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Karl Davies (1982)

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Karl Davies is an English actor, who portrayed Lyle Anderson in the TV series Kingdom. Previously he had portrayed Robert Sugden in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale.


Davies was born in Stockport, Greater Manchester, and was educated at Marple Hall School. He began his television acting career in 2000 with a guest appearance as Rick Ashburn in the ITV series Fat Friends before moving into the recurring role of Nick Pullen in Peak Practice, a role he played between series 9 - 11. He continued to play a number of minor television roles including The Bill before getting his big break in Emmerdale.


In 2001, Davies took over the role of Robert Sugden, a longstanding character first introduced in 1986. The role had initially been played by Richard Smith (1986–1989) before being taken by Christopher Smith, who held the position from 1989 - 2001. The change was made by series producers to allow them to engage Robert in a number of more mature story lines.

His first episode was broadcast in August 2001. The change in actor allowed the character to be developed and he soon became involved in a number of controversial storylines, most involving a long running feud with his adopted brother Andy Sugden. He also became known for a number of romantic storylines, with Robert having an increasing number of sexual partners including Donna Windsor, his brother's wife Katie Sugden and 15-year-old Debbie Dingle, the mother of his niece.
As one of the young male characters in the show he was invited to take part in a soap calendar for Now Magazine in 2004 alongside fellow actors Ben Freeman and Kelvin Fletcher.

The character's final romantic storyline involved an affair with the married Sadie King, played by Patsy Kensit. This storyline received media attention when Kensit reportedly objected to a relationship with a younger actor believing her character should be portrayed as a "more sophisticated man-eater". Kensit however clarified the reasons for this in an interview with Leeds Today News stating "When I first heard about the storyline, I said 'but he looks like one of James's friends, so boyish and young'.
But Karl is so adorable and we had a lot of fun filming those scenes".

The brotherly feud which dominated much of Davies' time on the show was used by producers as the vehicle for a high profile attempt to compete with rival soap EastEnders in the television ratings war and to secure Emmerdale's place as the second most popular soap opera in the UK. The chosen storyline involved Andy's attempts to kill Robert which led to their father, Jack Sugden being shot. The story was to prove a success securing viewing figures of 7.6 million compared with 6.4 million for EastEnders. This was the first time Emmerdale has secured such a ratings victory.

For his final and highly publicised storyline it was made clear to the media weeks in advance that either Robert, Andy or local vet Max King would be killed in an explosive road accident. In the end, it was to be Max who was killed but Robert decided he could no longer remain in the village and was last seen driving off towards a new life. The open ending allowed Davies to attempt to create himself a film career but leaves open a possible return to the show (where the character's family remains) should he and the producers wish to pursue this option.

 After Emmerdale

Following his departure from Emmerdale, Davies took the role of Damien in the short film, Me and Her, which aired at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on August 22, 2006. It was made by the UK Film Council and directed by Sarah Tripp. In 2005 he began production on a new movie, Dolphins, in which he plays the central role of Brent Black - a teenager from a rough estate in Brighton. Filming was completed in 2007.

Along with the production of Dolphins, Davies also spent 2006 filming an ITV television series, Kingdom, opposite Stephen Fry, Celia Imrie, Hermione Norris and Tony Slattery. It followed the story of a solicitor living in a quiet seaside village in Norfolk. Davies played a trainee solicitor Lyle Anderson, who dreams of escaping Market Shipborough, where the show is set, to work in the city. The first series aired in 2007 and the second began in January 2008.

In between series of Kingdom, Davies filmed a one off drama documentary for Channel 4, A Very British Sex Scandal. This was broadcast during a season of shows to commemorate the changing of the law with regards to gay rights. It told the story of the trial of Lord Edward Montagu. He was arrested and charged along with Peter Wildeblood for alleged indecent acts with two RAF nurses, Johnny Reynolds and Edward McNally.

In 2007 Davies made his stage debut in flint street nativaty at the Liverpool Playhouse

On 10 February 2009, he returned to Emmerdale for a one hour special episode for his screen father, Jack Sugden's funeral, dedicated to Clive Hornby.

In 2010, Davies played multiple characters on stage in the Tricycle Theater's ambitious, "The Great Game: Afghanistan." The play consists of twelve separate one-act plays about Afghanistan. The production's US tour includes stops in Washington, DC, Berkeley, Minneapolis and New York City. Davies appears in four segments, frequently as a soldier.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Karl Davies", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.