About Bill


Bill Ward is a British actor and photographer, born and raised in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

He has a degree in Modern British History (Class 2.1) from Bristol University.

Bill started out in the Advertising Industry, and for over a decade had a successful career firstly as an Account Director, latterly as a Senior Strategic Planner for some of the UK’s top ad agencies (inc BBH, Saatchi and Saatchi).

A professional actor since 2000, his career includes extensive rep theatre experience (Bath Theatre Royal, Bristol Old Vic, Manchester Royal Exchange, Nothern Stage, Theatre Clwyd), West End (Spamalot, Million Dollar Quartet, Viva Forever), New Writing (National Theatre Studio, Battersea Arts Centre, White Bear), Off West End (Southwark Playhouse), Film (A Dark Reflection, Great Ghost Rescue, Ellie Rose) and TV (Silent Witness, Robin Hood, Footballers Wives, Cold Blood, Jonathan Creek, Midsomer Murders, Casualty, The Bill, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Eastenders etc.)

He is probably best known for playing the badly behaved builder Charlie Stubbs in the UK TV show Coronation Street, a role he played for 280 episodes and three and a half years, and for which he won a number of awards.  He recently finished playing the long suffering farmer, James Barton, in Emmerdale.

As a photographer, Bill is essentially self taught, and has been taking photographs since the age of 6.

He was awarded the Adobe Prize for his photograph "Rainbow Falls" at the 2015 Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year Awards in London (see coverage in the National Press).  His work was previously Commended at the 2013 Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year Awards, and he has had over a dozen photographs shortlisted at the Outdoor Photographer of the Year Awards.  His work has also been featured in a number of books, newspapers, magazines, advertising campaigns, and on the BBC website.  He shoots for the photographic agency Robert Harding.

He has permanent collections with The Contemporary Six Gallery in Manchester, the Mick Oxley Gallery in Craster, Northumberland, Webbs Fine Art Gallery in London, and the online gallery The Global Art Company.  He has had solo exhibitions at the Wendy J Levy Gallery in Manchester, The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, The Tabernacle in Notting Hill, Hollingworth Lake nr. Rochdale, and The Alhambra Gallery in Sydenham. His work has also been exhibited at The Diemar Noble Gallery in London, The Louise Janetta Studio in Buxton and the Manchester Buy Art Fair, as well as numerous bars, restaurants and cafes.

Constantly in search of peace and quiet, his photography is a response, and in many ways an antidote, to the time he spends as an actor working in the public eye.

His primary photographic interest is landscapes, whether natural, urban or industrial. A native of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, he is specifically drawn to water, and has a strong interest in history. Things that were once great, faded glory, a wistfulness for a time when, loom very big on his radar.

A lifelong traveller, he is particularly interested not just in the places he goes, but the time that he spends in them.  It's this "time", the time spent in, and with, a place, that forms the basis of his work. His photography is a deliberate attempt to explore how it felt to be there: specifically how it felt to spend this particular time, with this particular place.  

He has for some time now been experimenting with ICM (Intentional Camera Movement - the process of deliberately moving the camera whilst taking a picture) and in-camera Multiple Exposures, which he finds particularly revealing of the "essence" of any meeting between a person and wherever they happen to be.  

He's a fundamental believer not just in the beauty, but also the wonder of planet earth, and the privilege we all have of spending the limited time that we have on it, and with it.

I've pretty much always shot with Pentax Cameras, most recently the Pentax K3 and K3II, and am delighted to be an Ambassador for the brand.

I first came across Pentax whilst working for their advertising agency (Saatchi and Saatchi) in the 1990s. I've owned a number of Pentax cameras over the years, both film and digital, and have always enjoyed using them. They always feel very solid, built for purpose and to me they're very intuitive.

The K3/K3II (and the K5 before it) all deliver excellent picture quality, and are also fully sealed and weather-proof, useful if you spend a lot of time in the sea in the pouring rain. I use a converted K30 for Infra Red work, and still use an old 645 medium format film camera, as well as a couple of old 35mm film cameras when I want to slow things down a bit.

I like the fact that all these cameras are backwards compatible with 30 odd years of quality Pentax glass, and, as you might expect from a lifelong supporter of NUFC, I've always been one for the underdog.

Lens-wise, I use a Pentax DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5 fisheye, a Pentax DA 12-24 F4, a Pentax DA 17-70 F4, a Pentax DA 55-300 F4-5.8, and a fully sealed and weather-proof Pentax DA 18-55mm for when it's really wet. I also carry a Samyang 8mm F3.5 Fisheye, and a Sigma 10-20 F4 when only very wide will do, and a full set of Lee nd filters and grads..

I like to spend time in places when no one else is around, so the photographs I take are often (but not always) at the extremes of the day, first or last light, dawn or dusk. 

For post, I use Adobe Lightroom.  As little as possible.

Bill has permanent collections with Webbs Fine Art Gallery in London, the Mick Oxley Gallery in Craster, Northumberland, The Contemporary Six Gallery in Manchester and the online gallery The Global Art Company.

He has had solo exhibitions at the Wendy J Levy Gallery in Manchester, The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, The Alhambra Gallery in Sydenham, and The Tabernacle in Notting Hill, and Hollingworth Lake nr. Rochdale. His work has also been exhibited at The Diemar Noble Gallery in London, The Louise Janetta Studio in Buxton, and Manchester Buy Art Fair.

He frequently exhibits his work in local galleries, art trails, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes.

He also regularly gives talks at camera clubs and photographic events all over the country.  Do get in touch via the contact page on this website if you have any suggestions...