Jack Peter Shepherd was born on 14th January 1988 in Pudsey, Yorkshire to a family with no theatrical background, his father being a council worker and his mother an estate agent. The youngest of three children he had experience on both the stage and television with one of his appearances being with his future on-screen sister Tina O'Brien in an episode of Clocking Off in 2000. He also appeared briefly in Wycliffe in 1997.
At the age of twelve, he replaced Thomas Ormson in the role of David Platt making his first appearance in Episode 4811 on 26th April, 2000. As he reached his late teens the part expanded and took on a darker dimension with David winning various "gongs" at soap award shows such as "Best Bad Boy" and "Best Villain".