He was raised in a council house, left school at 14 and ran away from home at 15, when his father died, to be in the theater. He was then fostered informally by the actors Alistair and Joan Sims, whom he met when he and Alistair were both acting in the film A Cottage to Let.
His most famous rôle is Arthur Daley in Minder, but he has never been out of work, in television, radio, advertisements, films and legitimate theater. In 1997 he is starring in Dad.
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