Grew up in a working-class part of London's East End, the son of a truck-driver father and a teaching-assistant mother.
Began an apprenticeship to a printer in a merchant bank at the age of 13.
At 16, befriended a London bookmaker named Leslie Bennett, who encouraged him to follow his dream of becoming an actor and paid for his first year's tuition to drama school.
Earned a British Independent Film Award and a National Society of Film Critics Award (both for Best Supporting Actor) for his performance as Scott, a curmudgeonly driving instructor, in Mike Leigh's 2008 film Happy-Go-Lucky.
Janine Schneider — Wife
Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, London, England