James Nesbitt


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James Nesbitt was born on 15 January 1965 in Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. His father, James "Jim" Nesbitt, was the headmaster of the primary school in Lisnamurrican, a hamlet near Broughshane, while his mother, May Nesbitt, was a civil servant. Jim and May already had three daughters—Margaret, Kathryn and Andrea. Nesbitt's three sisters all eventually became teachers. The family lived in the house adjoining the one-room school where Nesbitt was one of 32 pupils taught by Jim; the other pupils were all farmers' children. Nesbitt grew up "completely" around women, and spent a lot of time alone, "kicking a ball against a wall". He had ambitions to play football for Manchester United, or to become a teacher like his father. The family was Protestant, and Lisnamurrican was in "Paisley country". The Nesbitts spent Sunday evenings singing hymns around the piano. Jim marched in the Ballymena Young Conquerors flute band and Nesbitt joined him playing the flute. After the Drumcree conflicts, they stopped marching with the band. The family's residence in the countryside left them largely unaffected by The Troubles, although Nesbitt, his father, and one of his sisters narrowly escaped a car bomb explosion outside Ballymena County Hall in the early 1970s.