Ricky was born in Oldham, Lancashire. His father was in the Royal Air Force which meant travelling the world to different bases. Ricky was scouted to play as a professional footballer for Arsenal and Celtic football clubs but this was thwarted by injury and instead he went to Southampton University to read Law. Whilst there he began modelling and became the Face of Reebok for 2000. He then moved into acting, with a role in the football soap Dream Team, during which he broke a leg, the injury being written into the show as befalling his character. In 2007 he left to play in another British soap, as P.C. Calvin Valentine in Hollyoaks.