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Cyril Nri Nigeria Actor, writer and film director

Cyril Nri Nigeria Actor, writer and film director

Cyril Ikechukwu Nri (born 25 April 1961 in Nigeria) is a British actor, writer and director who is best known for playing Superintendent Adam Okaro in the police TV series The Bill. Cyril Nri had appeared in “The Bill” in a minor role, visiting a patient in hospital, before taking up the role of Superintendent Okaro.


Nri attended Holland Park School in West London and appeared in a school production of Three Penny Opera. He attended the Young Vic Youth Theatre in Waterloo, London. He trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, and is probably best known for playing the role of Superintendent Adam Okaro, later Chief Superintendent, in the long-running ITV police drama The Bill. He also had a role as Graham, a barrister colleague of Miles and Anna, in both series of the cult BBC TV drama series This Life.

After drama school at the Bristol Old Vic Cyril started acting life at The Royal Shakespeare Company where his first role was Lucius in Ron Daniel’s 1982 production of Julius Caesar. He played Ariel to Max Von Sydow’s Prospero in Jonathan Miller’s 1988 production of The Tempest.

In 2008, he starred alongside other former The Bill favourites, Philip Whitchurch and Russell Boulter in an episode of BBC1’s Waking the Dead.

In 2009 he appeared in The Observer at the Royal National Theatre.

In 2009 and 2010 he appeared as the Shopkeepr in Law & Order UK as a Judge Demarco and again reprised this role in the 2012 and 2013 series of the show.

In February 2010 he guest starred in Doctors.

In November 2010, he appeared in Series 4 of The Sarah Jane Adventures, in the “Lost in Time” episodes. He later reappeared in October 2011, in the opening episode of Series 5, “Sky”.

In 2012–13 he played Cassius in Greg Doran’s Royal Shakespeare Company production of Julius Caesar in Stratford upon Avon, London and New York, where in his New York Times review Ben Brantley said of Nri, “Mr. Nri’s expression as he registers Caesar’s words is that of a man who feels a noose tightening around his neck. Wary and sly, scared and manipulative, Mr. Nri is an excellent Cassius, capturing the climate of paranoia and politicking that thickens the air.”

In 2016, he earned a British Academy Television Award nomination for his performance as Lance in the Russell T. Davies TV series Cucumber. He also appeared in an episode of Goodnight Sweetheart playing a doctor at the hospital where Yvonne Sparrow loses her unborn child (series 4).

In 2016 he played Polonius in Simon Godwin’s production of Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

In late October 2016 he made his debut as a recurring character in the Doctor Who Spin off Class.


Nri’s family are Igbo; they fled the country in 1968 prior to the end of the Nigerian Civil/Biafran War. He moved to Portugal when he was seven, and later to London. Nri lives in South London and has done since the 1980s.

He went to a school in Kensington, London.

Cyril Nri has been married, and he now identifies as bisexual. He has two grown-up children.


  • Death in Paradise (2017) ….Mayor Joseph Richards.. episode 6.1
  • Class (2016) ….Chair
  • Crims (2015) ….Mr Gardener
  • Cucumber (2015) ….Lance
  • Law & Order: UK (TV series) (2012/2013) ….Judge Demarco
  • Wizards vs Aliens (TV series) (2012) ….Nathaniel Nightjar
  • Julius Caesar (Film) (2012)….Cassius
  • House of Anubis (TV series) (2011)….Philip Lewis
  • Holby City (TV series) (2011)….Pastor
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures (TV series) (2010)….The Shopkeeper
  • Tinga Tinga Tales (TV series) (2010)….Peacock
  • Doctors (TV series) (2010)….Mark Harmer
  • Law & Order: UK (TV series) (2009/2010) ….Judge Demarco
  • Waking the Dead (TV series) (2008) …. Raymond Ayanike
  • Survivor (film) (2008) ….Boss
  • Deadmeat (2007) ….Prime Minister
  • Cold Blood (2007) ….Colonel Harrington Smith
  • Holby City (2007) ….Lawrence Marshall
  • Murder Investigation Team (2003) ….Supt. Adam Okaro
  • Harry Hill’s TV Burp (2002) ….Supt. Adam Okaro
  • The Bill (2002–2006) ….Supt./Chief Supt. Adam Okaro
  • Long Time Dead (2002)….Dr. Wilson
  • Doctors (2001)….Andrew Lombard
  • Down to Earth (2001)….Henry Jones
  • EastEnders (2001)….DS Burton
  • Family Affairs (2000) ….William McHugh
  • Holby City (2000) ….Ben Sinclair
  • Arabian Nights (2000) ….Schaca
  • A Touch of Frost (1999) ….Warren Barber
  • Wing Commander (1999) ….Security Officer
  • Besieged (1998) ….Priest
  • Tale of the Mummy (1998) ….Forensics
  • Only Love (1998) ….Eric Blair
  • This Life (1996–97) ….Graham
  • Goodnight Sweetheart (1997) ….Dr. Obote
  • Behind the Mask (1997) ….Kano
  • Pie in the Sky (1996) ….Stuart Crowe
  • The Steal (1995) ….Council Computer Operator
  • Calling the Shots (1994) ….Paul
  • Frank Stubbs Promotes (1993) ….Baxter
  • Runaway Bay (1992) ….Paul
  • The Bill (1990) ….Series 5 Ep 98 Barrister Julian Bates
  • Saracen (1989) ….Desmond
  • Strapless (1989) ….Harold Sabola

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