David Neilson was born in Loughborough in Leicestershire on 13th March 1949. He left school at fifteen and has since had an eclectic career, having started to learn drama at the London Central School of Speech and Drama when he was twenty, acting in repertory theatre and working as a gas fitter, plumber, ice-cream salesman and barman when not acting.
His cv includes programmes such as Z Cars, Up Pompeii, Bergerac, Casualty, Terry & Julian, Heartbeat and EastEnders in the early 1990s as well as appearing in the film Secrets and Lies, time as a stage director and theatre manager, teacher of drama, dramatist and fanatical Leicester City FC supporter.
He first appeared in Coronation Street in Episode 3884 on 19th July 1995 in the guest role of Roy Cropper who was then a slightly sinister figure in the flats at 5 Crimea Street where Deirdre Rachid and Tricia and Jamie Armstrong were housed by landlord Mike Baldwin. The character was also to have an alcohol problem but recognising the combined potential of character and actor, the writers made the role a permanent one and brought aspects of comedy and pathos to a redefined, teetotal misfit.
He is married to his wife, Janet, with one son, Daniel and within the character carries round as a prop a permanent reminder of his late beloved mother – her canvas bag which he has made Roy's own.