Andrew Lancel

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Andrew Lancel
Andrew Watkinson[1]

(1970-08-03) 3 August 1970 (age 50)
Rufford, Lancashire, England, UK
OccupationActor, singer
Years active1993–present
Louise Edge
(m. 2005)

Andrew Lancel (born Andrew Watkinson on 3 August 1970) is an English television and theatre actor, producer and director. He is best known for his appearance as Dr. Andrew Collin in Cardiac Arrest, his role as DI Neil Manson in The Bill and Frank Foster in the long-running ITV soap opera Coronation Street, as well as his acclaimed portrayal of Brian Epstein in the stage play Epstein – The Man Who Made The Beatles.


Andrew Lancel was born on 3 August 1970 in Rufford, Lancashire. He started his acting career in local theatre and as a cabaret singer. In 1993, he appeared in the TV film Wide-Eyed and Legless with Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent and Thora Hird. He gained fame as the lead role in the ground breaking medical series Cardiac Arrest with Helen Baxendale. Since then, he has become a well-established theatre and television actor with a reputation for seeking controversial roles and projects. He was described as the most realistic doctor on TV and sporadically was TV's most hated man, after roles in City Central, Bad Girls and Queer as Folk.

He is best known for his role as DI Neil Manson in the long running ITV series The Bill, a role he played from 2003 until 2010, as well as the villainous Frank Foster in Coronation Street for which he won 'Villain of the Year' at the British Soap Awards.[2]

An accomplished singer for many years, Lancel has also performed his own one-man show and has sung in venues including the Sands in Blackpool and the Royal Albert Hall in London.

In addition to acting, Lancel runs his own production company and has produced and directed numerous productions. In 2008, Lancel became a patron of the Unity Theatre, Liverpool.[3]

Lancel is also a regular panellist on the Channel 5 TV show The Wright Stuff and also covers the Pete Price Radio Show.

Lancel is an avid supporter of Everton F.C.[4] and was an original ambassador of Everton in the Community, he is also involved in the Everton Collection.

In summer 2010, he played a prison officer in an award-winning short film called Inside Run, directed by his former The Bill co-star Sam Callis which was shown at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2010.[5] Of the film, Lancel said "it's a long way from Manson and a joy to be directed by Sam."[5] He reunited with Callis for his next film, the award-winning short film Viking co-starring Sophie Thompson.[6]

His numerous stage appearances include Adam Snow in the Bill Kenwright produced production of the world premiere of The Small Hand in 2014, Juror 3 in Twelve Angry Men in 2015, and his acclaimed performance as Brian Epstein in Epstein – The Man Who Made The Beatles.

In 2015, Lancel portrayed Brian Clough in a stage production of The Damned United. More recently, Lancel yet again played Brian Epstein in the Bill Kenwright production of Cilla The Musical, touring the UK for fifteen months to critical acclaim. [7]



Following his break-out role in Cardiac Arrest Lancel appeared in numerous TV series as diverse as Liverpool 1, The Vice, Urban Gothic and Merseybeat and portrayed highly controversial roles in the shows City Central and Queer As Folk and in the BBC medical drama Casualty as a builder called Chris Perry in Series 28 Episode 48 "A Life Less Lived".

In 2002, he joined the cast of Bad Girls as Barry Pearce and his character was involved in a controversial domestic abuse story line with on-screen wife Di Barker.

Lancel as DCI Neil Manson in The Bill

In 2003, Andrew joined The Bill as DI Neil Manson and played the character until the programme was axed in 2010. His most notable and memorable storyline was the thirteen-month-long Amy Tennant missing person case, concerning a young child who mysteriously vanished. This was also the longest storyline ever attempted in the history of The Bill.

Andrew Lancel & Will Finlason in 'Epstein – The Man Who Made The Beatles'

In 2005, he entered Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes as A-ha singer Morten Harket and won.

On 23 November 2010, Lancel was cast in the long running ITV1 soap opera Coronation Street as Frank Foster, a business associate of Carla Connor.[8] Another controversial role, Lancel's portrayal won him 'Villain of the Year' at the British Soap Awards in 2012.[2] Lancel made his final appearance as Frank on 5 March 2012; when the character met his demise. Frank's murder was part of a whodunnit plot, and the murderer was revealed to be the character's own mother, Anne, in a shock twist. [9]


In 2012, Lancel returned to the stage when he was cast as former Beatles manager Brian Epstein in Epstein – The Man Who Made the Beatles a new play by Andrew Sherlock which debuted at the Epstein Theatrein Liverpool on 15 November 2012. The newly refurbished theatre being named in honour of Brian Epstein. The play transferred to the West End at the Leicester Square Theatre in 2014. The play, and Lancel's performance as Epstein drew huge critical acclaim with Whats on Stage describing his performance as 'phenomenal'[10] and London Theatre calling it 'mesmerising.'[11][12]

In 2014, Lancel was cast as Adam Snow alongside Diane Keen and Robert Duncan in the world premiere of The Small Hand based on the book by Susan Hill and adapted by Clive Francis. The play, directed by Roy Marsden and produced by Bill Kenwright, premiered at the Theatre Royal Windsor before touring the UK.[13]

Lancel joined the cast of Twelve Angry Men in 2015, following its West End run, and received rave reviews for his turn as juror number three,[14][15] starring alongside Tom Conti and Denis Lill.[16]

In November 2015, it was announced that Lancel would be taking on the role of Brian Clough in a new stage adaptation of The Damned United based on the novel by David Peace. The play is a co-production between Red Ladder and West Yorkshire Playhouse[7]

In May 2016, it was announced that Lancel will be making his musical debut, undertaking the role of Captain Von Trapp in the UK Tour of The Sound of Music.[17]

Following a national touring starring as Detective Superintendent Vetch in Ruth Rendell's A Judgement in Stone (again directed by a Roy Marsden and produced by Bill Kenwright he once again returned to the role of Brian Epstein in Jeff Pope's Cilla the Musical, an adaption of his ITV drama Cilla. The musical opened in September 2017 at the Liverpool Empire to rave reviews, and has played to sold out audiences throughout the UK.


  1. ^ "Lancel faces child sex charges". BBC News. December 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Andrew Lancel named Villain of the Year at British Soap Awards". Liverpool Echo. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Review: An Evening with Andrew Lancel, Unity". Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  4. ^ Collinson, Dawn (10 March 2011). "Why Corrie star and Everton FC fan Andrew Lancel is a Blue over the moon to work with idol Bob Latchford". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Back on Stage". 20 October 2010. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
  6. ^ "Breakneck films – Viking".
  7. ^ a b "The Liverpool Echo – 'Andrew Lancel to play Brian Clough on stage'". 13 November 2015.
  8. ^ [1] Archived 8 September 2012 at
  9. ^ "'Coronation Street's Frank Foster found dead". Digital Spy. 4 March 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  10. ^ "Whats on Stage – 'Epstein review'".
  11. ^ "London Theatre – Epstein The Man Who Made The Beatles".
  12. ^ Jones, Catherine (17 October 2013). "Coronation Street star Andrew Lancel to return as Brian Epstein in West End". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  13. ^ "London Theatre1 – 'Bill Kenwright presents new stage thriller The Small Hand'". 15 September 2014.
  14. ^ "Northumberland Gazette – Twelve Angry Men review".
  15. ^ "Chronicle Live – Twelve Angry Men review". 16 June 2015.
  16. ^ O'Connell, Ben. "Stellar cast for courtroom drama". Northumberland Gazette. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  17. ^ "Andrew Lancel reveals why he's happy to play a good guy for a change". 19 May 2016.

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