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Entertainers

Entertainers

Richard Bacon

Richard Bacon was born in 1975 in Mansfield and went to Worksop College. In February 1996, Bacon joined L!VE TV as reporter, but he's best known as a former presenter of BBC television's Blue Peter programme. Since leaving the show, Richard has presented The Big Breakfast, Top of the Pops, Back To Reality and ITV's This Morning during the summer of 2005. He's also presented on radio stations XFM and BBC Radio Five Live and in 2005 started presenting the drive time programme "Richard Bacon: The Go Home Show" on London's Capital FM.

Robin Bailey

The late Robin Bailey (1919-1999) was born in Hucknall, Nottingham. An actor who starred in Kavanagh Q.C., Rumpole of the Bailey, Dalziel and Pascoe, Silent Evidence and The Adventures of Robin Hood among many other film and TV shows.

Richard Beckinsale

Born in Carlton, Nottingham, Richard Beckinsale (1947-1979) attended an acting course at Clarendon College (ncn Nottingham) which led to a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. A cameo in Coronation Street led to Jack Rosenthall's comedy The Lovers which rocketed him to stardom. Richard was most famous for starring in two of the greatest British TV sitcoms, ‘Porridge’ and ‘Rising Damp’, before his early death at the age of 31. Richard has two daughters who both followed in their father’s footsteps and became actresses, Samantha Beckinsale and Kate Beckinsale.

Ahsen ‘Ace’ Bhatti

Ahsen (known to everyone as Ace) was born in Nottingham in 1971. Along with fellow Grease Monkeys (2003) star Karl Collins, he was one of the original members of the Nottingham Central Junior Television Workshop. His previous credits include Cardiac Arrest, Band of Gold, Holby City, Coronation Street, The Sarah Jane Adventures and many other dramas.  In 2010 he joined the cast of Eastenders, playing the role as Yusef Khan.

John Bird

Television and stage satirist John Bird was born November 1936 in Bulwell.  He grew up in Nottingham and attended the city’s High Pavement Grammar School. He received an honorary degree from The University of Nottingham in 2002. Appearances in Bremner, Bird and Fortune, along with Rory Bremner and John Fortune, led to nominations for a 2003 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Entertainment of 2002 for a show performed at the Albery.

Peter Bowles

Peter was born in October 1936 and moved to Nottingham at the age of six due to his fathers job. He says he was always a show-off. His first TV credit was as a constable in an episode of "The Last Chronicle of Barsett" in 1959. He later achieved widespread fame playing alongside Penelope Keith in "To The Manor Born" and other British comedies such as ‘Only When I Laugh’.

Douglas Byng

Douglas Byng (1893 -1987) was one of the most redoubtable entertainers of the 20th century whose long career spanned theatre, pantomime, cabaret, film and television. 'Bawdy - But British' he was a master of the double-entendre, often appearing as a pantomime Dame. Noel Coward once described his act as 'the most refined vulgarity in London'.

Charlie Creed-Miles

Born in March 1972 in Nottingham and is the former partner of Samantha Morton (see below). He has a daughter with Samantha who was born in 2000.  Charlie won a handful of TV and film roles in his teens before his first lead in The Punk (1993). His big break came when Luc Besson cast him as David in The Fifth Element (1997). Shortly after he was praised at Cannes for his outstanding portrayal of junkie Billy in Nil By Mouth (1997).

Leslie Crowther

Leslie Crowther (1933 - 1996) hailed from West Bridgford and was awarded a CBE in 1993. Presenter of many TV shows, including the children's BBC favourite 'Crackerjack', he is also well remembered as a game show host. In particular 'The Price Is Right', through which his 'Come On Down' catchphrase entered television folklore.

Barry Foster

The renowned TV and film actor was born in Beeston, Nottinghamshire (1931 - 2002). Best known for his portrayal of cynical Dutch detective Van der Valk, his other famous roles included Bob Rusk, the necktie murderer in Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy. His wife of 40 years, Judith Shergold, was a singer and actress. Following his death The Barry Foster Memorial Appeal was set up to help disabled children get involved in theatre.

Chris Gascoyne

Born January 1968 in Huthwaite, Sutton-in-Ashfield. Chris has played Peter Barlow since December 2000. He trained at Central School Of Speech And Drama. His other TV credits include The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 (BBC1) as Barry Kent; Soldier, Soldier (Central, 1997) as Tony Rossi; The Locksmith (BBC1).

Sherrie Hewson

Sherrie, born September 1950 is a TV actress well known for comedy appearances and a long running popular role in Coronation Street and Emmerdale. Sherrie is now a regular panellist on Loose Women, a popular ITV1 daytime chat show.  Sherrie was born in Burton Joyce and by the age of six, she was in revues around the country, tap-dancing and singing. Before training at RADA, she was also an usherette at the Nottingham Playhouse.

Mathew Horne

Born in Nottingham in 1978, TV comedy actor and writer Mathew has appeared in ‘Teachers’, ’20 Things To Do Before You’re Thirty', 'Carrie & Barry' and most notably ‘Gavin & Stacey’ portraying Gavin Shipman. He also acted in and wrote for ‘The Catherine Tate Show'.

Barry Howard

Barry made his theatre debut in a Shakespeare season at the Comedy Theatre and toured extensively in numerous plays. The Nottingham born and based actor is well known as the champion ballroom dancer Barry Stuart-Hargreaves in the TV series Hi-De-Hi!  Howard has also appeared in Dr Who, in a two part special which was aired over Christmas in 2009.

Fred Karno

Real name Frederick John Westcott, (1866 - 1941) Karno lived in several towns before settling in Nottingham. Karno rose to become one of the greatest showmen in the world, making his fortune with Fred Karno’s Circus. The list of recruits to his troupe included Sir Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel, Will Hay and Max Miller. "When in doubt, fall on your arse."

KWS (Chris King, Winnie Williams and Delron St. Joseph)

The dance-pop trio KWS were from Nottingham. The bands name derives from the last names of its members - Chris King, Winnie Williams and Delron St. Joseph. They were best known for their No.1 hit Please Don't Go in the 1990s. But they weren't a one hit wonder - they actually had seven top 40s including Rock You Baby, Hold Back The Night and Ain't Nobody and won the Best British Newcomer award at the BRIT Awards in 1993.

Robert Lindsay

A star of the West End, Broadway and television, Robert Lindsay first found fame as the revolutionary Wolfie in 'Citizen Smith'. He has won Olivier, Tony and Fred Astaire awards on both sides of the Atlantic for 'Me and my Girl'. Robert studied Performing Arts at Clarendon College, Nottingham (ncn) before RADA. Best known for his singing, dancing, or affable clowning in 'My Family', Robert is also a heavyweight Shakespearean actor.

Dennis McCarthy MBE

Dennis McCarthy ( 1933 – 1996) Evacuated to Nottingham in WWII, Dennis presented on BBC Radio Nottingham and spent 25 years broadcasting to the city. He was well loved by listeners and his funeral brought the city to a standstill. He interviewed six Prime Ministers, Red Rum, and hundreds of film and TV stars during his career.

Shane Meadows

BAFTA nominated film director grew up in Nottingham and left school before taking any GCSEs. He made his feature film breakthrough in the late 1990's directing "TwentyFourSeven”. Nottingham's estates and suburbs have provided the locations and settings for most of his work to date. Shane is widely regarding as a Notts County F.C. fan and has several references included in his films by way of imagery and background shots.

Anjli Mohindra

Anjli was born in February 1990.  She attended West Bridgford School and is best known for playing ‘Rani Chandra’ in the Sarah Jane Adventures on CBBC. 

Samantha Morton

Born in Wollaton, Nottingham in 1977, Samantha Morton attended drama workshops at the former Central studios in Nottingham as a 13-year-old. Now she has established herself as one of the finest actors of her generation. Samantha, a Golden Globe winner who has also won Oscar nominations for her turns in Woody Allen's Sweet and Low Down" (1999) and Jim Sheridan's "In America" (2002).  Samantha has two daughters, Esme born in 2000 with actor Charlie Creed-Miles (see above) and Edie born in 2008 with filmmaker Harry Holm.

Donald Pleasance

Born in Worksop (1919-1995), Donald Pleasence started acting on the London stage in 1939. Serving in the RAF in WW2, he was shot down, tortured, and held in a POW camp where he formed an acting group to pass the time. Donald specialised in strange or menacing characters, from Ernst Blofeld in You Only Live Twice (1967), to Dr. Loomis in the Halloween series.

Su Pollard

Born in Nottingham in 1949 and attended Clarendon College (now ncn). Most well known for playing Peggy Ollerenshaw in Hi De Hi, Su’s TV debut was on Opportunity Knocks, where she came second to a singing Jack Russell dog. Su has had success with hit records, stage shows, theatre and pantomime in her thirty year career.  Su is a well known supporter of Nottingham Forrest F.C.

Alma Reville Hitchcock

Alma Reville (1899 – 1982) was perhaps best known as the wife of director Alfred Hitchcock, but she was also an assistant director and a screenwriter. She was born in Nottingham and lived for a short time at Robin Hood Terrace before moving to London.

Dale Winton

Now a TV personality and gameshow host, Dale was born in Nottingham in 1955. Best known for 'Supermarket Sweep', he was once a DJ with Nottingham's Radio Trent (96FM)

Musicians & Composers

Rob Birch/Nick Hallam (Stereo MCs)

Founder members of the Stereo MCs, Rob Birch and Nick Hallam, are from Ruddington, Nottinghamshire. Many people will be aware of distinctive tracks from their hit album 'Connected' due to sampling in adverts, films and TV jingles. After nine years out of the limelight they returned in 2001 with a new album. They won Brit Awards in 1994 with 'Connected' for Best Album and Best Band.

Eric Coates

The Hucknall born composer, Eric Coates (1886-1957), played the violin at age six. His mother was a pianist, his father played the flute, and along with his three sisters, they formed an orchestra. He studied in Nottingham and then at the Royal Academy of Music in London. The music to the film ‘The Dambusters’ in 1954 was probably Coates’ most famous composition. Other renowned works include the London Suite and The Three Elizabeths.

Elton Dean

Born in Nottingham in 1945 Elton Dean started taking piano and violin lessons at a very early age. He bought his first saxophone when he reached 18. His interest in jazz had developed through radio and records, particularly traditional English jazz. By the mid-60's, he'd started playing in London pubs, and became a professional musician. He's best known as the jazz fusion saxophonist with Soft Machine. Elton John took his first name from the influence of Elton Dean.

Bruce Dickinson

Born Paul Dickinson in Worksop, he's influenced singers, musicians and fans alike as the front man of legendary band Iron Maiden. Bruce left the band in 1993 to pursue a solo career, but rejoined in 1999 for the Brave New World album and tour. Bruce is also a published author with two comic novels under his belt, a qualified pilot and a gifted fencer. As well as the Masters of Rock series on Radio 2, he now presents the Saturday Rock Show on Radio 6 Music.

Corrine Drewery

Former fashion designer Corrine Drewery grew up in Beeston and Long Eaton. With no professional experience she joined Swing Out Sister as lead singer, and enjoyed a string of hits in the Eighties. Combining pop and jazz to create a smooth yet funky sound, the band's hits included Breakout and Surrender.

Russell Graham

The band ‘Air Supply’ consists of Arnold, Nottingham born guitarist/vocalist Graham Russell and main lead vocalist, Australian Russell Hitchcock. The pair met while performing in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar in 1976 in Sydney. They formed soft-rock group "Air Supply" and became a favourite of 1980s soft-rock fans. They have several gold and platinum discs to their credit and are still touring & recording.

Christopher Hogwood

Born in Nottingham in 1941, Hogwood is an English harpsichordist, musicologist, and founder and conductor of the Academy of Ancient Music. He is also a writer, editor and broadcaster with many keyboard and orchestral recordings.  

Alvin Lee

One of Nottingham's finest guitar legends, Alvin Lee was born in 1944 and started playing guitar at the age of 13. By 15 he was the core of Ten Years After. Lee is a lead guitarist, lead singer and primary songwriter. Super-stardom followed the film release in 1970 of the Woodstock Festival. In 1974 he released "In Flight", recorded live on stage in London. He went solo in the late eighties.

Graeme Park

The story of DJ Graeme Park mirroes the evolution of dance music and club culture itself. He worked in the Nottingham record shop Select-A-Disc in the early 80s. When the shop’s owner also opened the Garage nightclub, it was only natural he should turn to Graeme to select the discs. He became a pioneer of house music and during the summer of love became one of the biggest names on the scene - and 20 years later he's still a star.

Alvin Stardust

Named Bernard Jewry when he was born in North London, Stardust also had hits in the 1960s under the name Shane Fenton. Brought up in Nottinghamshire, he rose to fame in the 1970s with ‘My Coo Ca Choo’. This was his debut single as Alvin Stardust, with a mean and moody leather-clad persona. He became famous worldwide and was awarded the Music Week Best Male Recording Artist Award and the British Pop Awards Best Live Performance. In recent years he has turned his skills to acting on television. Stardust passed away on 23 October 2014.

Edwin Starr

The soul legend Edwin Starr lived in Beeston, Nottingham and died there at the age of  61. The US born star started making records in the 1950s and was one of the first artists to be signed to the Motown record label. He was best-known for the anti-Vietnam War protest song War and the disco hit Contact.

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