1. He is perhaps best-known for playing Dennis in Auf Wiedersehen, the comedy about British construction workers working in Germany.
2. He was taken ill while filming as cross dresser Les/Lesley in the ITV comedy-drama series Benidorm
3. Tickling ribs as Gastric in Still Open all Hours, a sequel to Open All Hours
4. He took to the cobbles to appear in Coronation Street as Paul Jones, the father of barman Sean Tully
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5. It was brief, but his cameo role in the first episode of the second series of the BBC sitcom Hebburn had us in stitches
6. Passionate about giving back, he co-founded the Sammy Johnson Memorial Fund, established to support young talent in North East. He hosts the biannual Sunday for Sammy concerts in aid of the fund.
7. Talent runs in the family. He has two sons with ex-wife Denise Welch, the elder of whom, Matthew, is frontman of alternative rock band The 1975.
8. He made his debut in 1982 in A Captain's Tale, depicting the triumph of underdog football team West Auckland F.C. in the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup
9. Stealing the show as Jackie Elliot in the original West End musical Billy Elliot.