18 celebrities you never knew were from Devon
PUBLISHED: 16:26 07 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:53 07 December 2017
Devon has produced some of the world’s best talent when it comes to film, music, sport, TV or pretty much any other field you can think of. Here are 18 celebrities that have shaped popular culture in their own unique way
1. Lily Cole
The list of Lily’s achievements is impressive and varied. Scouted at 14, the Torquay-born star graced the pages of many a Vogue magazine, before turning to acting. On top of that, she’s got a double first from Cambridge University in Art History and has started a company called Impossible – a social networking website that aims to encourage a culture of giving.
In 2017 Cole portrayed Elizabeth I in Channel 5’s eponymous docu-drama that looked at the rule of the last monarch of the House of Tudor.
2. Tom Daley
The Plymouth-born diver notably won two gold medals for England at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, and the bronze medal for Great Britain in the individual competition at London’s 2012 Olympic Games. Tom has become a TV personality, appearing on ITV reality show Splash as a mentor to celebrities taking part in the show.
At the 2016 Olympic Games Daley and Daniel Goodfellow won a bronze medal in the synchronised 10m platform. Daley’s YouTube channel has over 500,000 subscribers and it’s the best way to keep up-to-date with his life.
3. Chris Martin
Known both as member of hugely successful band Coldplay and as one half of the ‘consciously uncoupled’ marriage to Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin hails from Whitestone, Exeter. The star also has a first class honours degree in Greek and Latin.
In 2015, the eight-time Brit award winner pledged to curate live concerts for the Global Citizen festival – part of a movement to end extreme poverty. At the 2017 Brit awards he paid tribute to George Michael with a touching cover of A Different Corner.
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4. Lauren Pope
Surprisingly, The Only Way is Essex star is not of Essex origin. The DJ, model and reality TV personality was born and raised in beautiful Devon. In addition to her more public occupations, entrepreneurial Lauren is the owner of hair extension business, Hair Rehab London.
After leaving TOWIE in 2015, she returned to the show two years later and has currently featured in over 150 episodes.
5. Joss Stone
The soul singer shot to fame with her debut album The Soul Sessions, which was subsequently nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize. When not adopting her stage name, Joss Stone, the multi-award winning star is known as Joscelyn Eve Stoker and grew up in Ashill, near Cullompton.
Music isn’t her only talent: Joss has also appeared on screen, notably as Anne of Cleave in period drama The Tudors, starring Henry Cavill and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Stone is now part of a new group called Project Mama Earth and they released their debut EP in November 2017.
Owner of killer cheekbones and an enviable figure, the Victoria’s Secret model is also known for her role in the third Transformers film – Transformers: Dark of the Moon. She has been a name in the fashion world - due to her modelling - for over 10 years and was named 2015 Model of the Year by Elle UK.
Rosie attended Tavistock College and grew up on a nearby farm. After her role in the Oscar-winning Mad Max, she and partner Jason Statham welcomed their first child in June 2017.
Best known for his roles in Clash of the Titans and Oscar-nominated Unbroken, the actor grew up in Sandford, near Crediton – where he attended Queen Elizabeth’s Community College. Also a stage actor, Luke won the Laurence Olivier Award for best actor for his performance in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the National Theatre.
In 2016 he played James in the film adaptation of A Street Cat Named Bob.
The controversy-courting business woman is a well-known name these days due to her avoidance of political correctness and appearance on Channel 5’s Celebrity Big Brother. The Barnstaple-born star first appeared on our screens as a contestant on The Apprentice in 2006.
She recently left her job as a columnist for the Mail Online after they were forced to pay ‘substantial damages’ to a teacher criticised by Hopkins.
9. Miranda Hart
Born in Torquay, the comedian and actress is best known for her self-titled comedy show Miranda – for which she has received multiple nominations and awards. She has gone on to write multiple best selling books, including Is it just me? and Peggy and Me.
In October 2017 she released her first children’s book The Girl with the Lost Smile.
10. Matthew Goode
The actor is best known for his roles in Watchmen and the 2015 Oscar-winning film, The Imitation Game. Exeter-born Matthew has played a leading role, as Finn Polmar, in the fifth and sixth series of CBS political drama The Good Wife.
In 2017 he portrayed Antony Armstrong Jones in Netflix’s biographical drama The Crown.
11. Ben Howard
The surf-crazed singer is from the village of Bantham in south Devon. Growing up close to the sea, Ben fell in love with the waves, so much so that he started writing for a surfing magazine alongside studying for his Journalism degree in Newquay. After a while those close to him convinced him to concentrate his talents on pursuing his song writing rather than writing for the magazine.
Since releasing his album I Forgot Where We Were in 2014, there’s been precious little news from Howard, leaving fans desperate for some new music from this talented musician.
12. Bradley James
The Exeter-born actor Bradley James is best known for playing the role of Arthur Pendragon in the TV show Merlin. Prior to his acting career, he studied acting at the Drama Centre London in Kings Cross.
Since Merlin finished in 2012, James has featured in Homeland and iZombie while in 2018 he is set to take a main role in season two of Medici: Masters of Florence alongside Sean Bean.
The coastal town of Teignmouth was where rock band Muse were born: started by Matthew Bellamy (guitarist), Chris Wolstenholme (bassist) and Dominic Howard (drummer)in their teens, they went through a few name changes from the ‘Gothic Plague’ to ‘Fixed Penalty’ to ‘Rocket Baby Dolls’ before settling on Muse in 1997.
With a new album due in 2018, they’re showing no signs of slowing down after nearly a quarter of a century in the industry.
14. Angela Rippon
The first female to anchor on BBC, Angela Rippon was born in the beautiful port city of Plymouth with its historical barbican and maritime heritage. Rippon left school at 17 to work for the Western Morning News, the Sunday Independent, BBC local radio and Westward Television as an editor.
After decades of TV appearances - including a hugely popular cameo on The Morecambe & Wise Show - she was awarded an OBE in 2004. Today, she hosts a number of popular shows including Rip Off Britain.
15. Wayne Sleep
Wayne Sleep was born in Plymouth and is best known for his talented dancing skills and his appearance on various TV shows such as I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and Celebrity Come Dine with Me.
At the age of 13 he won a Leverhulme Scholarship to the Royal Ballet School in London and in the 80s he formed his own dance company DASH which ended up touring the world. Sleep was awarded an OBE in 1998.
16. Sue Barker
The ‘Paignton Peach’ Sue Barker was amongst the top tennis players in the 1970s and she won the French Open in 1976.
After her career in tennis she went on to be a sports presenter for the BBC where she is an inherent part of their annual Wimbledon coverage and host of A Question of Sport.
17. Peter Cook
Actor and writer Peter Cook was born in Torquay in 1937 and when he finished school he went on to study at Pembrooke College at the University of Cambridge. He appeared in many TV series and films such as the short TV series of A life in Pieces where he played Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling in 1990. He even played the Mad Hatter in the 1966 Alice in Wonderland.
Sadly, he passed away in 1995 and would never see himself voted number one in the 2005 Comedian’s Comedian poll, a collection of opinions from comics, writers, producers and directors.
Professional yachtsman Conrad Humphrey has been around the world three times and has been sailing for over two decades. As well as a sailor he’s also a motivational speaker and entrepreneur who is originally from Exmouth.
His most recent adventure saw him skipper a re-creation of Captain Bligh’s epic 4000-mile voyage in a tiny boat from Tonga to Timor.