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Philip Middlemiss was born on 19th June, 1963 in Hartlepool to a pub landlady named Yvonne Lloyd who gave him up for adoption when he was ten days old. He was adopted by builder Alex Middlemiss and his wife June who later had a younger daughter of their own, Nicola.
After leaving school, Philip joined the National Youth Theatre and studied drama at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He appeared on stage after graduation in plays such as Strippers, Trackers, A Tale of Two Cities and A Christmas Carol. On television he made his debut in 1986 in Ladies in Charge and then had various roles in series such as Inspector Morse, The Bill and Waterfront Beat in which he had a regular role as PC Barry Smith.
Philip made his debut in Coronation Street in February 1990 as newly-wed Desmond "Des" Barnes together with Amelia Bullmore who played his television wife Steph. Even when Amelia left the programme eighteen months later to return to the stage (her first love) the character of Des proved popular enough for Philip to remain and the luckless lothario remained as a regular until November 1998 when Des was killed off. This was not an option welcomed by Philip who, although he wanted to leave the programme, also wanted the door left open for a possible return.
Following his time on the Street he has appeared regularly on television, most notably in the part of David Buckley in the drama Where the Heart Is for six years from 2000. For several years he was in a relationship with Alison King who later appeared in Coronation Street as Carla Connor although they have since split up.