Who is Lee Ingleby? Meet the star of ITV's new drama series Innocent

The Lancashire-born actor plays the lead in the four-part crime drama - here's everything you need to know about him.

ITV’s forthcoming four-part crime drama Innocent looks like becoming one of the talked-about TV events of the year so far.

The series stars Lee Ingleby as David Collins, a man trying to rebuild his life after his conviction for the murder of his wife is overturned.

[Read more: ITV's Innocent - all you need to know]

Innocent also stars Hermione Norris as Alice, Collins’ sister-in-law, who is convinced of his guilt, and Daniel Ryan as his loyal brother Phil.

It’s one of the first starring roles on TV for 42-year-old Ingleby; here’s what he’s been up to until now.

When did Lee Ingleby’s acting career start?

Ingleby was born in Burnley, Lancashire in 1976. After growing up wishing he was part of TV’s A-Team, he decided he wanted to become an actor, and won a place to study at the London Academy of Dramatic Art (Lamda).

Soon after leaving Lamda, he was making an impact on-screen. He played a recurring role in army drama Soldier, Soldier and also appeared in The Bill, Cadfael, Dalziel and Pascoe and Jonathan Creek. Another notable early role was as a young thug in an episode of the cult sitcom Spaced.

His early film roles included Smike in Nicholas Nickleby, Stan Shunpike in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and the troubled young Midshipman Hollom in Master and Commander: Far Side of the World alongside Russell Crowe.

What else would I have seen him in?

Lee Ingleby and Hermione Norris in Innocent. Photo credit: ITV

Ingleby continued to appear in episodes of TV dramas including roles in Clocking Off, Hustle, Fat Friends and The Street, but he became firmly established in the public eye when cast as Detective Sergeant John Bacchus opposite Martin Shaw in the retro police drama Inspector George Gently.

The show ran for eight series over 10 years and led Ingleby to other dramatic roles including Ben in Mark Gatiss’ supernatural drama Crooked House, two episodes of the BBC’s Luther, and a starring role in the period drama Our Zoo.

More recently, Ingleby appeared as Nick Huntley in the most recent series of the hit police drama Line of Duty, and continues to play Paul Hughes, father of autistic boy Joe, in The A Word opposite Morven Christie and Christopher Eccleston.

What else should I know about Lee Ingleby?

Ingleby once revealed that, if he was not an actor, he would have enjoyed a career on the other side of the lens – but not in drama. “Being a wildlife photographer or cameraman has always appealed to me,” he told the Daily Mail.

Despite being a child of the 1980s, he feels an affinity for the 1960s – so he was particularly happy to recreate the era in the George Gently series.

"I love everything about the period”, he explained to the Lancashire Telegraph. "I love my costumes and, given the chance, I'd buy all of my suits and shoes… my body shape lends itself to the '60s dress sense. I'd love to have lived back then!”

[Read more: Where was The Woman In White filmed?]

He doesn’t see himself moving to Hollywood, but when asked by the Radio Times what might tempt him across the pond, he was quick to respond.

“I’d love to have done something like Lost. I think that would have been a real hoot,” he said.

“People thought it was weird, but I thought that was its beauty – the fact that it didn’t seem to have any rules. I was one of the few that followed it to the end. I cried then. I was in bits!”

Innocent airs on ITV in May

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