It has been, by anyone’s measure, something of a rollercoaster year for Andrew-Lee Potts.

The actor, who turned 30 at the end of October, has had the kind of professional and personal highs and lows over the course of 2009 that one might expect to be written for the type of character he plays.

Andrew was born in Wibsey, Bradford, and now lives in Brighton with his Primeval co-star and fiancee Hannah Spearitt.

On a personal front, that was one of the high points. It was announced in April that Andrew and Hannah – the former S Club singer who went on to star with Andrew in Primeval, the hit ITV monster series that has run to three seasons – had got engaged.

Andrew has always nicely deflected questions about any forthcoming marriage, and told me earlier this year that he and Hannah were very happy and just enjoying life.

But there was also less happy news for his family when Andrew’s dad Alan, who lives in Bradford, was diagnosed with cancer this year.

Always one of Andrew’s staunchest supporters, and frequently acting as an unofficial press officer for his son, calling in with titbits of news, Alan remained stoic in the weeks after his diagnosis.

During filming Andrew and his family were delivered the news that his dad Alan, 57, had been diagnosed with inoperable cancer.

Andrew said: “I owe my Dad a huge amount. I owe all my comic timing to him and some of my favourite character traits which I have put into Connor are straight from him.”

Alan, 57, of Wibsey, although admitting to “going to some dark places” since his illness came on, remained remarkably positive and has paid tribute to his wife Susan as well as Andrew and daughter Sarah-Jane, also an actress currently starring in BBC’s Waterloo Road drama.

He said Sarah-Jane has relocated with her family back to Bradford to be near him, and told how the news broke while Andrew was in the midst of filming the third series of Primeval, causing the star to break off from the set and travel up to his father’s bedside.

Alan said: “He got special dispensation from the film company in case he had to come up at a moment’s notice. The entire family has been superb.”

Then Primeval was cancelled by ITV. The show, which used huge amounts of costly CGI special effects, was deemed just too expensive as the troubled network aimed to cut costs.

Andrew said: “We suspected there was something wrong because ITV were taking so long to announce whether they were re-commissioning the show for a fourth series. We all knew ITV’s position regarding money and Primeval is a very expensive show to make.”

Andrew received a phone call with the bad news from Tim Haines, head of Impossible Pictures which produces Primeval, while he was filming in Vancouver for his new project.

He said: “It was very disappointing. Primeval was averaging five million viewers an episode and the show has ended on a cliff-hanger, with Connor and Abby and the rest lost in time.

“But we’ve got to roll with the punches. We were all gutted, but this is the way it is.

“I’ve played Connor for three seasons now, and we knew it wouldn’t last forever.

“I feel most for the fans who have been loyal to Primeval throughout, especially the way the series ended. I’d like to thank everyone for their support.”

There was better professinal news to come, though. Over summer, Andrew spent several weeks filming a new version of Alice in Wonderland, called simply Alice, which was scheduled for broadcast on the cable-only SciFi channel in early December, with deals to get it on terrestrial TV in the works.

Andrew plays the male lead, Hatter – based loosely on the Mad Hatter character – and gets to act alongside such stars as Tim Curry, Kathy Bates and stars from hit shows and films such as Battlestar Galactica and Watchmen, and relative newcomer Caterina Scorsone as Alice.

“It’s so up my street,” said Andrew. “It’s really quirky stuff. It’s set 150 years after the original Alice in Wonderland story and is very cool. My character is a fantastic part to play.”

Then, following filming, yet more news broke… Primeval, and Andrew’s character Connor Temple, who had been a mainstay since the inception of the show, had been rescued from the jaws of extinction.

After cancelling Primeval earlier this year, ITV struck a deal with another broadcaster to bring it back.

From 2011 the series – which sees a squad of experts battling against incursions of deadly beasties from across time – will return for another 13 episodes thanks to a partnership between ITV, digital channel UKTV and series creators Impossible Pictures.

The premieres of season four and season five of Primeval will be split between ITV1 and UKTV’s new entertainment pay TV channel, Watch.

ITV1 will be the first to broadcast series four (in early 2011), while Watch will premiere series five later that year. ITV1 will then broadcast season five.

But before that, Andrew comes down to earth with a major role in the new Kay Mellor production, which he has been filming over winter and which will be broadcast in 2010.

A Passionate Woman, written by Kay Mellor, stars Andrew alongside Billie Piper, John Duttine, Anthony Lewis and Rachel Leskovac. The cast also includes Sue Johnston, Alun Armstrong and Frances Barber.

Filming took place at a disused unit at St Luke’s Hospital, Bradford – where ITV medical dramas The Royal and The Royal Today were filmed – and in Bradford city centre and King’s Hall in Ilkley.

A Passionate Woman started as a play at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds in 1992. This version will be broadcast next year on BBC1, in two 90-minute episodes, followed by an international release as a feature film.

As one of Yorkshire’s most successful exports, Andrew-Lee Potts is also fast becoming a national treasure. Good luck to him, and let’s hope 2010 is a year of more highs than lows.