With a PhD in English Literature from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, he resides in the city and teaches English at the Royal Grammar School. An author of children's fiction, he also works on the history of North East England. His freelance journalism includes book and TV reviews, and literary articles for the Times Literary Supplement. He has also appeared in several regional TV documentaries as an expert contributor on the history of Tyneside.
Other on-screen credits include roles in The Tide of Life, Crocodile Shoes, Byker Grove, Colour Blind, Heartbeat, Emmerdale, A Dinner of Herbs, Linda Green and The Royal, while on stage he has appeared in productions of Are We in Here?, As You Like It and The Tempest.