Stockport-born Karl first realised he wanted to act when he was just a child, and an avid fan of crime drama Cracker. At the age of 18 he began to carve out a TV career for himself with a guest appearance on hit ITV series Fat Friends, and went on to land the role of Nick Pullen in the daytime soap Peak Practice, for which he appeared in three series before shooting to fame on Emmerdale in 2001. After a number of controversial storylines, including a feud with on-screen adopted brother Andy and an affair with an older married woman, played by Patsy Kensit, he left the soap in 2006 - though writers left the door open for a possible future return. The extreme sports fan he once wing-walked on a bi-plane for charity - has moved on to pastures new, however. He's since starred opposite Stephen Fry in ITV drama Kingdom and also ventured into film with roles in Me And Her and Dolphins.