John Henshaw

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John Henshaw
Born1951 (age 67–68)

John Henshaw (born 1951) is a British actor, best known for his roles as Ken Dixon the landlord in Early Doors, Wilf Bradshaw in Born and Bred and PC Roy Bramwell in The Cops. Often associated with characters who are "hard men", he played John Prescott in ITV drama Confessions of a Diary Secretary.


One of 13 siblings, he was born and 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 not as a Gaelic-speaking character.[1]

Other credits include Nice Guy Eddie, When Saturday Comes and appearances in The Royle Family, Last of the Summer Wine and Life on Mars and the comedy series Early Doors. 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.[2] In 2013 played Arthur Potts in Series 15 Episode 5 (The Sicilian Defence) of Midsomer Murders. He also played the role of Harry, a mentor and friend to the main character, in Ken Loach's 2012 Scottish comedy-drama The Angels' Share and Danny in Chris Shepherd's 2013 film The Ringer.

In 2013 he played Stan Bond in By Any Means and in 2014 played the judge in Closer to the Moon. In 2015 he played Murphy in "Charlie's Plan" directed by John McCormack.[3]

In 2017, he appeared in the BBC series Father Brown as Barney Butterfield episode 5.12 "The Theatre of the Invisible" and has recently returned to playing Ken the landlord in the Early Doors live stage show.

He had a small role in the 2018 film Stan and Ollie as the comedian Nobby Cook who was briefly the understudy to Oliver Hardy in their 1953 tour of Britain. [4]

Personal life[edit]

Henshaw is Director of the 24:7 Theatre Festival, an annual festival of new writing for theatre based in Manchester, which started in 2004.[5] He is a lifelong fan of Manchester City F.C. and regularly attends their matches.[6]

Henshaw is also a patron of the Ancoats Dispensary Trust which campaigns to save and restore for community use the Grade II listed Ancoats Dispensary close to his birthplace.[7]


  1. ^ "4rfv website". 16 December 2002. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  2. ^ British Youth Film Academy.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Stan & Ollie (2018), IMDB, retrieved 30 January 2019
  5. ^ "24:7 Theatre Festival is here". Manchester Evening News. 18 April 2010. Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  6. ^ "John Henshaw Big 5". 15 April 2010. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Start page". 17 April 2013. Archived from the original on 4 March 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2014.

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