He decided to become an actor as a child after watching the 1969 film Kes and at the age of eight won a talent contest for a comedy routine. He pursued his interest in drama at school and gained a place at the National Youth Theatre's summer school, later gaining a Foundation Diploma in Performing Arts with distinction from Salford University. He stage debut was in Hull Trucks' production of A Hard Days Night and his television debut was in 1994 in the ITV sitcom Mother's Ruin.
On television he has also appeared in Peak Practice, Wokenwell, Band of Brothers, Burn It, Sea of Souls, Conviction, The Passion and regular roles in Where the Heart Is and Waterloo Road. In film, he had a part in the Oscar-winning The English Patient.
On the stage, his roles include parts in States of Shock, The Barber of Siberia, Macbeth and The Iliad.