A Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising New Actor is a long way away from where Noel Clarke came from… but it’s exactly what he’d earn and was the first of many.
Born and raised in West London, Noel gave up his dream of acting to go to university and get an alternative career, even though acting was all he ever wanted to do. Whilst at university Noel was spotted by Director Rikki Beadle Blair and got the lead in the pilot and series of METROSEXUALITY. Noel then played the lead TAKE2 and supported Will Johnson in the acclaimed BBC short film NATIVE.
In 2001 he accepted the lead role in the second run of Steven Luckies controversial play TALKING ABOUT MEN. Straight after the play Noel auditioned for the return of one of Britain’s much beloved TV series, AUF WIEDERSEHEN PET. Noel landed the part and was on set three weeks later.
He then went for and was offered the part of Shed in Christopher Shinn’s American play WHERE DO WE LIVE, about an American apartment block immediately before and after 9/11, where Noel found himself acting alongside Adam Garcia and Daniel Evans.
In 2003 Noel won the widely regarded number one theatre award THE LAURENCE OLIVIER AWARD for the Most Promising New Actor – an accolade Noel describes as the highlight of his short career.
After the play, Noel was offered a small part in Mike Hodges feature film, I’LL SLEEP WHEN I’M DEAD, with Clive Owen and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. He also re-united with Rikki Beadle Blair for the lead in the independent feature film SUPERHERO, did an episode stealing-scene with David Jason in A TOUCH OF FROST and another series of AUF WIEDERSEHEN PET in the Dominican Republic.
In 2004 Noel starred alongside Sarah Smart in JANE HALL’S BIG BAD BUS RIDE and spent two months working on Michael Winterbottom’s GOAL with Diego Luna. Noel then went back onto the set of AUF WIEDERSEHEN PET in Thailand and spent the rest of 2004, and the better part of 2005, filming the first series of hit show DOCTOR WHO, alongside Billie Piper and Christopher Ecclestone.
Noel starred in KIDULTHOOD, a feature film he’d written and which was to change everything. Noel had been writing for many years, had a literary agent and had had many scripts under his belt but this one caught the attention of Director Menhaj Huda and was soon on its way. The release date of the 3rd of March 2006 was only weeks before the second series of DOCTOR WHO with new Doctor David Tennant, which Noel spent much of 2006 filming with only an eight-week break between that and series one. This led to him penning an episode of the DOCTOR WHO spin off hit-show TORCHWOOD.
Noel won and was nominated for various awards for KIDULTHOOD.
In 2007, he continued his success by writing and starring in BBC3 hit drama West10 LDN. Shortly after, he wrote and made his directing debut with independent British sequel ADULTHOOD, released in June 2008. Noel then worked on British Movie DOGHOUSE, with Danny Dyer released in 2009, acted in HEARTLESS with Jim Sturgess and undertook the lead in Ben Millers HUGE with Thandie Newton. CENTURION and his very own 126.96.36.199 – his third film as writer and second as director – were both released in 2010.