Nick Brimble was born in Bristol. His father was a schoolteacher, who was also a keen amateur actor, an activity in which Nick was involved on occasions as a child. For several summers, his father also managed the French/Czech high-wire act, the White Devils. When they toured Britain, the Brimble family travelled with them. In July 1961 he organised their blindfolded high-wire crossing of Cheddar Gorge. At the end of the season's tour of Britain, Nick travelled through France with the White Devils, helping as they set up and performed in towns as they went, and returning for the start of the autumn school term.
Nick attended Bristol Grammar School. In his first year, he played Miranda in a school production of The Tempest. His parents gave him a season ticket to the Bristol Old Vic where he saw every play from the age of 11 until he went to university at 18.
Nick studied Philosophy and English Literature at the University of Sussex from 1962 to 1966. He left with an MA and went on to teach English and Drama at the University of Baghdad. His stay in Iraq only lasted one year due to the political unrest there and he left at the outbreak of the Six-Day War in 1967, driving back to the UK overland in a battered mini car purchased from British tourists he had met in Baghdad. The next year he taught at a south London comprehensive school, before deciding to try his luck as an actor.
In 1968 Brimble became Youth Theatre Organiser at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury. He administered the TIE (Theatre In Education) company, which toured plays to schools in Kent. He also acted in the plays as well as driving the van and doing whatever else was necessary. At the same time he appeared in small parts for the main Marlowe Theatre Company. In 1970 Brimble and other members of the TIE company formed Actors' Circus, an independent company. The first production was Waiting for Godot at the University of Kent's Gulbenkian Theatre in which Brimble played Vladimir.
Later that year, Actors' Circus performed at London’s Little Theatre Club. Brimble then went on to work at Hull Arts Centre in Richard III with Bob Hoskins, the London Theatre Group in Macbeth with Steven Berkoff, the Palace Theatre, Watford, as well as playing a small part as a villager in the 1971 Hammer film Lust for a Vampire.
From 1971 to 1973 Brimble worked at the Northcott Theatre repertory company in Exeter. He appeared in Caucasian Chalk Circle, Julius Caesar, The Tempest, Loot, Guys and Dolls, and many other plays. He played Jesus in The Cornish Passion Play.
In 1973 Brimble’s television work began with Thomas Hardy’s Wessex Tales, playing the part of Willowes in Barbara of the House of Grebe, with Ben Kingsley and Joanna McCallum. He had a semi-regular part in The Sweeney as well as appearing in guest roles in many television productions such as Softly Softly, Z-Cars, The Professionals, Blake's 7, Danger UXB, and Dempsey and Makepeace.
Brimble's film work during this time included Silver Dream Racer, Sweeney!, Who Dares Wins and Sheena.
In 1990, Roger Corman cast him as the Monster in Frankenstein Unbound with Raul Julia, Bridget Fonda and John Hurt. The following year he played Little John in the film, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
Since then, he has continued to work consistently on British television and in international films, as well as radio drama and voice work.
Television includes The Professionals, To Play the King, Skallagrigg, Doc Martin, Lock Stock, Ivanhoe, The Bill, Emmerdale and many others. His later films include A Knight's Tale, Loch Ness, Gone Fishin', Body Armour and The Coroner.Lust for a Vampire (1971)
Sweeney! (1977) as D.S. Burtonshaw
S.O.S. Titanic (1979) as Olaus Abelseth
Silver Dream Racer (1980)
Who Dares Wins (1982)
The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982)
Jamaica Inn (1983)
Return to Treasure Island (1985)
Frankenstein Unbound (1990)
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)
Year of the Comet (1992)
Loch Ness (1996)
Gone Fishin' (1997)
The Calling (2000)
A Knight's Tale (2001)
Gypsy Woman (2001)
Body Armour (2007)
Brimble voiced the character of John Watson in the Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments, and Leontius in Ryse: Son of Rome.