grace plays a key, almost exclusive role in bringing the outcasts and the cool kids together to form the class of 2011-2012.

Her sudden death early in Series 6 is one of Skins‘ all-time most surprising twists, but her presence and lasting effect on the cast and plot is what makes Series 6 one of the show’s most emotional series.


6. Tony (Nicholas Hoult)

The original bad boy, Nicholas Hoult broke a lot of hearts in his cocky turn as teen messiah Tony back in 2007. However, his sadistic, manipulative treatment of his best friends in Series 1 made him as much of hate figure as a heartthrob.

No main cast member in Skins has ever been quite as evil as Tony; not that it lasted long, he went from messiah to pariah in Series 2 after a serious accident left him severely disabled.


5. Emily (Kathryn Prescott)

One half of Skins‘ fans favourite couple, Emily is Skins‘ best growing-confidence story. A quiet girl, overshadowed by her mouthy twin Katie, Emily eventually branches out on her own when she comes to terms with her sexuality and falls in love with the cynical Naomi.

Naomi isn’t the best girlfriend in the world, running hot and cold frequently, whilst Emily is nothing but supportive of Naomi. The ever-suffering Emily is nevertheless smart, funny and has a massive heart, and her’s and Naomi’s love story, particularly in Series 3, is utterly heartwrenching.


4. Cook (Jack O’Connell)

If Tony was the posh bad boy, all condescending put-downs and wry smiles, James Cook is the real deal bad boy: chavvy, loutish, shagging anything that moves and drinking 24 hours a day.

Yet, there was something loveable about Cook. He was passionate, had real love for his friends, often aggressively informing them so, and he only reconsiders his hedonistic ways when he sees his little brother influenced by him. Wild, crazy and mesmerising on screen, Jack O’Connell stole the show in Series 3 and 4.


3. Sid (Mike Bailey)

The loveable loser and Tony’s whipping boy for much of the first series, we rejoice when Sid finds love in the troubled Cassie and finally stands up to Tony after years of abuse.

Sid may have been a smelly, occasionally disgustingly unhygenic teenage dirtbag, but he had a huge heart, and the scenes of him and his aggressive father (played magnificently by Peter Capaldi) are some of the most entertaining and emotional of the first generation of Skins.


2. Cassie (Hannah Murray)

Wow! The most complex character of them all, Cassie is seemingly sweet and innocent, but unendingly troubled below the surface. Neglected at home, and ridiculed and ignored by her friends, she takes refuge in a fantasy world, denying there is anything wrong, despite her severe anorexia.

Cassie’s performance in her emotionally devastating Series 2 episode is one thing, but Murray’s real triumph was the very first time we meet Cassie properly, in her Series 1 story. Understated, humourous yet poignant, as we watch Cassie manage to avoid eating in various clever and deceptive ways, her first centric episode is arguably one of the most touching episodes in Skins‘ history.


1. Chris (Joe Dempsie)

The character of Chris is the pure essence of Skins: an abandoned, drug-obsessed mess who nevertheless grabs life with both hands and loves every moment of it. After being kicked out of his house, on Viagra, naked, his encounter with his psychology teacher Angie is one of the funniest moments in Skins‘ history.

However, it is his effect on friend and eventually girlfriend Jal in Series 2 that really secures his place as greatest Skins‘ character. His “fuck it” attitude, and constant positivity and enthusiasm for life checkmated Jal’s negativity and cynicism. His tragic disease eventually gets the better of him, and his death and funeral make for some of the most emotional moments in Skins‘ history, but right up to the end he strived to make himself the man Jal said he could be, even getting a job and a house of his own.

Joe Dempsie made this cheeky chappy come alive on screen, and the message of his character’s storyline is one that rings true for the entire Skins‘ saga: no matter how bad a situation is, you can always find the strength in yourself to make a change.

In that sense, for all the controversies about the Skins‘ characters being bad role models, Chris is truly one of TVs greatest role models for teenagers. Because he made a change, and not just in himself, but in all those around him.


Who’s your favourite ever Skins character? Let us know below…