Andrew Lancel was born on 3 August 1970 in Rufford, Lancashire. He started his acting career in local theatre and as a cabaret singer. In 1993 he appeared in the film Wide-Eyed and Legless with Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent. He gained fame as the lead role in the ground breaking medical series Cardiac Arrest with Helen Baxendale. Since then he has become a well established theatre and television actor with a reputation for seeking controversial roles and projects. He was described as the most realistic doctor on TV and sporadically was TV's most hated man, after roles in City Central, Bad Girls and Queer as Folk.
He is best known for his role as DI Neil Manson in the long running ITV series The Bill, a role he played from 2003-2010, as well as the villainous Frank Foster in Coronation Street for which he won 'Villain of the Year' at the British Soap Awards.
An accomplished singer for many years, Lancel has also performed his own one man show and has sung in venues including the Sands in Blackpool and the Royal Albert Hall in London.
In addition to acting, Lancel runs his own production company and has produced and directed numerous productions. In 2008 Lancel became a patron of the Unity Theatre, Liverpool.
Lancel is also a regular panelist on the Channel 5 TV show The Wright Stuff and also covers the Pete Price Radio Show
Lancel is an avid supporter of Everton and was an original ambassador of Everton In the Community, he is also involved in the Everton Collection.
In summer 2010 he played a prison officer in an award winning short film called Inside Run, directed by his former The Bill co-star Sam Callis which was shown at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2010. Of the film, Lancel said "it’s a long way from Manson and a joy to be directed by Sam." He reunited with Callis for his next film, the award winning short film Viking co-starring Sophie Thompson.
His numerous stage appearances include Adam Snow in the Bill Kenwright produced production of the world premiere of The Small Hand in 2014, Juror 3 in Twelve Angry Men in 2015, and his acclaimed performance as Brian Epstein in Epstein - The Man Who Made The Beatles.
It was announced in 2015 that Lancel would be portraying Brian Clough in a stage production of The Damned United.
Following his breakout role in Cardiac Arrest Lancel appeared in numerous TV series as diverse as Liverpool 1, The Vice, Urban Gothic and Merseybeat and portrayed highly controversial roles in the shows City Central and Queer As Folk and in the BBC medical drama Casualty as a builder called Chris Perry in Series 28 Episode 48 'A Life Less Lived'.
In 2002 he joined the cast of Bad Girls as Barry Pearce and his character was involved in a controversial domestic abuse story line with on-screen wife Di Barker.
In 2003, Andrew joined The Bill as DI Neil Manson and played the character until the series ended in 2010. His most notable and memorable storyline was the 13-month-long Amy Tennant missing person case, concerning a young child who mysteriously vanished. This was also the longest storyline ever attempted in the history of The Bill.
In 2005, he entered Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes as A-ha singer Morten Harket and won.
On 23 November 2010 Lancel was cast in the long running ITV1 soap opera Coronation Street as Frank Foster, a business associate of Carla Connor. Another controversial role, Lancel's portrayal won him 'Villain of the Year' at the British Soap Awards in 2012. The role ended 5 March 2012 when the character was found murdered.
In 2012 Lancel returned to the stage when he was cast as former Beatles manager Brian Epstein in Epstein - The Man Who Made the Beatles a new play by Andrew Sherlock which debuted at the Epstein Theatrein Liverpool on 15 November 2012. The newly refurbished theatre being named in honour of Brian Epstein. This two-hander play charts Brian Epstein’s adult life and illustrious career from his drama school days to managing the world’s biggest pop group. The play transferred to the West End at the Leicester Square Theatre in 2014. The play, and Lancel's performance as Epstein drew huge critical acclaim with Whats On Stage describing his performance as 'phenomenal' and London Theatre calling it 'mesmerising.'
In 2014 Lancel was cast as Adam Snow alongside Diane Keen and Robert Duncan in the world premiere of The Small Hand based on the book by Susan Hill and adapted by Clive Francis. The play, directed by Roy Marsden and produced by Bill Kenwright, premiered at the Theatre Royal Windsor before touring the UK.
Lancel joined the cast of Twelve Angry Men in 2015, following its West End run, and received rave reviews for his turn as juror number three, starring alongside Tom Conti and Denis Lill.
In November 2015 it was announced that Lancel would be taking on the role of Brian Clough in a new stage adaptation of The Damned United based on the novel by David Peace. The play is a co-production between Red Ladder and West Yorkshire Playhouse
In May 2016 it was announced that Lancel will be making his musical debut, undertaking the role of Captain Von Trapp in the UK Tour of The Sound Of Music