John Hopkins was born in Luton and majored in English at the University of Leeds from 1993 to 1996. As an undergrad, he joined the university's drama group and appeared in several plays, ultimately winning the "Sunday Times" student-actor award for his performance in "A Short Play About Sex and Death." With his thespian credentials thus bolstered, John was admitted to the London Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, from which he graduated in 2000. Almost immediately, he was recruited by the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company, with which he performed his first repertory season, from 2001 to 2002. Around this time, his looks encouraged television offers and, after minor roles in "Love in a Cold Climate" and "Trial and Retribution 7," he was offered and accepted the role for which he is best known to non-theater goers, as Sergeant Scott in the increasingly labored but popular British whodunit television series Midsomer Murders (1997). Give him his due: he left the show after the 2004-2005 season and was back with the Royal Shakespeare Company for its 2006-2007 season in both London and Stratford-upon-Avon, playing Caesar opposite Patrick Stewart in 'Antony and Cleopatra'. More recently his stage roles have included Richard Hannay in Patrick Barlow's comedic four handed version of 'The 39 Steps', Richard I in the new play 'Holy Warriors' at Shakespeare's Globe, and Benedick in 'Much Ado About Nothing', a performance which The Guardian said "confirms Hopkins as one of our best Shakespearean actors". Back on television he was a villain in 'Stan Lee's Lucky Man', and played Sir Francis Basset for two series of the BBC drama 'Poldark'. In a 2020 article in The Times (London), he was named one of '10 of the best British actors on stage now'.