Ricky Whittle

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Ricky Whittle
Ricky Whittle July 2017.jpg
Whittle in July 2017
Born Richard Whittle
(1981-12-31) 31 December 1981 (age 36)
Oldham, England, United Kingdom
Alma mater Southampton Solent University
Occupation Actor
Years active 2002–present
Website www.rickywhittle.com

Richard "Ricky" Whittle (born 31 December 1981) is an English actor. He first came to prominence as a model for Reebok in the early 2000s. He is known in the United Kingdom for his role as Calvin Valentine in the Channel 4 teen soap opera Hollyoaks. In 2009, he competed in the BBC reality series Strictly Come Dancing, wherein he placed second to sports presenter Chris Hollins.

In 2014, Whittle became known to American audiences after appearing as Daniel Zamora in the ABC television series Mistresses. The same year, he also began starring in The CW's post-apocalyptic drama The 100, playing the role of Lincoln, a "Grounder". Whittle also had a recurring role on VH-1's Single Ladies in 2012.

On 28 January 2016, Whittle was announced as the lead character, Shadow Moon, in the Starz television series American Gods.[1]


Whittle is from Oldham, England.[2] The son of a former Royal Air Force serviceman of Jamaican descent, Whittle grew up travelling with his father's career around the world, with a home base at Burghfield Common near Reading, Berkshire.[3] A keen sportsman, Whittle represented England and the United Kingdom at youth level in football, American football, and athletics. After having been watched by Arsenal F.C. and Celtic F.C., Whittle was injured, pursued a degree in Criminology at Southampton Institute of Higher Education (now Southampton Solent University). He ultimately left university, before graduating, to pursue a career in acting, but enjoyed playing football and rugby for the University sides whilst he was studying. Having recovered from a broken leg, Whittle now spends his spare time playing running back for the Manchester Titans American Football team.[4]


Acting career[edit]

At university, Whittle began modelling, becoming the face of a Reebok campaign in 2000. This brought him to the attention of casting agents for Sky One's Dream Team, who cast him as Ryan Naysmith.[5]

Whittle left university to pursue an acting career. Carrying on with his sports ambitions, in the third series, Whittle broke his leg in seven places and was forced into a long hospital stay. The writers wrote a broken leg into the Dream Team script, allowing Whittle a slower recuperation.[6]

After playing his first gay character on BBC One's Holby City, Whittle played Calvin Valentine in the Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks until May 2010, when his character was killed off after Whittle decided to depart. In January 2008, Whittle appeared on a celebrity edition of The Weakest Link, reaching the final, but losing out to Crimewatch UK star, Rav Wilding.[7]

In July 2012, Whittle appeared as Charles on season 2 of Single Ladies. He also appeared as Captain George East in Stephenie Meyer and Jerusha Hess's romantic comedy Austenland, which was completed in 2012.[8] In March 2013, Whittle appeared in the American drama series NCIS, guest-starring in the Season 10 episode, "Detour". In 2014, he began a recurring role in The 100 as a Grounder named Lincoln, and was upgraded to regular status for season 2. He left the show, claiming that showrunner Jason Rothenberg "bullied" him off the show.[9] He also played the role of Daniel in season 2 the Mistresses.

Whittle was cast as the lead character, Shadow Moon, in American Gods based on the novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman.[1] The series was renewed for a second season.[10]

Strictly Come Dancing[edit]

In August 2009, Whittle was announced as a contestant on the BBC One reality series Strictly Come Dancing, paired with Australian professional dancer Natalie Lowe.[11] A fellow contestant on the programme, Ali Bastian, also starred with him in Hollyoaks. Whittle made it through to the final of the competition (beating Rav Wilding, to whom he had lost The Weakest Link in 2008), and competed against television presenter Chris Hollins and his dance partner Ola Jordan for the Strictly Come Dancing glitterball trophy. However, Whittle lost the battle and ended up taking second place, despite winning the judges' scores 190–186.[12]



Year Title Role Notes
2011 Losing Sam Samuel Short film
2013 Austenland Captain East
2018 Nappily Ever After Clint Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2004 Holby City David Richards Episode: "You Can Choose Your Friends..."
2002–2007 Dream Team Ryan Naysmith 77 episodes
2006–2011 Hollyoaks Calvin Valentine 238 episodes
2009 Strictly Come Dancing Himself (contestant) Series 7
2011 Candy Cabs Eddie Shannon Episode: "Episode Two"
2012 Single Ladies Charles 8 episodes
2013 NCIS Lincoln Episode: "Detour"
2014–2016 The 100 Lincoln Lead role; 28 episodes
2014 Mistresses Daniel Zamora 10 episodes
2017–present American Gods Shadow Moon Lead Role

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated Work Result Source(s)
2007 British Soap Awards Sexiest Male Hollyoaks Nominated
2008 Nominated
2009 Nominated
2010 Nominated
TRIC Award TV Soap Personality Won


  1. ^ a b Robinson, Joanna. "American Gods Author Neil Gaiman on Why Casting The 100's Ricky Whittle as Shadow Is So Vital". Vanity Fair. 
  2. ^ "Soap star Ricky on way to Oldham". Oldham Evening Chronicle. 9 September 2008. p. 9. 
  3. ^ "Ricky Whittle Biography". RickyWhittle.com. 
  4. ^ "British American Football News". Flag on the Play. 
  5. ^ Admin (November 22, 2013). "Sexy Featured Model – Ricky Whittle". Mens Underwear Source. Retrieved January 21, 2018. 
  6. ^ Staff (June 13, 2005). "Star's unlucky break". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved January 21, 2018. 
  7. ^ Fletcher, Alex (October 7, 2009). "Ten Things You Never Knew About Ricky Whittle". Digital Spy. Retrieved January 21, 2018. 
  8. ^ Radish, Christina (August 14, 2013). "JJ Feild, Bret McKenzie, James Callis and Ricky Whittle Talk AUSTENLAND, Regency-Era Appeal, Wearing the Period Costumes, and Memorable Filming Moments". Collider. Retrieved January 24, 2018. 
  9. ^ Dowling, Amber (April 6, 2016). "'The 100' Star Slams Showrunner Over Controversial Exits". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 24, 2018. 
  10. ^ Snetiker, Marc (March 11, 2017). "American Gods renewed for season 2". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Full Strictly Come Dancing 2009 Line-up". Sky.com. 
  12. ^ "Ricky Whittle". Ultimate Strictly. Retrieved January 24, 2018. 

External links[edit]