3 May 2011
The 40-year-old British actor, who excels at playing angst-ridden characters, is currently starring in the BBC One thriller, Exile.
Here is a timeline of his life and career.
1970 – Born in Leeds, Yorkshire. He grows up in Nelson, Lancashire.
1982 – Joins his father, who is a musician, on the stage in working men’s clubs.
1989 – Moves to London to study at the Drama Centre, graduating in 1992.
1990s – Sings and plays guitar with the rock band Magic Alex.
1992 – Makes his professional TV acting debut with the role of Joby Johnson in Rumpole and the Old Bailey. Subsequent minor roles include a psychopath in The Bill, a schoolboy in Heartbeat and a burgler in The Locksmith.
1995 – Plays his breakthrough role as the troubled teenager Bill Preece in the Jimmy McGovern drama Cracker, acting alongside Robbie Coltrane.
1996 – Professional stage debut in Goldhawk Road at the Bush Theatre.
1997 – Stars as Danny Kavanagh in the Jimmy McGovern series The Lakes.
1999 – Appears in the cult film Human Traffic and in Michael Winterbottom’s Wonderland.
2000 – Stars in the opening episode of Paul Abbott’s BBC drama Clocking Off.
2002 – Stars as the journalist Cal McCaffrey in the award-winning TV thriller State of Play. In this year, he also plays Raskolnikov in the BBC adaptation of Crime and Punishment and stars opposite Christina Ricci and John Hurt in the film Miranda.
2004 – Plays the charity investigator Daniel Appleton in the hard-hitting, award-winning Channel 4 drama, Sex Traffic.
[2006 – Stars as DCI/DI Sam Tyler in the International award-winning, time-warp cop TV drama, Life on Mars.]
2007 – Plays Vincent Van Goch (sic) in the Channel 4 drama, The Yellow House. In this year, he also plays Doctor Who’s nemesis, the Master.
2008 – Plays Edward Sexby in The Devil’s Whore, a Channel 4 drama about the English civil war.
2010 – Plays Hamlet in a sell-out performance at the Sheffield Crucible theatre.
2011 – Co-stars in Sky 1 drama Mad Dogs. Also plays Tom Rondstadt in Exile, a BBC One psychological thriller also starring Jim Broadbent.