Peter grew up in Belfast during the Northern Ireland troubles and was lucky enough to be given a grant at 18 to study at the prestigious Italia Conti Academy of Performing Arts in London. After graduating he became a teacher there and combined this with an extensive career in both film and television in a variety of parts. He has tried to give something back to Northern Ireland and has seen drama and the performing arts as something that can bring both sides of a divided community together, helping everyone involved.
Over the years many of Peter’s students have had extensive careers in film and TV, and he has counted among his pupils household names such as Daniel Mayes, Claire Sweeney, Martine McCutcheon, Louise Redknapp and even Russell Brand. Lucas Rush, who has had considerable success in the West End, was mentored by Peter since the age of 9. Other more recent students have excelled and achieved some of the highest drama exam results in the world. One of Peter’s innovations has been to use filmmaking as a way to bring students together and inspire them – films which have subsequently been shown in Cannes.
If awarded the prize, Peter would fund more education courses under the umbrella of the UN’s ‘Ring of Peace’, and sponsor students from Belfast to attend two-day acting masterclasses in London or Los Angeles.