Oh I know him, last seen as Tristan in a couple of episodes of Merlin. You're right though, until I looked up some pics I had no idea.
Like you say could just be a random name. There'd be pluses and minues to casting of him or someone like him of course.
On the plus side an older Doctor would be nice (much as I love Smith) again, and though he's 48 he doesn't really look it. The upside to casting a character actor of that kind of age is of course that they probably aren't going to want to nip off and try and crack Hollywood after a couple of years. Someone of that background may see the Doctor more as the pinnacle of their career than a launching point (which let's face it even fanboy Tennant did) and we may get some really continuity of 4/5 years in the role.
On the downside the filming schedule of nuWho has been claimed to be quite punishing, and obviously he won't be getting any younger. You also have to add in that, given his age and how long he's been around in the business, why he's never got a lead role before now? (Of course you could have said the same about Paterson Joseph and I wanted him to get the role).
If there is going to be a 12th (or 13th
) Doctor cast I doubt they can keep it a secret much longer.