This article includes a list of general references, but it remains largely unverified because it lacks sufficient corresponding inline citations. (March 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
McKell is best known for appearing in two British soap operas, Doctors, in which he played Dr. Nick West from 2006 until the character was run over and killed in 2008, and Emmerdale, in which he has played DC Nick Henshall over two separate periods from 2008 to 2011, until the character committed suicide. He has also appeared in a third soap opera, EastEnders as the hitman Carter who supposedly killed Paul Trueman under the orders of Andy Hunter.
He is also known for playing D.S./D.I. Trevor Hands in two seasons of the ITV drama Murder Investigation Team, two seasons of Channel 4's Totally Frank and the BBC One series Blessed, playing Ronnie, a Jaggeresque musician. He first came to prominence as the character of Tony in a series of British television commercials for the Peugeot 106 car, alongside Julie Graham and Annie Dunkley in the mid-1990s. He is currently the face Of Ancestry In their National campaign 2019.
He appeared in the final episode of BBC2's Cradle to Grave in October 2015. Most recently appeared in ITV drama Vera 2019.
He appeared in an episode of BBC afternoon drama-comedy Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators entitled The Rascal Cook, in which he played Len Tekler. The episode first aired on 8 March 2018 and was repeated on 21 March 2019.
McKell starred in the cult film Essex Boys alongside Sean Bean as drug dealer Wayne Lovell. Other films include Beneath Still Waters, Act's Of Godfrey, The Low Down, Blood, Bar, Death, Freight, Shouting Men, Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz, and Who Needs Enemies. He has appeared in over 30 films, including Allied with Brad Pitt and Where Hands Touch, directed by Amma Asante. McKell co-produced and starred in the multi-award-winning Winter Ridge. His latest films: The Guard Of Auschwitz, Abatement, 13 Graves, Once Upon A Time In London, Pentagram, The Angel Of Auschwitz and Irish Stand Down, are all due for release in 2019.
From 7 December 2015 to 3 January 2016, McKell appeared in his first pantomime as Abanazar in Aladdin at the Derby Arena. McKell went back to his roots to play Paul in Irvine Welch's play Creatives at The Edinburgh Festival 2017. McKell is about to embark on a UK and Ireland tour with Queen and Ben Elton’s We Will Rock You 2019/2020.
McKell started his working life as a musician. He was the singer/songwriter for the band The Park, penning hits for Toyah, Dollar and Julien Clerc. His solo career after deals with Phonogram, WEA and EMI was cut short by a near fatal car crash in August 1991. McKell returned to the stage in Macbeth at The Lyric Hammersmith in the late 1990s. He has appeared in West End musicals, including Blood Brothers Rod Stewart musical Tonight's the Night, written and directed by Ben Elton. Elton later went on to write the character Ronnie for McKell in his BBC comedy Blessed. McKell played "Lank" in the double Olivier winning production of Crazy For You in 2012 and returned to the role he created "Stoner" in the 2014 production of Tonight's The Night.
In 1985, he toured as Michael St James with French star Julien Clerc and worked with French singer/songwriter Serge Gainsbourg.
McKell released an EP, Shower Over Moon Street, in 2009 and performed tracks from his album Shower Over Moon Street at The Royal Albert Hall in November 2009. "Save Me", the first single from the album, was released 25 July 2010.