Wirral's most famous: You might be surprised who's on our list

Celebrity chef Paul Hollywood was born in Wallasey.

James Bond actor Daniel Craig grew up in Hoylake.

First published in News
Last updated
Wirral Globe: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

Wirral has played a huge part in creating some of the country's most well-known stars of the television, sporting arenas and history books.

In no particular order, here are a few of our favourites....

1. Chris Boardman MBE

Wirral Globe:

Olympic gold medalist Chris Boardman was born in Hoylake on August 26 1968. The 45-year-old was educated at Hilbre High School and rode in his first bike race at the age of 13. Chris still lives in Wirral with his wife and six children and carried the Olympic Torch through Birkenhead Park in 2012.

2. Fiona Bruce

Wirral Globe:

The journalist, newsreader and television presenter was born in Singapore but moved to Wirral with her family when she was four, attending Gayton Primary School in Heswall. The Antiques Roadshow presenter was awarded the freedom of the City of London earlier this year for her work with domestic violence charity Refuge.

3. Daniel Craig

Wirral Globe: Daniel Craig

The James Bond heartthrob may have been born in Chester but he spent many of his formative years in sunny Hoylake. The 46-year-old actor - best known for his portrayal of the Martini-loving, womanising British agent - attended Holy Trinity Primary School, Hilbre High School and Calday Grangr Grammar. He began acting in school plays when he was six and was soon recognised by the National Youth Theatre. Craig was also a keen sportsman, playing for Hoylake RFC Rugby Union Club.

4. Pete Burns

Wirral Globe: Pete Burns

The Dead or Alive frontman was born in Port Sunlight on August 1959. He rose to mainstream success with the release of the band's You Spin Me Right Round in 1985. His celebrity status increased further following his appearance on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006, in which he came fifth.

5. The Coral

Wirral Globe: SOULFUL: The Coral. Left to right: Bill Ryder-Jones, Paul Duffy, James Skelly, Lee Southall, Ian Skelly and Nick Power

The Coral was formed in Hoylake in 1996 when schoolfriends Ian Skelly and Paul Duffy began playing together in the basement of Flat Foot Sams pub. They were later joined by Ian's older brother James on vocals, Bill Ryder-Jones on lead guitar, Lee Southall on rhythm guitar and Nick Power on keyboard. The Coral continued as a five piece following the departure of Ryder-Jones in 2008.

6. Paul Hollywood

Wirral Globe: Paul Hollywood has announced his first ever tour

The Great British Bake Off judge and nation's favourite celebrity chef was born in Wallasey in 1966 and attended Mosslands School. He studied sculpture at the Wallasey School of Art but quite the course to become a baker - something we're very glad he did. Mmm cakes.

7. Stephen Hough CBE

Wirral Globe: Stephen Hough - piano recital
Before finding success, world renowned pianist Stephen Hough spent his days in Heswall, where he began learning to play at the age of five. He was a finalist in BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition at just 17, winning the piano section. He was awarded a CBE for his services to music in the Queen's New Year Honours List in 2013.

8. Andrew Irvine

Wirral Globe:

Mountaineer Irvine was born in Birkenhead in April 1902 and attended Birkenhead School. He disappeared alongside partner George Mallory during an ill-fated attempt to climb the world's highest peak. The pair were last sighted on June 8, 1924 just a few hundred yards from the summit of Everest. Mallory's well-preserved body was found in 1999 but Irvine remains lost.

9. Miles Kane

Wirral Globe: Miles Kane

Miles Kane is best known as the co-frontman of The Last Shadow Puppets and former frontman of Wirral band The Rascals. He was born in Birkenhead in 1986 and grew up in nearby Meols. The musician is currently pursuing a solo career.

10. Paul O’Grady MBE

Wirral Globe: Paul O'Grady has collected his MBE at Buckingham Palace

Before he found fame and fortunate as Lily Save and became one of the country's favourite comedic presenters, Paul O'Grady spent his days in Wirral. He was raised in a three-bedroom Victorian terraced home in Holly Grove, Tranmere and attended St Joseph's Catholic Primary School.

11. Wilfred Owen

Wirral Globe: WILFRED OWEN: Legendary war poet

Birkenhead is home to the only permanent tribute to WWI poet Wilfred Owen, who spent his childhood years in the town. Owen - who was killed in action one week before Armistice Day - attended the Birkenhead Institute after moving to Tranmere with his family when his dad began working at Woodside Station. The family lived in homes in Elm Grove, Wilmer Road and Milton Road.

12. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD)

Wirral Globe: Electricty: OMD

The British new wave group was formed in 1978 by Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys, who first met when they both attended Great Meols Primary School. 


13. John Peel OBE

Wirral Globe: Beef-ed up: John Peel’s tapes have been turned into a vinyl LP.

John Peel was the longest serving of the original Radio 1 DJs, broadcasting regularly from 1967 until his death in 2004. He was born in Heswall Cottage Hospital in 1939 and grew up in the nearby village of Burton.

14. Glenda Jackson

Wirral Globe:

The British Labour politician and former actress was born in Birkenhead in 1936, where her father worked as a builder. Jackson was educated at West Kirby County Grammar School for Girls and performed at a YMCA drama group during her teens. She worked at Boots before taking up a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1954. The rest, as they say, is history...

15. Sir Ian Botham OBE

Wirral Globe:

Heswall-born Beefy was always destined for a glittering career in the world of cricket as both his parents playing the sport. Botham is regarded as England's greatest ever all-rounder. He was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2009.

16. Austin Healey

Wirral Globe: Former English rugby union player Austin Healey felt an earthquake in Oakham.

The former England rugby union star was educated at Bidston Avenue Primary School and St Anselm's College in Birkenhead, having been born in nearby Wallasey in 1973. The father-of-four began his rugby career with Birkenhead Park FC. In 2008, the utility back made it to the quarter finals of Strictly Come Dancing.

17. Patricia Routledge CBE

Wirral Globe: NATIONAL TREASURE: Patricia Routledge in Alan Bennet's play Office Suite

Best known as her role as Hyacinth Bucket in the hilarious Keeping Up Appearances, Patricia Routledge is one of Britain's best loved tv stars. Born in Tranmere in 1929, Patricia was educated at Mersery Park Primary School and Birkenhead High School. Her father was a haberdasher and during WWII, the family spent weeks at a time living the basement of his shop.

18. Elvis Costello

Wirral Globe: Elvis Costello is to appear at The Anvil

Costello moved to Birkenhead with his Liverpool-born mother in 1971. It was here that he formed his first band - a folk duo called Rusty - with Allan Mayes. He moved back to London after secondary school.

19. Viv, Ralf, Eve and Jay Woerdenweber

Wirral Globe: Wirral's Gogglebox family: Eve, Jay, Viv and Ralf Woerdenweber.

Wirral's newest celebrities are the Woerdenwebers, stars of Channel 4's hit cult-viewing show Gogglebox. Vivien, husband Ralf, daughter Eve and her boyfriend Jay live in Tranmere and have been transformed from your average family into international stars since they first appeared on the show last year. Read an exclusive interview with the family here.

Other notable people from Wirral are rugby union player Matt Dawson, Prison Break star Dominic Purcell and former Prime Minister Harold Wilson - he was head boy at Wirral Grammar School for Boys.

Feel free to add your own...

Comments (5)

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2:40pm Fri 16 May 14

marty111uk says...

Paul Darrow, of Blake's 7 fame and Little Britain was apparently born in Heswall
Paul Darrow, of Blake's 7 fame and Little Britain was apparently born in Heswall marty111uk
  • Score: 2

4:48pm Fri 16 May 14

bigfoot says...

Bill Tidy cartoonist.
Bill Tidy cartoonist. bigfoot
  • Score: 3

8:19pm Fri 16 May 14

PaulCa says...

His Effluency (when he dons the regalia).
His Effluency (when he dons the regalia). PaulCa
  • Score: -1

7:01am Wed 28 May 14

keef666 says...

Steve Martland was born in Wallasey.
Steve Martland was born in Wallasey. keef666
  • Score: 0

7:05am Wed 28 May 14

keef666 says...

Composer Steve Martland was born in Wallasey
Composer Steve Martland was born in Wallasey keef666
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

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