Paul Nicholls (actor)

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Paul Nicholls
Paul Greenhalgh

(1979-04-12) 12 April 1979 (age 39)
Years active1989–present
Chantal Brown
(m. 2008; div. 2015)

Paul Nicholls (born Gerrard Paul Greenhalgh on 12 April 1979) is an English actor from Bolton, Greater Manchester, England. He is best known for his roles as Joe Wicks in BBC's EastEnders,[1] DS Sam Casey in ITV's Law & Order: UK, and Steve Bell in Channel 4's Ackley Bridge.

Early career[edit]

Nicholls made his TV debut in 1989, at the age of 10, in Children's Ward. In 1994 he appeared in the BBC children's drama Earthfasts and The Biz, a teenage performing arts drama filmed at Hampton Court.[1]

Nicholls character of Joe Wicks in BBC's EastEnders earned him national attention.[2]

In his late teenage years he appeared in many popular culture magazines including Attitude, BIG!, Bliss, Gay Times, Heat, Just Seventeen, Live & Kicking, MIZZ, My Guy, Now, OK, Radio Times, Shout, Sky International, Sky magazine, Smash Hits, Sneak, Sugar, TV Hits, TV Times, and What's on TV.

Nicholls appeared in several teenage stage roles, notably as Aladdin in Aladdin - Genie of the Ring at the Central Theatre in Chatham (1996/97) and made his London stage début as Billy Fisher in the 1998 production of Billy Liar at the King's Head Theatre in Islington.[3]

Later career[edit]

Nicholls played PC Terry Sydenham in the police series City Central from 1998 to 1999; and also in 1999 played Christ in the 3-part BBC contemporary Easter production of The Passion. His West End debut was in 2000 as Edmund Tyrone in Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night at the Lyric. Other London stage appearances include Mrs Steinberg and the Byker Boy at the Bush Theatre (2000).

Nicholls' film appearances include World War I drama The Trench in 1999. In 2001 he played Charlie in Goodbye Charlie Bright. He went back to the stage in 2002 playing Vincent in Brixton at the Royal National Theatre. In 2003 he appeared in the BBC adaptations of The Canterbury Tales (The Wife of Bath). He also appeared in the final episode in series 3 of Hustle. He appeared in the 2004 6-part BBC miniseries Gunpowder, Treason & Plot and in Festen in 2005.

Other roles include If Only and a cameo role in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. He appeared briefly as a street boxer in Nick Love's 1999 short film Love Story.

In July 2007, he played the part of Terry in Channel 4's Clapham Junction. This drama depicted 36 hours in the life of several gay men and was filmed to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the legalization of homosexuality in England and Wales. Also in 2007 he played Connor Gruff in the 'Billy Goat' episode of the BBC series Fairy Tales.

Nicholls' 2008 career began as the character Robert Fielding in Harley Street alongside Suranne Jones.[4] He also played Harry Keegan in Secret Diary of a Call Girl alongside Billie Piper,[5] Judas in another BBC Easter series entitled The Passion,[6] and appeared in A Thing Called Love.

He appears in the 2012 UK feature film Life Just Is opposite Jayne Wisener.[7]

[8] Nicholls also appeared as Simon Marshall in BBC1's hospital drama serial Holby City between May and July 2012, and played Cal Beckett in Channel 4's new crime thriller, The Fear.[9] He played the role of DS Sam Casey in ITV's Law & Order: UK until the end of series 7 in 2013. From September to October 2018, Nicholls starred alongside Iwan Rheon in Foxfinder at the Ambassadors Theatre. Starting in January 2019, Nicholls will take over the role of Raymond from Matthew Horne in the UK touring production of Rain Man.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Nicholls married his girlfriend Chantal Brown in 2008 at Hampstead, north London.[11] They divorced in 2015.

In July 2017, Nicholls was badly injured while on holiday in Thailand after falling from a waterfall in Ko Samui. As his mobile phone was broken, he was left stranded at the bottom of the waterfall for three days, and only rescued by volunteer rescuers, police and medics after locals alerted police to the motorcycle he had travelled on, which lay abandoned nearby. He was later taken to hospital, suffering from two broken legs and a shattered knee. Nicholls' agent said he was "recovering well".[12]

Nicholls is a supporter of Bolton Wanderers Football Club and his interests include skateboarding, kickboxing, basketball and surfing in Newquay, Cornwall.



Year Film Role Notes
1999 The Trench Pte. Billy Macfarlane
1999 The Clandestine Marriage Richard Lovewell
2000 Self Help Greene Short Film
2001 Goodbye Charlie Bright Charlie Bright
2002 High Speed Ruben Also known as The Ride and Joy-Rider
2004 If Only Ian Wyndham
2004 Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason Jed
2008 Daylight Robbery Chubby
2008 Faintheart Gary
2012 Life Just Is Bobby
2013 A Long Way From Home Mark
2018 Genesis Shane Frost


Year Show Role Notes
1989 Children's Ward
1994 Earthfasts David Series regular
1995 The Biz Tim Marshall Series regular
1996 Out of the Blue Matt Pearson 1 episode: 2.1
1996–1997 EastEnders Joe Wicks Series regular
1998–1999 City Central PC Terry Sydenham Series regular
1999 Love Story Seth
1999 The Passion Daniel
2001 Table 12 Ol 1 episode: "Settling Up"
2001 Gimme Gimme Gimme Himself Comic Relief Special
2003 The Canterbury Tales Jerome 1 episode: "The Wife of Bath"
2003 Blue Dove Nick Weston 8 part series
2004 Gunpowder, Treason & Plot Lord Darnley 2 part mini-series
2004 A Thing Called Love Gary Scant 6 part series
2006 Hustle Adam Rice 1 episode: "Law and Corruption"
2007 Agatha Christie's Marple Ted Latimer 1 episode: "Towards Zero"
2007 Clapham Junction Terry Television film
2008 Fairy Tales Connor Gruff 1 episode: "Billy Goat"
2008 The Passion Judas 4 part series
2008 Bonekickers James 1 episode: "Army of God"
2008 Harley Street Dr. Robert Fielding 6 part series
2011 Secret Diary of a Call Girl Harry 3 episodes
2011 Candy Cabs Tony 3 part series
2012–2013 Law & Order: UK DS Sam Casey Series Regular
2012 Midsomer Murders Dave Foxely 1 episode: "The Rare Bird"
2012 Holby City Simon Marshall Recurring
2012 Lake Placid: The Final Chapter Max Loflin Television film
2012 The Fear Cal Beckett Recurring
2013 Great Night Out Scott 1 episode
2015 The C-Word Pete Lynch Television film
2016 Death in Paradise Jay Croker Episode 5.3
2016 Grantchester Reggie Lawson Episode 2.4
2016 In the Club Nathan Parker Series regular, 4 episodes
2017–present Ackley Bridge Steve Bell Main role, 15 episodes


  1. ^ a b "IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  2. ^ Published Monday, 16 January 2012, 10:30 GMT (2012-01-16). "Paul Nicholls: 'I can't remember EastEnders' - EastEnders News - Soaps". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2012-06-18.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "An unconvincing Liar". 1998-06-19. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  4. ^ Leigh Holmwood (2008-11-19). "ITV axes medical drama Harley Street | Media |". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  5. ^ "Billie Piper swigs from hip flask while filming Secret Diary Of A Call Girl scenes | Mail Online". London: 2010-11-01. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  6. ^ "Press Office - The Passion: Paul Nicholls plays Judas". BBC. 2008-02-25. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  7. ^ "Life Just Is credits". Edinburgh International Film Festival. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  8. ^ "Paul Nicholls quits 'Law & Order UK'". 2013-02-27.
  9. ^ "Paul Nicholls to join cast of Holby City". Radio Times. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  10. ^ "Paul Nicholls and Chris Fountain to star in Rain Man UK tour 2019 extension". What's On Stage. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  11. ^ Louise Ford (2008-08-03). "Ex-EastEnders star Paul Nicholls marries in secret - 3am & Mirror Online". Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  12. ^ BBC News (2017-07-19). "Actor Paul Nicholls rescued from Thailand waterfall". BBC News. Retrieved 2017-07-19.

External links[edit]