Phil Daniels

Philip William Daniels (born 25 October 1958)[1][2] is an English actor, 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]

Phil Daniels
Philip William Daniels

(1958-10-25) 25 October 1958
Islington, London, England
OccupationActor, musician
Years active1972–present
Partner(s)Jan Stevens (deceased)


Daniels went to Rutherford Comprehensive School from 1970 to 1975, the same school as Danny John-Jules, Paul Hardcastle and the late former 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 1970s 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. On 18 August 2007, it was revealed in The Sun that Daniels was to leave the show.[7] His character died in a car crash on 31 December 2007.

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 Flora 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]

Daniels appeared as The Magic Mirror in the pantomime of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Marlowe Theatre in December 2008, which also includes a role by former EastEnders colleague Emma Barton.[10]

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",[11] as well as on 2/3 July 2009 in their Hyde Park Concerts.[12] 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. 2013 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.

Daniels now co-hosts a weekly podcast with Ceri Levy and Andy Saunders dedicated to Chelsea Football Club, "The Chels – The Chelsea Podcast".[13]

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.

Personal life

Daniels had a long-term relationship with Jan Stevens, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2012. They had one daughter.[14][15][16]

He is a Chelsea F.C. fan.


2017 The Hatton Garden Job Danny Jones
2012VinylJohnny Jones
2008Weekes' RevengeBrian Harris
2006Free JimmyGaz (voice), English language version released in 2008
2001Goodbye Charlie BrightEddie
2000Chicken RunFetcher (voice)
1999Last ChristmasGeoff
1998Still CrazyNeil Gaydon
1985The BrideBela
1985Billy the Kid and the Green Baize VampireBilly Kid
1984MeantimeMark Pollock
1980Breaking GlassDanny
1979Zulu DawnPullen
1979QuadropheniaJimmy Cooper
1978The Class of Miss MacMichaelStewart
1977Scum (Television play)Richards
1976Bugsy MaloneWaiter
1972Anoop and the ElephantBilly

Television work




  • 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 at The Rainbow. 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.
  2. "Phil Daniels - Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  3. 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 on IMDb
  6. "Bitz", Smash Hits, EMAP National Publications Ltd, 15–28 November 1979, p. 10.
  7. Salter, Jessica (22 September 2008). "Phil Daniels first out of Strictly Come Dancing". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 April 2009.
  8. "Blur close Glastonbury 2009 in epic fashion". NME. 29 June 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
  9. 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.
  10. "The Chels – The Chelsea Podcast with Phil Daniels — Playback Media – the UK's Premier Independent Podcast Producers". Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  11. "Michael Coveney, blog, 8 October 2012". Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  12. Gould, Lara (29 October 2006). "One more year then I may ride off on me scooter". Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
  13. Sweeney, Ken (12 April 2009). "The Diary, Ken Sweeney – Scene and Heard". Sunday Tribune. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
  14. "The Tin Drum". Archived from the original on 14 May 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
  15. "Saturday Play, On the Ceiling". BBC. Retrieved 13 November 2010.
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