Michael wanted to be an actor from an early age. He recalls impersonating Al Jolson in St. Mary's Church of England Church Hall, Hawksworth Wood, Leeds. He joined Kirkstall Players and, knowing that fellow performer, Martin (John) Matthews, had set the precedent, Michael also applied for and won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) where he studied for the full term of two years.
Following repertory theatre in Perth and Stratford upon Avon he worked in the West End play Chips with Everything. On television his early roles were in Redcap, The Villains and Six Shades of Black while post-Street roles were in Hadleigh and Heartbeat.