The Notting Hill-born star’s early TV career saw him appear in episodes of shows such as Casualty, Holby City and A Touch Of Frost.
But he major won plaudits for gritty drama Kidulthood in 2006, a film about a group of troubled teenagers growing up in west London – an area he knew well from his youth.
Clarke wrote and starred in the film and its success led to a 2008 follow-up, Adulthood, with Clarke this time also directing. A third film, Brotherhood, came out in 2016.
His mainstream breakthrough came in one of the country’s best-loved series, with a role in Doctor Who between 2005 and 2010.
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Clarke played Mickey Smith, boyfriend of the Doctor’s assistant Rose Tyler, played by Billie Piper.
In 2003, his on-stage talent was recognised with a Laurence Olivier Award for the play Where Do We Live? – and six years later Clarke’s burgeoning film and TV work saw him awarded BAFTA’s rising star gong.
His new-found influence gave him extra clout to produce, write and act – and also mentor the next generation of homegrown talent.
Clarke founded his own production company, Unstoppable Film & Television, in 2015 with fellow actor Jason Maza.
Recently, he’s appeared alongside some established big screen names; with Gollum actor Andy Serkis in SAS: Red Notice, and with Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville and Timothy Spall in The Corrupted.
Clarke’s partnership with Top Boy star Ashley Walters in Sky One’s cop drama Bulletproof has also been a big hit on television – with a fourth series in the works, having only debuted in 2018.
The pair co-created the show and also write and produce for it.
Just this week, Clarke has also been appearing in a new high-profile ITV series called Viewpoint, playing a surveillance officer watching the prime suspect in a teacher’s disappearance.
The channel has been showing one episode per night of the drama.