After training at Studio 58 Theatre School in Vancouver and beginning his career in that city, he moved to London where he has been living and working since 1978. He is married to Suzanne Shale, a former Oxford law don, currently a lecturer and medical ethicist.
Shale’s theatre credits include six solo shows (five of which he wrote) which he has performed in Edinburgh, London, Berlin, Sydney, Cape Town and Off Broadway. Other stage work includes His Girl Friday at the National Theatre, Aunt Dan & Lemon at the Almeida, True West for Shared Experience Theatre, Henry V at the Bristol Old Vic, The Normal Heart at the Royal Court, The Exonerated at the Riverside Studios and Frost/Nixon at the Donmar Theatre and in the West End.
British television appearances include "10 Days To War" (2008), "Not Going Out" (2007), the Stephen Poliakoff film Gideon's Daughter (2006) and Love Soup by David Renwick (2005), as well as episodes of Cracker, Sherlock Holmes, Sharpe’s Rifles and The Tomorrow People (1994). He played "Mr Beaver" in the BBC TV series The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (1988).
Shale's many film appearances include Michael Winterbottom's "Genova" (release date 2009), the Emmy Award-winning HBO production RKO 281 in which he played composer Bernard Herrmann, The Jacket, 102 Dalmatians, Code 46, Max, Welcome To Sarajevo, Jude, Little Shop of Horrors and Yentl. He has acted in over 200 BBC radio plays, read Bill Bryson's travel books on the radio and as audio books, has won a Sony Award as Best UK Radio Actor and a Writers' Guild Award for his radio dramatization of Dr Strangelove. Shale's most recent radio script was his adaptation of Budd Schulberg's boxing novel The Harder They Fall, starring Dominic Chianese. He has written columns, reviews and sketches for BBC Radio, articles for The Guardian and The Word and a BAFTA-nominated video game (Dog’s Life). He presented Kerry Shale's Listy Show, an eclectic music program on Oneword Radio and appeared in a tribute to Bob Dylan at London’s Barbican Centre. In the past few years, he has appeared as a panelist on BBC television and radio review programs such as "Newsnight Review" and "Saturday Review".
Shale's many audio books include Life of Pi (Reader of the Year, APA Awards), Slumdog Millionaire (Audie Award Winner, Best Abridged Fiction) and The White Tiger, winner of the Man Booker prize.Shale has lent his voice to many UK cartoon series such as Dennis the Menace, Budgie the Little Helicopter and Dr. Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop. Currently, he voices the part of "Big Chris" in the US version of the popular children's animated series Roary The Racing Car and "Sir Topham Hatt" in the US version of Thomas and Friends.
He has provided voices for over 60 video games, including Just Cause II (2009).