Michael Smiley

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Michael Smiley
Michael Smiley (cropped).jpg
Born 1963 (age 52–53)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Residence London, England

Michael Smiley (born 1963) is a Northern Irish comic and actor who lives in London.

Early life[edit]

Smiley was born in 1963 in Belfast and grew up in Holywood.[1][2] He moved to London in his 20s with his wife. He began doing stand-up in 1993, after accepting a bet at an open-mic night. He had worked as a cycle courier (like his character in Spaced) and as an acid house DJ.[3]


He became well known for his role as Tyres O'Flaherty the bicycle riding raver in two episodes of the Channel 4 sitcom Spaced, and for his appearances at the Edinburgh Fringe and the Melbourne Comedy Festival.[3] He also played Jordan, a former member of the British Army's Parachute Regiment in the 2008 horror film Outpost and as a Tyres-like zombie in Shaun of the Dead.

In 2003, he guest starred in the Doctor Who audio drama Creatures of Beauty. In 2004 he appeared in season 2, episode 4 of Hustle as Max the forger.[4] He also was a small character in episode 2 "The Model" of 15 Storeys High.

He has appeared in all three series of The Maltby Collection on Radio 4 as Des Wainwright, an eccentric security guard who keeps repeating himself and reminding people he was in the SAS. He is playing the part of Benny "Deadhead" Silver in the BBC drama series Luther.

He appeared as 'Smiley' in the Betfair Front Room adverts.

In 2010, he had a major role in the film Burke & Hare alongside his Spaced co-stars Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes.

In 2011, he starred in British horror film Kill List. The film received critical acclaim, and earned him the "Best Supporting Actor" Award at the 2011 British Independent Film Awards.[5]

In 2013, he has appeared in an episode of BBC One's Ripper Street as George Lusk, and the critically acclaimed Channel 4 shows Utopia as Detective Reynolds and Black Mirror as Baxter. He also starred in A Field in England as the main antagonist, the alchemist O'Neill. He also played Roddy in Father Figure. In November 2013 he appeared in the third episode of the BBC Two Mitchell and Webb comedy Ambassadors as Mr Jackson. In 2014, he played Micky Murray in BBC Four's The Life of Rock with Brian Pern.

To coincide with the opening stages of the Giro d'Italia in May 2014, Michael Smiley:Something to Ride Home About was a travelog programme for BBC Northern Ireland, directed by George Kane, featuring Smiley cycling around Northern Ireland and meeting local people.[6][7][8] A second series has been commissioned for 2015.[6]

In 2014 Smiley played Colonel Morgan Blue in the Doctor Who episode "Into the Dalek".[9]

Personal life[edit]

Smiley is married to the journalist and broadcaster Miranda Sawyer with whom he has a son and a daughter. The family lives near Brockwell Park in Herne Hill, London.[10]

He shared a flat with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in the 1990s.[11]



Year Title Role Notes
1999-2001 Spaced Tyres O'Flaherty Series 1 Episode 6; Series 2 Episode 4
2000-2002 Time Gentlemen Please Martin Series 1 Episode 15; Series 2 Episodes 2 and 3
2002 15 Storeys High Insistent Irish visitor Series 1 Episode 2
2004 Murder Prevention DC Maurice Gibney Series 1 Episodes 1-4
2005 Bleak House Phil Squod Series 1 Regular
2008 The Wrong Door Series 1 Episodes 4 and 6
Wire in the Blood Dr. Liam Kerwin Series 6 Regular
2010-2015 Luther Benny Silver Regular
2012 Good Cop Tom Lomax Series 1 Episode 2
New Tricks Tinker Series 9 Episode 9
2013 Ripper Street George Lusk Series 1 Episode 2
Utopia Detective Reynolds Series 1 Episode 1
Black Mirror Baxter Series 2 Episode 2: White Bear
Father Figure Roddy Regular
Ambassadors Mr Jackson Series 1 Episode 3
2013-2014 Monumental Self
2014 The Life of Rock with Brian Pern Micky Murray Series 1 Episodes 1 and 3
Doctor Who Colonel Morgan Blue Series 8 Episode 2: Into The Dalek
2014-2015 Michael Smiley: Something to Ride Home About Self
2016 The Aliens Antoine Berry Series 1 Episodes 2 and 3
Murder Whitmore Harris Series 1 Episode 3: The Big Bang


Year Title Role Notes
2004 Shaun of the Dead Zombie Cameo
2006 Breaking and Entering Thaddeus Uncredited
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer Porter
2008 Outpost McKay
The Other Boleyn Girl Physician
2009 Down Terrace Pringle
2010 Burke & Hare Patterson
2011 Kill List Gal
2012 Shell Hugh
2013 For Those in Peril Frank
A Field in England O'Neil
Svengali Irish Pierre
We Are the Freaks Killer Colin
The World's End Reverend Green
2014 Glassland Jim
Black Sea Reynolds
2015 The Hallow Garda Davey
The Lobster Loner Swimmer
My Name is Emily Robert
2016 Free Fire Frank
2017 Madame


Year Title Role Notes
2007 Eye Witness BBC Radio 3
2007-2009 The Maltby Collection Des Wainwright BBC Radio 4


  1. ^ "BBC One - Monumental - Michael Simley". BBC One. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Michael Smiley: 'I'm an overnight success after 20 years!'". Belfast Telegraph. 21 April 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Living the life of Smiley". BBC News. 10 August 1998. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "Hustle - what time is it on TV? Episode 4 Series 2 cast list and preview.". RadioTimes. Retrieved 2016-09-10. 
  5. ^ Exley, Gemma (5 December 2012). "British Independent Film Awards 2011: Fassbender, Ramsey & Sophie from Peep Show win". Holy Moly. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "'Michael Smiley: Something To Ride Home About' Gets Second Series". Irish Film and Television Network. 18 August 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2014. 
  7. ^ Jarlath Regan (14 October 2013). "Michael Smiley". An Irishman Abroad (Podcast) (7 ed.). SoundCloud. Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  8. ^ Jarlath Regan (11 June 2014). "George Kane". An Irishman Abroad (Podcast) (56 ed.). SoundCloud. Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  9. ^ Mulkern, Patrick (30 August 2014). "Into the Dalek ****". Radio Times. London. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  10. ^ Tyler, Simon (7 June 2013). "Miranda Sawyer Interview". Not a Bad Dad. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  11. ^ Marsh, Hannah. "Welcome to the bonkers world of Michael Smiley". The Echo. Basildon. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 

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