Seen on screen… MM’s guide to Manchester actors gracing our TV sets

There has never been a better time to be a British actor.

From critically-acclaimed US dramas such as The Wire and Homeland to home-grown hits such as Silk and Luther, television really is the new… well, film.

And Greater Manchester has its fair share of stars popping up in places where you might expect them to – and some where you wouldn’t.

With that in mind, and with one of those shows, Game of Thrones, returning for a fourth season on Monday, MM takes a look at some of the Greater Manchester actors currently gracing our screens.

John Bradley-West and Ben Crompton, Game of Thrones

John Bradley-West was born in 1988, and brought up in Wythenshawe, South Manchester. After studying acting at Manchester Metropolitan University, he appeared in TV shows such as Merlin and Shameless.

His biggest claim to fame, however, is his role in Game of Thrones, where he plays Samwell Tarly, who is essentially the human version of L. Frank Baum’s Cowardly Lion.

One of Tarly’s comrades in the Night’s Watch, Eddison Tollett, is also played by a Mancunian actor, Ben Crompton. Having first appeared on our screens in 1996, Crompton has featured in a number of films and TV shows such as 102 Dalmatians, Silent Witness and Ideal.

It is unclear whether his character – dour and eternally pessimistic – survived the events of the third season, but given the show’s notorious bloodlust it may be wise to ready that gravestone.

Steve Evets, Rev.

Hailing from Salford, Steve Evets took on supporting roles in Emmerdale, Heartbeat and Casualty, before gaining parts in a number of films, including Looking for Eric, Robin Hood, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and The Selfish Giant.

Since 2010 he has played Colin Lambert – a heavy-drinking unemployed mess of a man who nonetheless possesses an uncommon kindness of spirit – in the award-winning Rev., alongside Tom Hollander and Olivia Colman. The show has just returned for a third series on BBC Two.

David Schofield, Da Vinci’s Demons

Starting out in Z Cars in 1974, Mancunian David Schofield has made over 100 credited TV and film appearances, as well as a number of parts in Shakespearean theatre.

His highly impressive CV includes roles in From Hell, Pirates of the Caribbean (Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End) and Valkyrie, though he is probably best known for playing Senator Falco in Gladiator.

He currently plays Piero da Vinci in the Starz production Da Vinci’s Demons, filmed in Wales, which dramatises the early life of the Renaissance genius Leonardo, with the gaps in his historical record allowing the showrunners a substantial amount of artistic license.

Paul Nicholls and Georgia Taylor, Law & Order: UK

Currently in its eighth season, Law & Order: UK is a crime and legal drama adapted from the USA, and shown on ITV1.

Bolton-born Paul Nicholls – who has also appeared in Eastenders, Holby City and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason – played Sam Casey in 13 episodes between 2011 and 2013.

His departure from the show does not leave it free of Mancunian influence, however, for Georgia Taylor, from Wigan, has taken on the role of Kate Barker.

She had made her name in Coronation Street and Casualty, and now plays a junior Crown Prosecutor alongside the likes of Bradley Walsh, Paterson Joseph and Peter Davison.

Chris Addison, Trying Again

Chris Addison, born in 1971 in Didsbury and educated at the Manchester Grammar School, is primarily known as a comedian, but he does have some acting roles to his credit as well.

He played power-crazed headteacher David Blood in Skins, and has been virtually ever-present in The Thick of It as the hapless political aide Oliver Reeder.

He will star opposite Jo Joyner in Trying Again, a comedy on Sky Living which starts later this month. It centres on a couple’s attempts to move on from an affair, and sickly sweet it looks too.

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