John Simm and wife Kate Magowan

John Simm: From Doctor Who to ITV’s Grace and his music career

He's best known for The Lakes, Life on Mars and Doctor Who

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John Simm is best known for his roles in Doctor Who, The Lakes and Life on Mars – but who is John Simm’s actress wife?

The actor recently took on the role of DS Grace in the ITV1 drama Grace, which returns later this year.

He also appears as Alec Jeffreys in the crime drama Code of a Killer.

Here’s everything you need to know about John Simm’s life and career.

John Simm as DS Roy Grace and Richie Campbell as DS Branson in Grace (Credit: ITV1)
John Simm as DS Roy Grace and Richie Campbell as DS Branson in Grace (Credit: ITV1)

Read more: McDonald & Dodds viewers confused after Grace takes its place next week

What is John Simm famous for?

John Simm is an award-winning actor often associated with playing dark and gritty roles.

He portrayed troubled teenager Bill Preece in the acclaimed ITV police drama Cracker in 1995.

Some TV viewers consider it his breakthrough role.

Two years later, he won the lead role of Danny Kavanagh in the first series of The Lakes, a BBC series written by Jimmy McGovern.

In 1999, he starred in the second series of The Lakes, as well as appearing as Jip in the award-winning cult clubbing film Human Traffic and Michael Winterbottom’s acclaimed Wonderland.

Some TV viewers know John best for playing Sam Tyler in Life on Mars.

He’s also appeared in Code of a Killer, State of Play, Clocking Off, Mad Dogs, Crime and Punishment, Exile, Prey and Collateral.

His films include Everyday, Boston Kickout, 24 Hour Party People and Miranda opposite Christina Ricci and John Hurt.

Russell T. Davies chose John to play The Master in 2007, the nemesis of The Doctor in the long-running BBC series Doctor Who.

John took the part because his kids are very big fans of the series.

John also founded the rock band Magic Alex, who played support on two British tours with Echo & the Bunnymen.

He also played lead guitar on a few of Ian McCulloch’s solo live shows, including one at Wembley Arena as the main support to Coldplay.

How old is he?

John Simm was born on July 10 1970, the eldest of three children.

He is currently 51 years old.

John’s dad Ronald was a musician, and John sang and played guitar with his father on stage in the working men’s clubs from the age of 12.

John Simm and David Threlfall
John Simm and David Threlfall star in Code of a Killer (Credit: ITV1)

Read more: The unmissable dramas coming up in March and April on ITV1: Channel announces new spring schedule

John Simm wife: Who is he married to?

John Simm is married to Kate Magowan.

The pair wed in April 2004, and live in North London together.

Kate is an actress and producer, perhaps best known for appearing in the 2007 film Stardust.

She’s also starred in 2015’s Spotless and A Lonely Place to Die in 2011.

Soap fans will recognised Kate as Sadie Young in EastEnders, a role she played between 2013 and 2014.

Her first TV role was as Helen Jensen in Dream Team in 1998.

Does John Simm and his wife have children?

John and Kate have two children together.

Son Ryan was born in August 2001, followed by daughter Molly in February 2007.

He once admitted his greatest fear is his children dying before him.

John Simm and wife Kate Magowan
John Simm and wife Kate Magowan attend the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards 2018 at the Royal Festival Hall (Credit: Splash)

Where is he from?

John Simm was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire.

He grew up in Nelson, Lancashire, and attended Edge End High School.

He later studied at Blackpool Drama College and the Drama Centre in London.

John Simm’s role as DS Roy Grace in Grace

John Simm recently took on the lead role of the tenacious detective DS Roy Grace in the ITV drama based on the novels by Peter James.

The Brighton-based character is a hard-working police officer who has given his life to the job.

He’s known for his dogged, if unorthodox, approach to solving crimes.

DS Roy Grace is haunted by the disappearance of his wife Sandy, who vanished without a trace 10 years ago.

John says: “When we first meet Roy Grace he has been diverted to investigate cold cases where his career is stagnating.

“Then his friend DS Glenn Branson (Richie Campbell) asks for his help on a case he is working on.

“Branson can’t stand to see Grace wallowing in this dead end job after his wife went missing.

“Grace’s wife has gone missing some years before this and he hasn’t been able to solve the mystery of what has happened to her.”

John Simm stars as Alec Jeffreys in Code of a Killer

John Simm portrays Alex Jeffreys in ITV1’s Code of a Killer.

The drama tells the true story of a scientist’s discovery of DNA fingerprinting and how he helped a detective catch a murderer.

While John Simms portrays genetic scientist Jeffreys, David Threlfall and Robert Glenister also star.

John Simm stars in Code of a Killer, which airs on Monday October 11 2021 at 9pm on ITV1.

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Helen Fear
TV Editor

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