After the death of his mother, Paul and his brothers and sister spent the rest of their childhoods in a succession of children's and foster homes where they found themselves at the mercy of adults more interested in their own welfare than providing a loving home. Paul left care at the age of sixteen, and three years later landed his first acting role, by accident, in the musical Hair, which put him on the path to London and a successful career in show business.
In Coronation Street he has played two minor roles: Billy Arrowsmith in November 2004 returning to the programme in June 2008 as Nelson, a bar owner and acquaintance of Vernon Tomlin, as well as appearing in all twenty-six episodes of Coronation Street spin-off The Brothers McGregor, which ran in four series' and transmitted on ITV between 4th September 1985 to 24th August 1988.
In July 2007, he wrote the book entitled Foster Kid: A Liverpudlian Childhood, telling of his experiences of a brutal and traumatic upbringing in foster and care homes in Liverpool after being orphaned at the age of seven.
Other credits include roles in ITV Playhouse, Play for Today, Z Cars, Gangsters, I Didn't Know You Cared, Mixed Blessings, Crown Court, To the Manor Born, Minder, The Chinese Detective, Muck and Brass, Boys from the Blackstuff, The Front Line, Chancer, Boon, 99-1, Brookside, The Bill, Cracker, The Full Monty, Harbour Lights, Taggart, Holby City, Mad Dogs, Doctors, The Green Green Grass, Dalziel and Pascoe, Liverpool Nativity, The Invisibles, Casualty, White Van Man, The Preston Passion and Sinbad.