John was named after his grandfather, who shared the same name. His grandfather was an English train driver who died in 1957 whilst trying to stop a runaway train in Derbyshire. In October 2008, John was found collapsed at his house from a fatal suspected heart attack, whilst preparing for a role in Shameless.
He was most well known for his role as Nigel Harper in The Royal, playing the role sporadically between 2003 and 2005. Aside from this, he had also appeared in Doctors, The Bill, Casualty, Heartbeat and Dalziel and Pascoe.