Neil Dudgeon was born 2nd January 1961 in Doncaster, Yorkshire, and attended Intake Secondary Modern among others. He established himself as an actor in school plays and went on to study drama at the University of Bristol (1979-82). He made his first screen appearance in 1987 in 'Prick Up Your Ears'. The following year, he appeared as a World War II pilot in 'Piece of Cake', alongside Tim Woodward, Jeremy Northam and Nathaniel Parker.
As well as occasional appearances in long-running series such as 'Casualty', 'London's Burning' and 'Lovejoy', he appeared in 1994 as Detective Constable Costello, a one-episode sidekick to Detective Inspector William Edward "Jack" Frost (played by David Jason), in the TV series 'A Touch of Frost', in 1998-99 as George the Chauffeur in 'The Mrs Bradley Mysteries' (alongside Dame Diana Rigg), in 'Inspector Morse' (episode "The Way Through The Woods"), 'Between The Lines', 'Common As Muck' (in 1994 & 1997) , 'Out of the Blue', 'Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking', 'The Street' and all four series of 'Messiah' with Ken Stott.
Neil played the part of Harry Goodwin in BBC television drama series 'Sorted' that follows the personal and professional lives of several postmen. The series was created by Danny Brocklehurst, whose previous credits include Clocking Off, The Stretford Wives and Shameless.
In 2007, Dudgeon appeared in the eponymous role of self-made millionaire Roman Pretty in the BBC2 sitcom 'Roman's Empire'. In 2009 he played a main character in BBC's 'Life of Riley'. This series was recommissioned and aired in April 2011, the same month that Dudgeon played the role of one time Football League secretary Alan Hardaker in the TV drama 'United', which was centred on the events of the 1958 Munich air disaster involving Manchester United.
In 2010, Dudgeon appeared in an episode of the long-running ITV crime drama 'Midsomer Murders', called "The Sword of Guillaume". He was introduced in the episode as the cousin of Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby, played by John Nettles, who has now retired from the role. Dudgeon, also cast as a senior detective, took over as the lead character in 'Midsomer Murders' after the last episodes featuring John Nettles were screened in 2011. Dudgeon's character name is DCI John Barnaby, which has been suggested may be a vehicle for continued sales to territories where the show is known as "Inspector Barnaby". Dudgeon had first appeared in 'Midsomer Murders' in the opening episode of the fourth series ("Garden of Death"), playing a secondary character.
In 2012, Dudgeon starred as Norman Birkett, KC on BBC Radio 4's Afternoon Play series in four plays written by Caroline and David Stafford based on Birkett's cases.
Neil is married to BBC Radio producer Mary Peate. They have two children. Neil is an avid supporter of Fulham Football Club.