Pivaro was born in Manchester, England. After attending RADA, Pivaro made his acting debut in Short of Mutiny at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, Stratford, London in February 1983.
In August 1983, he won the part of Terry Duckworth, the wayward son of long running characters Jack and Vera in the long-running British soap opera Coronation Street. Pivaro left the soap as a regular character in 1987 but returned to the show on a recurring basis in the 1990s and early 2000s. He most recently returned for a few episodes in January 2008 when his character attended the funeral of his mother Vera and from April to May 2012. This was his last appearance to date.
Apart from Coronation Street Pivaro made guest appearances in the television series Hetty Wainthropp Investigates as PC Pearce and Expert Witness as killer Colin Wardle. He also appeared in The Sunny Side of the Street for Channel Four and made a cameo appearance in the film 24 Hour Party People
Pivaro has acted in many theatre productions, including Wuthering Heights, What the Butler Saw, A Taste of Honey, The Tempest, Greek, An Evening with Gary Lineker co-starring Paul Ritter, Funny Peculiar, A View from the Bridge and Up and Under, most recently alongside fellow soap actor John Altman in the John Godber play Bouncers in 2003. In 1987 he won the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 1st in the play No Further Cause for Concern. He has appeared in over 15 pantomimes.
In 2006, after completing a NTCJ Post Graduate course, Pivaro became a journalist, working for the Manchester Evening News and then the Tameside Reporter in Stalybridge. He is now a freelance journalist, and has been published regularly in the Daily Star, Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror and Catholic Herald newspapers. Recently, following time spent in the Don-bass region of Ukraine, he has added Die Zeit Online and Jane's Defence Review to the list of titles in which he is published.
He has also written and presented documentary films for the BBC Inside Out series, including "Regeneration Game"(2007) which challenged the Government backed Housing Market Renewal programme and criticised its treatment of residents who were forced out of their neighbourhoods to make way for more affluent people. This was short listed for a Royal Television Society award in the best Current Affairs programme category. In 2009, Pivaro wrote and presented "The Battle for St. Michael's" for BBC's Inside Out. In January 2010 Pivaro appeared alongside Salford Star editor Stephen Kingston on BBC Newsnight in a film about the effects of regeneration in Salford. Pivaro is a regular contributor to the Salford Star Magazine.
In 2009 Along with Salford Star Editor Stephen Kingston he received an award from the Plain English Campaign for clear and accessible language in journalism.
In 2010, Pivaro presented a lecture at the University of Wolverhampton on his experiences while reporting on regeneration and participated in a special Radio 4 Today programme with Evan Davis where he criticised the Media City development at Salford Quays, calling it a 'Cathedral of Corporatism' with few opportunities for locals and small business.
Pivaro graduated in 2003 from the University of Salford with a Honours degree in Contemporary Military and International History. In 2006, he graduated from the University of Wales in Aberystwyth with an MSc in Social Science and Economics, specialising in terrorism and international relations. Pivaro is a Salford Red Devils supporter.
In November 2012 he did a reading at Bill Tarmey's funeral. Pivaro is an obsessional map enthusiast and frequently refuses to use GPS despite driving thousands of miles to assignment destinations. He is also a champion of the canal system and frequently calls for freight to be transferred from roads and back onto a modernised canal system.24 Hour Party People (2002) .... Actor at Granada
Expert Witness (1996) .... Colin Wardle, 'Sunny Side of the Street' Dad (1997)
Hetty Wainthrop Investigates (1996) .... Sergeant Pearce
Coronation Street (1983–1987, 1988, 1992–1993, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001–2002, 2008, 2012) .... Terry Duckworth