Phil Daniels

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Phil Daniels
Philip William Daniels

(1958-10-25) 25 October 1958 (age 64)
Islington, London, England
Occupation(s)Actor, musician
Years active1972–present
PartnerJan Stevens (died 2012)

Philip William Daniels (born 25 October 1958)[1][2] is an English actor, musician and singer, most noted for film and television roles playing Londoners, such as the lead role of Jimmy Cooper in Quadrophenia, Richards in Scum, Stewart in The Class of Miss MacMichael, Danny in Breaking Glass, Mark in Meantime, Billy Kid in Billy the Kid and the Green Baize Vampire, Kevin Wicks in EastEnders, DCS Frank Patterson in New Tricks, and Grandad Trotter in the Only Fools and Horses prequel Rock & Chips. He is also known for featuring on Blur's 1994 hit single "Parklife".[3]


Daniels went to Rutherford Comprehensive School from 1970 to 1975, the same school as Danny John-Jules, Paul Hardcastle and footballer Tony Grealish. After training at the Anna Scher Theatre School in Islington,[4] Daniels has made appearances in many films and television series.

He made his film debut in 1972 in Anoop and the Elephant. He had an incidental appearance (with fellow drama students) in 1975 in Thames Television's You Must Be Joking! In 1976, at the age of 17, he featured as a waiter in Bugsy Malone.[5] Also in 1976 he had significant roles in three television series: The Molly Wopsies, Four Idle Hands, and The Flockton Flyer. Over the following four years he appeared in Quadrophenia, Breaking Glass and Scum.[3] He also appeared in the 1977 TV drama serial Raven.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Daniels was a member of new wave band The Cross, along with fellow actor Peter Hugo Daly.[3] They released an album (Phil Daniels + The Cross) and single, "Kill Another Night" on RCA Records in 1979.[6] His musical inclinations were revealed when he starred in a 1985 British snooker musical Billy the Kid and the Green Baize Vampire. He narrated tracks "Parklife" and "Me, White Noise" on the Parklife and Think Tank albums for Blur.[3]

He contributed the voice of Fetcher, the dull-witted rat to the animated film Chicken Run. In recent years he has turned his attention to comedy, appearing in the series Sunnyside Farm and alongside Al Murray in the cult sitcom Time Gentlemen Please. Daniels also starred as Freddy Windrush in an episode of Gimme Gimme Gimme (Series 2, Episode 3 – "Prison Visitor").

Daniels has performed on stage with the Royal Shakespeare Company in plays such as The Merchant of Venice, The Jew of Malta and A Clockwork Orange. In 2004 he appeared in the BBC comedy-drama Outlaws as a criminal solicitor.

In 2006 he joined the cast of the popular BBC soap opera EastEnders playing Kevin Wicks. The actor temporarily left the show in early 2007; however, he returned in March 2007. He left the show in August 2007, with his character dying in a brutal car crash in December 2007.[7] Daniels, along with his co-stars, attended a Quadrophenia Reunion at London Film and Comic Con at Earls Court on 1 and 2 September 2007. In May 2008, Daniels ran the London Marathon on behalf of the "Sparks" Charity, and, in December 2008, starred in Sheffield Theatre and Evolution Pantomimes co-production of Aladdin as "Abanazar" at Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield.[8] In late 2008, Daniels voiced a major character in the English language re-release of the cult 2006 Norwegian animated film Free Jimmy, alongside Woody Harrelson and with dialogue written by Simon Pegg. Also in 2008, Daniels starred alongside Gary Stretch and Geoff Bell in the UK film Freebird, directed by Jon Ivay, which followed three bikers across a drug-fuelled ride in the Welsh countryside. Daniels appeared in the 2008 series of Strictly Come Dancing with dancing partner Flavia Cacace; he was the first to be eliminated from the show on 21 September 2008.[9]

He appeared on Celebrity Mastermind: 2008/2009, finishing in second place on 24 points. On 26 June 2009, he appeared on stage with Blur at the M.E.N. Arena and then again on 28 June 2009 at Glastonbury 2009 on their song "Parklife",[10] as well as on 2/3 July 2009 in their Hyde Park Concerts.[11] Daniels portrayed Del Boy's grandfather in a prequel to the comedy series Only Fools and Horses called Rock & Chips, which was screened in January 2010 and, on 13 September 2010 on BBC Radio Five Live, James Buckley confirmed that Rock & Chips would be returning for two specials, one at Christmas 2010, and the other at Easter 2011. Daniels has subsequently reprised his role as Ted Trotter in both of the Rock & Chips specials. 2012 (2013 in the UK) saw the release of the film Vinyl in which Daniels not only stars but also wrote and performs most of the film's music soundtrack. Directed by Sara Sugarman, Vinyl is the story of an aging rock group forced to con the music industry to gain radio play of future record releases. The film is based on true events faced by The Alarm that took place in the UK in 2004.

In September 2012, Daniels appeared in a production of This House at the National Theatre's Cottesloe Theatre; it transferred to the Olivier in February 2013. In 2015, it was announced that he would play the role of Thenardier in Les Misérables. Daniels revisited his role in a revival of This House at Chichester's Minerva Theatre in September 2016 and appeared in the same play (November 2016 – Feb 2017) at the Garrick Theatre in London's West End. In 2017, he recorded two songs for the album Wit & Whimsy – Songs by Alexander S. Bermange (one solo and one featuring all of the album's 23 artists), which reached No. 1 in the iTunes comedy album chart.

Daniels was a contestant in the 2020 BBC Celebrity MasterChef.[12]

In 2021, it was announced that Daniels will star alongside Jonathan Bailey, Taron Egerton and Jade Anouka in a production of Mike Bartlett’s Cock at the Ambassadors Theatre, London, in 2022.[13][14]

In April 2023, Daniels appeared as Reggie in the BBC black comedy Inside No. 9. The episode was series 8 episode 2, "Mother's Ruin".[15]

Personal life[edit]

Daniels had a 30-year relationship with Jan Stevens, a record industry associate whom he met in the eighties, until her death from pancreatic cancer in 2012. They had one daughter, Ella born in 1990.[16][17]

He is a Chelsea fan.


Year Film Role
2012 Vinyl Johnny Jones
2008 Freebird Grouch
2006 Free Jimmy Gaz (voice), English language version released in 2008
2001 Goodbye Charlie Bright Eddie
2000 Chicken Run Fetcher (voice)
1999 Last Christmas Geoff
1998 Still Crazy Neil Gaydon
1985 The Bride Bela
1985 Billy the Kid and the Green Baize Vampire Billy Kid
1984 Meantime Mark Pollock
1980 Breaking Glass Danny
1979 Zulu Dawn Pullen
1979 Quadrophenia Jimmy Cooper
1979 Scum Richards
1978 The Class of Miss MacMichael Stewart
1977 Scum (Television play) Richards
1976 Bugsy Malone Waiter
1972 Anoop and the Elephant Billy

Television work[edit]




  • Phil Daniels + The Cross (Phil Daniels + The Cross) (1979)
  • "Kill Another Night" (Phil Daniels + The Cross) (1979)
  • "Penultimate Person" (Phil Daniels + The Cross) (1980, Europe only)
  • "The Stranglers and Friends – Live in Concert". Phil Daniels is one of the singers in place of Hugh Cornwell, The Stranglers' lead singer who was imprisoned at the time (1980)
  • "Parklife" (Blur featuring Phil Daniels) (1994)
  • "Free Rock and Roll" from the film Vinyl (Phil Daniels, Keith Allen and The Alarm) (2013)
Other songs
  • "Me, White Noise" on Think Tank (Blur featuring Phil Daniels) (2003)


  1. ^ Marlowe, Sam (13 February 2003). "Phil Daniels: A mod for all seasons". The Independent. Retrieved 8 September 2008.[dead link]
  2. ^ "Phil Daniels". Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Colin Larkin, ed. (2003). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Eighties Music (Third ed.). Virgin Books. p. 143. ISBN 1-85227-969-9.
  4. ^ Harris, Craig. "Phil Daniels". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
  5. ^ Phil Daniels at IMDb
  6. ^ "Bitz", Smash Hits, EMAP National Publications Ltd, 15–28 November 1979, p. 10.
  7. ^ O'Sullivan, Kyle (8 July 2020). "Phil Daniels' cruel EastEnders exit and brutal motivation for wanting soap axed". Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  8. ^ "The Stage / Reviews / Aladdin". Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
  9. ^ Salter, Jessica (22 September 2008). "Phil Daniels first out of Strictly Come Dancing". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 22 September 2008. Retrieved 15 April 2009.
  10. ^ "Blur close Glastonbury 2009 in epic fashion". NME. 29 June 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
  11. ^ Bonner, Michael (3 July 2009). "Blur – Hyde Park, London, July 2, 2009 and more recently at the BRIT Awards 2012". Uncut. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
  12. ^ "BBC One's Celebrity MasterChef serves up lineup for Summer 2020". BBC Online. 25 May 2020.
  13. ^ Thomas, Sophie (19 October 2021). "All the West End shows opening in 2022". London Theatre. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
  14. ^ Lukowski, Andrzej (26 September 2021). "Taron Egerton and Jonathan Bailey star in a richly-deserved revival for Mike Bartlett's early hit". Time Out. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
  15. ^ Craig, David (27 April 2023). "Inside No. 9 ending explained: Creators on 'gorier than ever' Mother's Ruin". Radio Times. Retrieved 28 April 2023.
  16. ^ "Michael Coveney, blog, 8 October 2012". Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  17. ^ Greenstreet, Rosanna (12 July 2014). "Q&A: Phil Daniels". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  18. ^ "BBC Radio 4 Extra - Charles Dickens, the Personal History of David Copperfield, 7. Wickfield and Heep".
  19. ^ "The Tin Drum". Archived from the original on 14 May 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
  20. ^ "Saturday Play, On the Ceiling". BBC. Retrieved 13 November 2010.

External links[edit]