Ricky Whittle was born in Oldham near Manchester in the North of England. His father Harry Whittle was in the RAF which involved travelling to different RAF bases around the world. Therefore, Ricky never settled in one country for longer than three years. A keen sportsman, Ricky excelled in various sports representing his country at youth level in football, rugby, American football and athletics. After being scouted by both Arsenal and Celtic football clubs, a series of injuries forced Ricky to pursue a Law degree with Criminology at Southampton University for four years. Here he began modelling, becoming the face of a Reebok campaign in 2000.
Following a successful audition and callback for the lead character in Sky One’s Dream Team, Ricky left university to pursue an acting career. After two action-packed seasons as bad boy ‘Ryan Naysmith,’ Ricky guest-starred on BBC One’s Holby City, where he played his first homosexual character, ‘David Richards.’ Sadly, after breaking his leg in a freak accident during a charity football match, seven operations meant Ricky was bed bound for a few months and told he would never be able to play the game again lucky to walk without limping. However, Ricky returned to Dream Team and a new storyline was written in which his character broke his leg, allowing him to recover on the show. After receiving strength and support from hundreds of fan mails wishing him a quick recovery, Ricky completed his rehabilitation and was back playing full contact football, proving the doctors wrong. Ricky finished filming the end of the ninth season of Dream Team and signed for Channel 4’s Hollyoaks. He played rookie cop ‘Calvin Valentine’ and appeared in the 2007 Hollyoaks Hunks calendar gracing the cover the following three years due to his increasing popularity eventually going on to release an individual calendar due to popular demand. Ricky also appeared in 2009’s Strictly Come Dancing shattering numerous records for the most 10’s ever in the competition ultimately finishing runner up before joining the January/February 2011 Strictly Come Dancing UK tour. Ricky left Hollyoaks in June 2010 and was immediately cast the BBC1 comedy Candy Cabs playing footballer and husband to be ‘Eddie Shannon.’ In November 2010, Ricky made the decision to relocate to California and chase his dream of American film and television. Within months of settling in, Ricky booked the role of ‘Captain George East’ in the romantic-comedy feature, Austenland, produced by Twilight creator Stephanie Meyer and Napoleon Dynamite’s Jerusha and Jared Hess. Additionally, he was instantly cast in the role of ‘Charles’ for the second season of VH1’s popular series, Single Ladies.
Ricky has since been seen as a series regular on The CW’s popular post-apocalyptic sci-fi series The 100 as the fan-favorite character ‘Lincoln,’ and also appearing as the charming ‘Daniel Zamora’ in ABC’s Mistresses. Currently, Ricky stars as the lead character ‘Shadow Moon’ in the critically acclaimed Starz television series literary adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s contemporary fantasy novel American Gods from showrunner Bryan Fuller (Hannibal). The show is also made available worldwide in over 200 territories via Amazon Prime Video and has been renewed for a second season. He also recently booked a lead role in the Netflix Original Movie Nappily Ever After opposite Sanaa Lathan.