I was born and raised in Portsmouth, England and am the 'Son of Brian', a 'Dockyard Matey' (Navel Dockyard worker).
I first jumped on stage at Butlin's holiday camp at the age of four performing a muscle man act and being cheeky to a crowd of holidaymakers. On winning the competition, I was given half a crown from kindly American couple.
Many school shows and amateur dramatics performances later... at sixteen, I got backstage work with the stage crew at the Chichester Festival Theatre. From the wings, while I was watching the great Sir John Mills I realised I really really really did want to become an actor. We moved the scenery but I also got to be an 'extra' on stage, a wounded soldier, and I was hooked. After Highbury college on their foundation course, I applied and was successful in attended the Guildhall School in the Barbican, in the City of London - and had a fantastic three years, studying performing in depth. I was awarded the Gold Medal for acting in 1985.
I began my professional career by returning back to the same Chichester Festival Theatre and securing an Equity card - as an actor in the repertory season. My first job was a nightly sword fight sequence with Sir Donald Sindon in The Scarlet Pimpernel and I loved it.
I have been fortunate to have played diverse roles on stages all around England. These roles include Bill Sykes in Oliver Twist at the Bristol Old Vic, Willy Mossop in Hobson's Choice at the Derby Playhouse and Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol at Clywd Theatr Cymru. I've been part of the company at the Royal National Theatre three times: Kevin alongside Alan Bennet, Simon Callow and Prunella Scales in Single Spies. I was in Antony and Cleopatra with Alan Rickman, Helen Mirren and Samuel West; And as Eilif opposite Diana Rigg playing her son Eilif in Mother Courage.
My first break in television came in the late eighties with the support of the legendary producer, Leonard Lewis, such a top man, on the police series Rockliffe's Babies. Alongside Ian Hogg and Joe McGann. There I cut my teeth on TV as the racist rooky detective, Steve Hood and enjoyed working as a regular in a series. I took the lead role of Sean Hooper in Square Deal, an LWT comedy sitcom. It was recorded live in front of a studio audience weekly which was an amazing experience in timing. It was directed by Nick Phillips.
Since then, I have been a - Where do I know you from 'face'? on British television with guest roles, supporting and lead characters in series such as Silent Witness, Doctors, Judge John Deed, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Holby City, (I did a month or so in Eastenders,) and in Hustle and Luther and New Tricks. Another enjoyable bad guy role came in - as the mesmerizing albino hitman, 'The Leveller', in the series Resort to Murder. With my hair dyed white and wearing pink contact lenses I flew around on a three wheeled motorbike!
My first film role came with the part of Taktarov, a battle-worn Russian mercenary in the horror film Outpost, starring alongside Ray Stevenson, Julian Wadham and Richard Brake. Then as the hero fireman Paul in BBC One's Lost Christmas, where I got to work with the amazing Jason Flemyng and starring Eddie Izzard which won an international Emmy and is recognised to be a fantastic modern Christmas classic. In the indi-horror comedy feature Kill Me Now, I played my first lead in a film as Mr. Graham, or the Driller Killer - a serial killer who seeks revenge against the idleness of the American teenager. It is currently available in the US and UK by download. I starred alongside the fantastic emerging comic American talents of Michael Swaim, Beck Bennet and Kyle Mooney. I played 'George -The Agent' in Chris Loizou's feature film 'UNTITLED' - The Film. And 'David' in a short film on the subject of augmentation which as a 8min freebie can be watched in full here. Arifa is due to premier at the Newport Film Festival in California in May 2017.
To find more information about each project ive been involved with please go to the relevant 'work' section and click on 'More info'