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Martin Compston

Martin Compston
Born (1984-05-08) 8 May 1984
Greenock, Inverclyde, Scotland
Occupation Actor
Years active 2002–present

Martin Compston (born 8 May 1984) is a Scottish actor and former professional footballer. He is perhaps most notable for his role as Liam in Sweet Sixteen, for his role as Ewan Brodie in Monarch of the Glen, and for his lead role in the popular crime show Line of Duty.


  • Biography 1
  • Filmography 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Compston was born and brought up in Greenock, Inverclyde, and attended St. Columba's High School in neighbouring Gourock. A youth footballer, after leaving school he signed for local professional team Greenock Morton.[1] He has an older brother, Barry.[2]

Compston made two appearances for Morton at the end of the 2001–2002 season, in which the 'Ton were relegated from the Scottish Football League First Division. In both matches he appeared as a substitute, and both times Morton lost 4–0, to Alloa Athletic and Queen of the South.

Having never acted before, he successfully auditioned for the lead role in Ken Loach's Sweet Sixteen, which was being filmed locally. The film's success at the Cannes Film Festival gave him instant celebrity status in Scotland. His subsequent film career was comparatively low key as he wanted to "serve his apprenticeship" with a regular role in the BBC TV drama serial Monarch of the Glen. He then appeared in three films: A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (Jury Prize and Best Ensemble Cast at the Sundance Festival) with Robert Downey, Jr.; Red Road (Jury Prize at Cannes), shot in Scotland with Kate Dickie and Tony Curran, for which he was nominated Best Supporting Actor at the Scottish BAFTAs; and True North with Peter Mullan and Gary Lewis, for which he was nominated as Best Actor at the British Independent Film Awards.

Compston made a cameo appearance in small budget web series "Night Is Day". His next role was in the 2010 film Soulboy.[3] He also appeared in the horror film The 4th Reich as Pte. Newman.

Compston appeared in The View's music video for "Grace" and "How Long".

In June–July 2012, Compston starred in the BBC police drama Line of Duty. The show ran a second series in February–March 2014.[4]

In 2012 Compston also starred in the violent thriller Piggy.[5] Back to his Scottish roots, he then appeared in the lead role in The Wee Man, directed by Ray Burdis, a film depicting the life of renowned Glasgow Gangster Paul Ferris.[6] It was released in the UK in January 2013.

In April 2013 Compston starred in the ITV mini-series The Ice Cream Girls.[7]

Compston appeared as Roy James in The Great Train Robbery.[8]


Year Film Role Notes
2002 Sweet Sixteen Liam
2003 Monarch of the Glen Ewan Brodie 20 episodes between 2003 and 2005
The Royal Jeffrey Carpenter One episode, "Snakes and Ladders"
2004 Næsland Jed
Casualty Matty Howell One episode, "Lock Down"
2005 Tickets Jamesy
Wild Country Lee
2006 A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints Mike O'Shea
Red Road Stevie
2007 True North Seán
Night is Day Head Gangster One episode, "Sacrifices"
2008 Doomsday Joshua
Red Mist Sean Also known as "Freakdog"
2009 The Damned United John O'Hare
The Disappearance of Alice Creed Danny
2010 Pimp Zeb
Soulboy Joe McCain
2011 7lives Rory
Hit and Run Daz
Ghosted Paul
Four Lover
How to Stop Being a Loser Adam
2012 Strippers vs Werewolves Shaniqua
Sister Mike
Line of Duty Steve Arnott five episodes
Piggy Joe
2013 The Wee Man Paul Ferris
The Ice Cream Girls Mr Halnsley
Filth Gorman
The Great Train Robbery Roy James
2014 Silent Witness Jason Rosss
Line of Duty Steve Arnott Six episodes
2015 Hunter's Prayer Filming


  1. ^ "Films - interview - Martin Compston". BBC. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  2. ^ MacLaren, Lorna (15 November 2002). "Life doesn't come any sweeter Martin Compston, the young star of Ken Loach's new movie, is the latest Scot to shine at the cinema". Herald Scotland. 
  3. ^ Cath Clarke (26 August 2010). "How Martin Compston shimmied from football to films | Film". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  4. ^ Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two (2012-07-25). "Media Centre - Line Of Duty to return for second series". BBC. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  5. ^ "Martin Compston opens heart about love split and death of beloved gran". Daily Record. 2012-04-15. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  6. ^ Black, Claire (2013-01-13). "Interview: Martin Compston talks about his new film The Wee Man - Scotland". Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  7. ^ JAMES RAMPTON Published on 15/04/2013 18:02 (2013-04-15). "Actor Martin Compston makes waves as leading man - Scotland". Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  8. ^ Wednesday, Monkey (2013-03-06). "Martin Compston to play great train robber in BBC1 drama | Media Monkey | Media |". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 

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