Happy birthday, Noel Clarke!
The London-born jack of all trades got his start in showbiz in the new millennium, snagging a three-episode arc on UK medical drama Casualty, before making a name for himself in the revived series of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.
Playing Wyman Norris opposite the likes of Timothy Spall and Bill Nighy, Clarke starred in 14 episodes between 2002 and 2004. And then he met Rose Tyler.
Appearing in a handful of early Doctor Who reboot episodes as Rose’s boyfriend Mickey Smith, the character is often thrust into the background with Jackie Tyler and the chopped liver.
It wasn’t until season two, when Mickey ultimately saves the world from the Krillitanes and asks if he can join Team TARDIS, that he becomes an official (if not short-lived) companion.
Between takes, Clarke launched his screenwriting career with the script for Kidulthood, a film about a group of troubled 15-year-olds growing up in west London. He also wrote, directed, and starred in follow-ups Adulthood (2008) and Brotherhood (2016).
Other writing credits include 2006 Torchwood episode “Combat.”
Mickey returned to the Whoniverse in the fourth series finale “Journey’s End,” in which he and Jackie rescue Sarah Jane Smith from Dalek extermination before leaving with future wife Martha Jones and Captain Jack.
And, Clarke reprised his role once more in two-parter “The End of Time”: As the Doctor travels the universe to say goodbye to his friends, he protects Martha and Mickey from a Sontaran sniper.
Fun fact: Clarke came in second, behind Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler), in a 2007 special Doctor Who edition of The Weakest Link. He beat fellow Who co-stars David Tennant (Tenth Doctor), John Barrowman (Jack Harkness), Nicholas Briggs (voice of Daleks and Cybermen), and K9 Mark IV.
So, join me (and so many Twitter users) in wishing Noel Clarke a very happy 42nd birthday!
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