- Of Indian descent with a Hindu background, but attended a Catholic secondary school.
- Began acting at age 12; took tap-dancing lessons unwillingly at first, but it was his tap instructor who recommended him to a children's talent agency in Manchester.
- Studied at Manchester's Laine-Johnson Theatre School.
- First TV role was a 1997 episode of the British children's series Out of Sight; appeared in the soap opera EastEnders in 2001.
- Won a Breakthrough On Screen Award from Britain's Royal Television Society for the 2006 docudrama The Bradford Riots.
- Extensive British theater credits include the National Theatre production of Alan Bennett's The History Boys in 2004; reprised his role on Broadway and on the Tony-winning drama's world tour, as well as in the 2006 film adaptation.