Michael became well known for his role as Tyres O’Flaherty the bicycle riding raver in two episodes of Simon Pegg (with whom he and Nick Frost shared a flat) and Jessica Stevenson’s television series Spaced, and for his appearances at the Edinburgh Fringe and the Melbourne Comedy Festival. He also played Jordan, a former member of the British Army’s Parachute Regiment in the 2008 horror film Outpost as well as a Tyres-like zombie in Shaun of the Dead.
In 2003, he guest starred in the Doctor Who audio drama Creatures of Beauty. In 2004 he appeared in season 2, episode 4 of Hustle as Max the forger. He also was a small character in episode 2 “The Model” of 15 Storeys High.
He has also appeared in all three series of The Maltby Collection on Radio 4 as Des Wainwright, an eccentric security Guard who keeps repeating himself and reminding people he was in the SAS. He is presently playing the part of Benny “Deadhead” Silver in the BBC drama series Luther.
He appears as “Smiley” in the latest Betfair “Front Room” adverts.
In 2010 he had a major role in the film Burke & Hare, also starring Pegg and Stevenson.
In 2011 he starred in British horror film Kill List. The film received critical acclaim, and earned him the “Best Supporting Actor” Award at the 2011 British Independent Film Awards.
In 2013, he has appeared in an episode of BBC One’s Ripper Street as George Lusk, and the critically acclaimed Channel 4 shows Utopia as Detective Reynolds and Black Mirror as Baxter.