Stephen Phillip Tompkinson (born 15th October 1965) is an English actor, known for his television roles as Marcus in Chancer (1990), Damien Day in Drop the Dead Donkey (1990–98), Father Peter Clifford in Ballykissangel (1996–98), Trevor Purvis in Grafters (1998–99), Danny Trevanion in Wild at Heart (2006–13) and Alan Banks in DCI Banks (2010–16). He won the 1994 British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy Actor. He also starred in the films Brassed Off (1996) and Hotel Splendide (2000).
Tompkinson was born in Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham. When he was about age 4, his family moved to Scarborough, North Riding of Yorkshire and then to Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, where he grew up and attended St Bede's Roman Catholic High School in Lytham and St Mary's Sixth Form in Blackpool. Tompkinson's first lead was as a red admiral butterfly in The Plotters of Cabbage Patch Corner.
He went on to train at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, alongside James Nesbitt and Rufus Sewell, and graduated in 1988. Tompkinson's acting career began straight out of drama school. During his last year at the London School of Speech and Drama he won the 1987 Carleton Hobbs Bursary, gaining a contract as a member of the BBC's Radio Drama Company, and had roles in radio dramas.
Along with Ewan Bailey, he performed a two-part radio drama titled Say What You Want to Hear (Swywth), written by Tim Wright and broadcast in 2010 on BBC Radio 4. His narrated radio documentaries include Brass Britain, which aired in 2008 and was reprised in 2010 on BBC Radio 2.
In 1988, Tompkinson appeared with Ken Goodwin and Freddie Davies in a Channel 4 short titled Treacle. It received a 1988 BAFTA nomination in the category of Best Short Film.
During the next few years he was cast in several single-episode parts on All at No 20, Shelley, After Henry, Casualty, Made in Heaven, and Boon. He also played in three episodes of The Manageress (1989).
Also in 1989 he appeared in his first full-length made-for-TV movie. Based on a 1977 play by C.P. Taylor, And a Nightingale Sang was a romantic comedy-drama adapted for television by Jack Rosenthal.
Tompkinson made his musical theatre debut in London's West End in the lead role of King Arthur in Monty Python's Spamalot at the Playhouse Theatre 20 November 2012.
In 2018, he played Yvan in the UK tour of Art, having previously played the role at the Wyndham's Theatre in London's West End in 2000.
During the Christmas 2018 season he played the part of Ebenezer Scrooge in Jack Thorne's new adaptation of A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic, London.
He has done a variety of voice-over work, including adverts, audio books, and narration.
Tompkinson has supported various causes by providing promotional videos or voiceovers. These include a fundraising effort toward research to find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and a financial appeal by Chester Zoo He has also supported causes such as the Westminster Carers Time Ban and, in 2008, he became an Ambassador for Project African Wilderness (PAW), a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to protect and restore the Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve in Malawi.
In February 2012, Tompkinson supported the launch of a foundation established by Robbie Elliot, the former Newcastle United footballer who had helped Tompkinson improve his fitness for filming Harrigan. Elliott was proposing to complete a charity bicycle ride to raise funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
In late 2011, he recorded an advert for Text Santa, a charity initiative set up by ITV to support nine UK charities at Christmas. Stars of other ITV shows made similar adverts. In January 2012, it was announced that £4,120,000 was raised for the various charities.
Over the years he has participated in Comic Relief's Red Nose Day. In 2001, he was one of the team describing the work the charity does in Britain, helping victims of early Alzheimer's or teenagers who are HIV positive. In 1997, Tompkinson and Kirwan did a Comic Relief sketch titled Ballykissdibley– with Dawn French and the cast of The Vicar of Dibley– in which they played their Ballykissangel characters, Fr. Peter Clifford and Assumpta Fitzgerald.