Brendan Coyle is an English actor best known for his starring role as John Bates in the period drama television series Downton Abbey, since 2010.
Born to a Scottish mother and Irish father, Coyle lived in Dublin and London during his youth. With no thought of an acting career, Coyle worked in his dad's butcher shop after leaving school.
It wasn't until his father died that he sought a change. Inspired by a Shakespeare production that he'd seen in school, Coyle contacted an Irish aunt who he knew ran a theatre company and was soon enrolled in drama school in Dublin.
Now a veteran of the British stage, Coyle has appeared in many television dramas including North and South, Lark Rise to Candleford, Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act and Jericho.