Despite becoming relatively wealthy, the family never moved away from the council estate as they preferred to remain close to friends and family.
The series ran continuously from 1993 to 1997, with three episodes produced each year.
It was filmed under challenging conditions, first in Ukraine and later in Portugal.
After several years of rumours, more episodes were produced: Sharpe's Challenge, which aired in April 2006, and Sharpe's Peril, which aired in autumn 2008 and was later released on DVD.
With a role as enigmatic Lord Richard Fenton in the TV miniseries Scarlett, Bean made the transition to Hollywood feature films.
Bean has since garnered further recognition for his performance as Ned Stark in the HBO epic fantasy series Game of Thrones, as well as roles in the BBC anthology series Accused and the ITV historical drama series Henry VIII.