DATE OF BIRTH : 16th September 1975
BROUGHT UP : Shoreham, Brighton
LIVES : Surrey
SCHOOLS : Tophill County Junior School & Shandy Stage School, Brighton.
TRAINED : London Studio Centre. Graduated in 1996.
FAMILY : His mother runs a dance school in Brighton and his father is a sales rep for a catering equipment company. “I could really identify with the whole Billy Elliot thing, the family not understanding. Grandparents can be difficult sometimes. Right up until I was about 19 and had actually started working and being paid, my grandmother was telling my mum, “Tell him to get a normal job, a proper job. When is he going to give up all the malarkey?” He also has a brother, James.
RELATIONSHIPS : Married TV publicist Barbara Frost in March 2003.
CHILDREN : Son, Lucas (b. 2004) and daughter, Poppy (b. 2007)
PETS : A dog called Barney.
ON CHARACTER DILLON : ‘Dillon isn’t afraid to challenge Patrick, he’s not intimidated by him like a lot of people are.. He is quite confident because he actually went to medical school but not a lot of his colleagues know about that. He trained to be a doctor but then decided that he wanted to be more hands on with the patients and so he became a nurse instead. He is the kind of guy who has got a lot of morals and is not money motivated.’
DESCRIBE DILLON IN LESS THAN FIVE WORDS: ‘Cool, calm, collected and genuine.’
ON SIMILARITIES WITH DILLON : ‘He is quite sensitive – and I like to think that I am too.’
ON DILLON’S BEST & WORST TRAITS : ‘He is always prepared to go the extra mile for his patients, even if that means not necessarily doing things by the book. But his worst trait is that he’s just too good. He needs to develop a bit of a bad side!’
ON HIS CASUALTY AUDITION : ‘I was shocked by the speed of it all… when I went to the audition, I was petrified. I’d done a lot of acting but only in classes. I’d not done much straight acting professionally, and certainly not on television, so I was very nervous.’
MOST CHALLENGING CASUALTY STORY : ‘Probably the episode that I’ve just filmed where Dillon is a Samaritan. That was challenging because I had to learn their mannerisms and how they deal with people and I spent a lot of time with the real Samaritans learning from them. It was very important to me to get it right, because if out of the thousands that watch the show five feel they can phone the Samaritans as a result of that episode that brings fantastic satisfaction to me.’
FUNNY MOMENTS ON SET : ‘In my first week, when I was still a little bit shy, we were relaxing between takes and I decided to jump up on one of the admin desks to have a rest. I didn’t realise that it wasn’t a real desk and the whole thing just collapsed!’
ON WHY HE GAVE UP DANCING : ‘I trained as a ballet dancer but I found that I was getting a love for the acting from the bits that I was doing within the shows, so with the help of a private drama coach, I retrained myself as an actor and this is exactly the type of thing that I wanted to be doing. I didn’t realise that it would happen as quickly as it has though and I’m sure there has been a certain amount of luck involved.’
ON FANS : ‘I’ve had some attention in the past from musicals I’ve done but it’s been on a much smaller scale to what might happen from this. The main thing is that all these people (the fans) are paying my wages, so everyone deserves to be treated accordingly. I’d like to think I’ve always had the time to speak to anyone and sign an autograph. If anyone ever wanted one, I’d be flattered. It’s a fantastic thing if people admire your work so much that they want a piece of paper signed to acknowledge that.”
REAL LIFE CASUALTY EXPERIENCES : ‘As 15 I got viral meningitis when I was away at a dance seminar. It was very scary, more so for my Mum as it can be life-threatening, though not as much as the bacterial form. I had come back to my room in the middle of the day, feeling dreadful. It got worse and worse till I could hardly move my head. I was in hospital for a couple of weeks but made a full recovery. Luckily no-one else on the course got it, even though we were four to a room.’
ON BEING SQUEAMISH : ‘Yeah, we’ve had some really full on scenes. Every now and again the make-up artist will come on and retouch the wounds and stuff, which kind of takes away from it a little because you know it’s not real. But sometimes it does look very real, if I had to deal with that in real life I really couldn’t cope.’
FAVE FOOD & MUSIC : ‘I love Chinese take-aways because you don’t have to do the washing up. In music it has to be Queen, I am a huge fan.’ He once got the chance to meet guitarist Brian May, ‘I was so nervous all I could stutter out was, ‘I’m Queen’s greatest flan!’
TELEVISION CREDITS : Casualty; Songs of Praise (guest presenter); Cathedral; Doctors
THEATRE CREDITS : Grease; Chicago; Hey Mr Producer; Beach Radio; Last Song of the Nightingale; I’ll Be Back Before Midnight; Out of Order;
DID YOU KNOW?
* Dan relates to the film ‘Billy Elliot’ due to growing up pursuing his dream of being a dancer, ‘I really identified with that film! Most kids thought that it was a cissy thing to do and weren’t afraid to tell me. Infact it got so bad I gave it all up for a year when I was 13 and tried to become a footballer like my brother James. But in the end you have to follow your heart.’
* His work has also included time at Australian and English ballet companies.
* Dan has performed on the Sheena Easton video.
WHERE ARE THEY KNOW?
* Dan runs a successful business company ‘Fresh Face Photography’ based in Surrey.