John Henshaw (born 1951, Ancoats, Manchester, Lancashire) is a British actor, best known for his roles as Ken the landlord in Early Doors, Wilf Bradshaw in Born and Bred and PC Roy Bramwell in The Cops. He is often associated with playing "hard men". He played John Prescott in ITV drama Confessions of a Diary Secretary.
One of 12 siblings, he grew up in Ancoats, Manchester's "Little Italy" community. He was a binman for ten years before deciding, at the age of 40, to become an actor. His first big break in acting was as a minder to Robert Lindsay's character Michael Murray in the acclaimed Channel 4 series, G.B.H.. He had roles in the Steve Coogan film, The Parole Officer and in the BBC Three sitcom The Visit, which was first shown in July 2007. In 2002 he appeared in the Scottish Gaelic drama, Anna Bheag (Wee Anna), although he not as a Gaelic-speaking character.
Other credits include Nice Guy Eddie, When Saturday Comes and appearances in The Royle Family, Last of the Summer Wine and Life on Mars. In September 2007, at the Lowry in Salford, he starred in the world premier of the play King Cotton.
He played the role of Ken, the deputy manager in the Post Office adverts, in 2007 to 2008). March 2008 saw Henshaw return to the Manchester area playing the lead in Jim Cartwright's play Road at the Octagon Theatre in Bolton. Summer 2009 saw Henshaw play Meatballs in the Ken Loach-directed and Eric Cantona-starring film Looking for Eric. The character was a workmate and friend of the lead character Eric Bishop played by Steve Evets.
In 2010 he played Mr. Pony in Terry Pratchett's Going Postal and in 2011 he portrayed the character of John Holt, one of the original founding fathers of the Co-operative movement, in a feature film The Rochdale Pioneers. In 2013 played Arthur Potts in Series 15 Episode 5 ( The Sicilian Defence ) of Midsomer Murders. He also played the role of Harry in the 2012 Scottish feel-good film The Angels' Share and Danny in Chris Shepherd's 2013 film The Ringer.
Henshaw is Director of the 24:7 Theatre Festival, an annual festival of new writing for theatre based in Manchester, which was begun in 2004. He is a lifelong fan of Manchester City F.C. and regularly attends their matches.
Henshaw is also a patron of the Ancoats Dispensary Trust, which campaigns to saving and restoring for community use the Grade II listed Ancoats Dispensary, located close to his birthplace in Ancoats.