Philip Haywood Glenister (born 10 February 1963) is an English actor. He is known for his role as DCI Gene Hunt in the BBC series Life on Mars (2006–2007) and its sequel Ashes to Ashes (2008–2010).[1] He also played DCI William Bell in State of Play (2003) and Reverend Anderson in Outcast (2016–2018).

Philip Glenister
Glenister in 2016
Philip Haywood Glenister

(1963-02-10) 10 February 1963 (age 61)
Harrow, Middlesex, England
Alma materRoyal Central School of Speech and Drama
Years active1990–present
(m. 2006)
Parent(s)John Glenister
Joan Fry Lewis
RelativesRobert Glenister (brother)

Early life


Glenister was born on 10 February 1963[2] in Harrow, Middlesex, and grew up in Hatch End. He is the son of director John Glenister and Joan Fry Lewis, and the younger brother of fellow actor Robert Glenister.[3] He attended Hatch End High School.[4] In his early career, he worked as a runner for the Robert Stigwood Organisation.[5] Following this, he worked until the age of 23 as a film publicist but developed an interest in acting after watching his brother perform in a student play about the Sex Pistols. With the encouragement of his then-sister-in-law, Amanda Redman, he pursued acting and attended the Central School of Speech and Drama.[2]



In the early 1990s, Glenister appeared in various TV series including Minder, The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, Heartbeat, The Chief, Dressing for Breakfast and Silent Witness. In 1997, he appeared in Sharpe's Justice as Richard Sharpe's half-brother Matt Truman.[6] He played William Dobbin in the 1998 mini-series Vanity Fair.[7]

From 1998 to 1999, Glenister co-starred as a mini-cab driver who aspires to be a rock star in the series Roger Roger. He also played factory boss Mack Mackintosh in the first three series of Clocking Off from 2000 to 2002.[8] In 2001, he appeared in two of the Hornblower TV films as Horatio's antagonist Gunner Hobbs.[9]

Glenister played the photographer who took nude photos for a Women's Institute fundraising calendar in the 2003 feature film Calendar Girls.[10] Also in 2003, he appeared in the mini-series State of Play.[11] Glenister played the German commandant, Baron Heinrich von Rheingarten, in the 2004 mini-series Island at War about the Occupation of the Channel Islands during World War II.[12]

In April 2006, Glenister read the Bedtime Story for the BBC's children's channel, CBeebies. He returned to the slot in February/March 2007.[13]

Glenister played social reformer and estate manager Mr Carter in the 2007 BBC costume drama Cranford, as part of a cast including Judi Dench and Francesca Annis.[14]

Glenister is probably best known for his role as DCI Gene Hunt in Life on Mars (2006–07), co-starring with John Simm as Sam Tyler,[15] and its sequel Ashes to Ashes (2008–10), with Keeley Hawes as Alex Drake.[16] Glenister also worked with Simm on State of Play and Clocking Off and the 2008 crime film Tuesday. Upon announcement of the film, Glenister joked that he and Simm were contractually obliged to work with each other once a year.[17]

Glenister starred as demon hunter Rupert Galvin in the 2009 ITV drama Demons. He used an American accent for the role,[18] which received some criticism from reviewers.[19][20] After the series was cancelled, he said he had problems with the role and felt that he may have been miscast.[21]

In 2010, Glenister had a small role (credited as 'Poker Friend') in Woody Allen's You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, and he played Charles Forestier in a 2011 feature film of Guy de Maupassant's Bel Ami.[22] He starred in the 2011 conspiracy thriller Hidden on BBC One.[23]

In 2011, Glenister reunited with John Simm once more in the Sky TV mini-series Mad Dogs about a group of old friends whose holiday in Majorca takes an unexpected turn.[24] After a successful reception, the cast returned for a second run of the series in 2012.[25] The show ran for two more series after that in 2013. Those two series consisted of four and two episodes respectively. Glenister played Captain Smollett in Sky1's adaptation of Treasure Island, broadcast at Christmas 2012.[26] Glenister also appeared in the 2012 premiere of the play This House.

In 2013, Glenister played Sir William Boyd-Carrington in the final episode of Agatha Christie's Poirot, starring David Suchet, entitled "Curtain". He also played the role of Mr Trevor Gunn, a lothario PE teacher in David Walliams' BBC One comedy series Big School.

In 2014, Glenister had a leading role in the Kudos-produced BBC drama, From There to Here, which focuses on the aftermath of the IRA bombing of Manchester in 1996. The show featured his Life on Mars co-star Liz White as his love interest. That same year, he presented the Channel 4 series For The Love Of Cars with fellow classic car enthusiast Ant Anstead. The pair were set the challenge of restoring classic cars including a Mini Cooper, Land Rover, DeLorean, MG T-type, Ford Escort and a Triumph Stag. The first series ended after six episodes, in which all six classic cars were sold at a London auction, with the second series being aired in 2015.[27]

In 2016, Glenister had a leading role in Robert Kirkman's TV adaptation of Outcast, where he played Reverend Anderson, and used an American accent. The show ran for 2 series on Cinemax, before it was cancelled in 2017.

In 2017, Glenister appeared in an episode of Inside No. 9 called The Bill. He also worked with his Clocking Off co-star, Lesley Sharp in Living the Dream. This show was about a British family who moved to America. It ran for 2 series before being cancelled in 2019. That year, Glenister presented the true-crime show, What the Killer Did Next on Crime & Investigation.

Glenister appeared in Julian Fellowes' 2020 television adaptation Belgravia, based on Fellowes' novel of the same name. It aired on ITV in the UK and Epix in the USA. [28]



A book by Glenister on 1970s and 1980s culture, Things Ain't What They Used to Be, was published in October 2008.[29]

Charity work


Glenister is patron of the charity Momentum in Kingston upon Thames, which aims to help children and the families of children undergoing treatment for cancer in Surrey.[30]

Personal life


Glenister has been married to actress Beth Goddard since 2006. They have two daughters.[31]

Glenister is a supporter of non-league football team Wealdstone FC.[32] He is also known to be a fan of Arsenal FC.[33]




Year Title Role
1995 I.D. Charlie
2003 Calendar Girls Lawrence
2005 Kingdom of Heaven Squire
2008 Tuesday Earp
2010 You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger Poker Friend
2012 Bel Ami Charles Forestier


Year Title Role Notes
1991 Minder Greg Hunter Series 8, Episode 3: "Whatever Happened to Her Indoors"
The Ruth Rendell Mysteries Brian Gregson Series 5, Episodes 4–6: "Murder Being Once Done" parts 1–3
Drop the Dead Donkey Harrison Series 2, Episode 11: "George's Daughter"
Bergerac Philip Series 9, Episode 11: "All for Love"
1992 Love Hurts Mark Series 1, Episode 6: "Stormy Weather"
Series 1, Episode 7: "A Day in the Life"
Heartbeat Julian Cantley Series 1, Episode 7: "Face Value"
A Fatal Inversion Young Detective Episodes 2 and 3
1993 The Detectives Uniformed Officer Series 1, Episode 2: "Hostage"
In Suspicious Circumstances Herbert Bennett Series 3, Episode 6: "Good as Gold"
1994 Law and Disorder David MacNamara Series 1, Episode 6: "Safe as Houses"
The Chief Angus Shadwell Series 4, Episode 8
Blue Heaven Paul Twice Series 1, Episode 6
1995 Loved Up Ray TV film
Dressing for Breakfast Mark Series 1, Series 1, Episode 2: "Mark"
1996 True Love Phil TV film
Silent Witness PC Jerry Denning Series 1, Episodes 5–6: "Darkness Visible" parts 1–2
Frontiers DS Danny Curtis TV mini-series
Soldier Soldier Jimmy Reece Series 6, Episode 3: "All for One"
1996–1997 My Wonderful Life Phil Series 1, Episode 0: "True Love"
Series 1, Episode 3: "Convent Girl"
Series 1, Episode 6: "Portugal"
1997 The Perfect Blue Tom TV film
Have Your Cake and Eat It Joe Martin TV mini-series
Sharpe's Justice Matt Truman TV film
Wycliffe DS Eric Findlay Series 4, Episode 9: "Dance of the Scorpions"
1998 Vanity Fair William Dobbin TV mini-series
1998–1999 Roger Roger Phil Series 1–2: 13 episodes
2000–2002 Clocking Off James 'Mack' Mackintosh Series 1–3: 11 episodes
2001 Lloyd & Hill DCI Danny Lloyd TV film
The Hunt Rob Campbell TV film
2002 Hornblower: Mutiny
Hornblower: Retribution
Gunner Hobbs TV film
2003 The Other Boleyn Girl William Stafford TV film
State of Play DCI William Bell TV mini-series
The Vice Jason Grant Series 5, Episode 7: "Lust"
Byron William Fletcher TV film
2004 Island at War Oberst Heinrich Baron Von Rheingarten TV mini-series
2005 The Stepfather Dougie Molloy TV film
The Walk Eddie TV film
Last Rights Speers TV mini-series
Vincent DCI David Driscoll Series 1, Episodes 1–3
2006–2007 Life on Mars DCI Gene Hunt Lead role; TV series 1–2: 16 episodes
2007 Cranford Mr Carter TV mini-series
The Catherine Tate Show Police Officer 2007 Christmas Special
2008–2010 Ashes to Ashes Gene Hunt Lead role; TV series 1–3: 24 episodes
2009 Demons Rupert Galvin Lead role; TV series: 6 episodes
2011 Hidden Harry Venn Lead role; TV mini-series: 4 episodes
2011–2013 Mad Dogs Quinn TV mini-series 1-4: 14 episodes
2012 Treasure Island Captain Smollet TV mini-series
2013 Agatha Christie's Poirot Sir William Boyd-Carrington Episode: "Curtain"
2013–2014 Big School Trevor Gunn Television sitcom series
2014 Jumbo: The Plane that Changed the World Documentary Narrator
From There to Here Daniel Cotton TV series
2014–2016 For the Love of Cars Presenter Documentary TV series
2015 Prey David Murdoch Lead role; Second series: 3 episodes
2016 The Hollow Crown Talbot BBC2 TV series (Henry VI, Part I)
The Level Frank Le Saux TV mini-series
2016–2017 Outcast Reverend Anderson Lead role; TV series: 20 episodes
2017 Inside No. 9 Craig TV series, Episode The Bill
2017–2019 Living the Dream Mal Pemberton Lead role; TV series: 12 episodes
2019 What the Killer Did Next Presenter Documentary TV series
2019–present The Rubbish World of Dave Spud[34] Betty Spud Except Season 2 Episode 7, Two Toots Spud
2020 Belgravia James Trenchard Lead role; TV mini-series: 6 episodes
2022 Carthago Lord Davidson TV series
2023 Steeltown Murders DCI Paul Bethell Lead role.
Foundation Commdor Argo Season 2
2024 After the Flood Jack Radcliffe Main role


Year Title Role
2013 The Minister of Chance The Summer King


  1. ^ Clark, Emma (13 April 2015). "Life on Mars Philip Glenister is Top Gear favourite". The Scotsman. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  2. ^ a b Laws, Roz (16 May 2010). "7 things you never knew about Philip Glenister aka Gene Hunt". BirminghamLive. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  3. ^ Christie, Darnell (14 September 2021). "Philip Glenister's famous older brother who was in The Bill, Spooks & Only Fools". MyLondon. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  4. ^ Mitchell, Chris (24 June 2022). "A brief history of Hatch End High School in Harrow". Harrow Online. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  5. ^ Turner, Harry (1 February 2017). "Philip Glenister: Life in Harrow to Life on Mars". Harrow Online. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  6. ^ "Projects – Sharpe" Archived 24 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Philip Glenister – The Official Site. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  7. ^ James, Caryn, "TV Weekend; Ruthless in a Greedy World. Sounds Familiar, Doesn't It?", New York Times, 22 October 1999. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  8. ^ Gould, Phil, "Time to Clock Off and move on!; Clocking Off star Philip Glenister is moving on once the latest series of the award-winning drama ends", Daily Post (Liverpool), 26 January 2002. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  9. ^ Pardi, Robert, "Horatio Hornblower, the Adventure Continues: Mutiny Review", TV Guide. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  10. ^ "Philip Glenister on Calendar Girls", Radio Times, August 2003. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
  11. ^ "State of Play", BBC Drama. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  12. ^ "Island at War", PBS. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  13. ^ "Search Results - BBC Genome". Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Philip Glenister Plays Mr Carter", BBC Press Office, 5 November 2007. Retrieved 18 February 2001.
  15. ^ "BBC Life on Mars". Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  16. ^ "BBC Ashes to Ashes". Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  17. ^ "Mars stars reunite for film caper". BBC News Online. 17 May 2007. Retrieved 17 May 2007.
  18. ^ "Philip Glenister Is Rupert Galvin" Archived 15 July 2012 at, STV, 31 December 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  19. ^ Rawson-Jones, Ben, "Television Review: Demons S01E01: "They Bite"", Digital Spy, January 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  20. ^ Clay, Jeremy, "TV Review: Demons", Leicester Mercury, 5 January 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  21. ^ Millar, Paul, "Philip Glenister Regrets Demons Role", Digital Spy, 3 August 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  22. ^ "Bel Ami Cast" Archived 4 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Bel Ami, A Film. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
  23. ^ "Philip Glenister returns to BBC One in Ronan Bennett's complex new thriller, Hidden", BBC Press Office, 28 March 2011, updated 14 September 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  24. ^ "Mad Dogs Preview" Archived 8 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Sky TV. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
  25. ^ "Mad Dogs Series 2 Confirmed for Early 2012", British Sky Broadcasting. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  26. ^ Fletcher, Alex, "Elijah Wood joins Sky1 'Treasure Island'", Digital Spy, 14 January 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  27. ^ "For the Love of Cars - All 4".
  28. ^ "Is Belgravia the new Downton Abbey? Everything you need to know about Julian Fellowes' new drama". 5 March 2020.
  29. ^ "Things Ain't What They Used to Be". Little, Brown Book Group. Retrieved 1 September 2008.
  30. ^ "Philip Glenister - Just gaining momentum". Surrey Life. February 2009. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  31. ^ "About Phil" Archived 24 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Philip Glenister – The Official Site. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  32. ^ "Extract from autobiography regarding Wealdstone FC" (PDF). Little Brown. 19 January 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  33. ^ Grant, Olly (17 May 2014). "Philip Glenister: 'I became very aware of my mortality at the time of Manchester bombing'". Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  34. ^ "CITV commissions new series from IFC". Kidscreen. Retrieved 4 December 2017.