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|Born||Paul Mackriell Copley
25 November 1944
Denby Dale, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
|Occupation||Actor, voice-over artist|
|Spouse(s)||Natasha Pyne (1972– present)|
Paul Mackriell Copley (born 25 November 1944) is an English actor and voice-over artist.
Copley was born in Denby Dale, West Riding of Yorkshire, and grew up beside a dairy farm there. His father, Harold, was involved with local amateur dramatic productions, as were the rest of his family. He went to Penistone Grammar School, then the Northern Counties College of Education in Newcastle upon Tyne, where he received an Associate of the Drama Board (ADB) in Drama. He taught English and Drama in Walthamstow, before he joined the Leeds Playhouse Theatre-in-education Company in 1971.
In 1976, Copley won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a New Play for his role in John Wilson's For King and Country.
After appearing as Private Wicks in the film A Bridge Too Far (1977), he played a small but noticeable role in Zulu Dawn (1979) as Cpl Storey in the British Army. He appeared in the then controversial ATV drama Death of a Princess (1980), playing a British witness to the killing of an Arabian princess and her lover. He has played Matthews in Hornblower, Ian in Roughnecks and Jerry in This Life and Peter Quinlan in The Lakes. In the critically acclaimed Queer as Folk he played Nathan Maloney's father, Big Finish's July 2002 Doctor Who story Spare Parts and in Shameless as a water sports enthusiast. In 1980 he appeared in the highly successful comedy drama series Minder playing George Palmer in episode The Old School Tie. He narrates the Channel 4 programme, How Clean is Your House?. He featured in the ITV children's hit show "Best Friends" 5 episodes in 2005–06, playing the grandfather.
He is a regular actor in Radio 4 drama, usually in gritty or romantic plays or series about hard-working folk set in the north of England, often repeated on BBC Radio 4 Extra. Whenever a genial Yorkshire accent has been cast in the BBC radio drama department, he has often been summoned. Copley played the long-suffering teacher Geoff Long in Radio 4's long running King Street Junior. Covering ten series and some seventy-six episodes, this ran on BBC Radio 4 from 1985 to 1998. He also narrated the Yorkshire Television nine part serial adaptation of The Pilgrim's Progress (1985) entitled Dangerous Journey.
On 13 February 2006, Copley appeared as an angry hostage-taker in an episode of the crime drama Life on Mars. Copley appeared in the TV Soap Coronation Street on 8 August 2007, portraying a character called Ivor Priestley, and in the TV adaptation of The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy, as wizard and former-frog, Algernon Rowan-Webb.
From 1998 to 2003 appeared as Mathews in the Meridian Television series Hornblower. In 2009 he appeared in the third series of BBC One show Torchwood. In 2010 he appeared in an episode of BBC One show Casualty and Survivors. In 2011-2015 he appeared in 16 episodes as Mr. Mason William Mason's father in Downton Abbey, and in 2012 played Alan in White Heat.
He is currently narrating for the Channel 5 programme 'The Railway - First Great Western' of which there are 12 episodes. He also features as the father in Tom Wrigglesworth's Hang-Ups, a comedy on BBC Radio 4.
In 2016 he appeared in the BBC series The Coroner episode 2.4 "The Beast of Lighthaven" as John Roxwell