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Celebrity footsteps


* Our very own mysterious handbag heoroine deserves mention and top spot here. Retired market trader, Ann Timson intervenes during an armed robbery. Wow! What a heroine. Click for Full Story



* Britain's Got Talent winners 2012, Ashleigh and Pudsey from Wellingborough are set for Hollywood. Ashleigh Butler, the owner and trainer of Pudsey, has revealed film offers have come rolling in. Experts say he could earn as much as £5 million in the next five years.



* Scientist Francis Crick, born in the town in 1916, along with James D. Watson discovered the structure of DNA, and went on to win a Nobel Prize. In December 2005, a public sculpture called Discovery by Lucy Glendinning was erected in Abington Street as a memorial to Francis Crick.

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* Actress Joan Hickson, famous for playing Miss Marple, comes from Kingsthorpe.

* Birds of a Feather actress Lesley Joseph grew up in the town.

* Nearby is Althorp, the country estate where Diana, Princess of Wales is buried. In 1997, her funeral procession passed through the town.

* Journalist and broadcaster Andrew Collins hails from Northampton and wrote about growing up in the town in his memoir Where Did It All Go Right?.

* Des O'Connor lived in Northampton, worked at Church's for some years and played for the Cobblers (Northampton Town Football Club).

* Television presenter Michael Underwood lives in the town.

* Actor Robert Llewellyn (Kryten from Red Dwarf) was also born in the town,
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and lived at 47 Booth Rise until the age of 13

* Writer Alan Moore, creator of V for Vendetta, Watchmen, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, is a lifelong resident of Northampton. His novel Voice of the Fire is a fictionalized history of the town.

* Myrea Pettit, renowned fantasy artist of fairies, flowers and butterflies learned her craft in Northamptonshire.

* Jo Whiley, the BBC Radio 1 DJ was born in the town in 1965.

* Anna Murby, former BBC Northampton radio presenter is from the county.

* The late Delia Derbyshire, who was behind the original version of the Doctor Who theme tune, spent her final years in the town.

* Blue Peter's Peter Purves lived in the nearby village of Cogenhoe.

* Judy Carne, born Joyce Botterill on April 27, 1939 in the town, is an actress who may be best remembered for her introducing the phrase "Sock it to me!"

* William Alwyn (1905-1985) - Composer

* Northampton was used as the town location for Keeping Up Appearances between 1990-1995.

* Stuart Pearson Wright award winning artist was born in Northampton in 1975.

* Professional wrestler and former world champion,
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'Screamin' Norman Smiley was born in the town.

* Camp Comedian Alan Carr went to school in Northampton. His father Graham Carr managed the Town's football club at the time.

* Spencer Perceval was a local MP and Prime Minister. He is famous for having been assassinated in the House of Commons by John Bellingham in 1812 with a shot near the heart.

* John Clare, known as “the Northamptonshire peasant poet”, was sectioned in the local madhouse, where he remained until his death in 1864.

* Charles Bradlaugh, the famous radical MP, was a member for the town.

* The Victorian cricketer and pioneer missionary Charles ("C.T.") Studd who played in the first Ashes test, was born at Spratton, just outside Northampton.

* Errol Flynn acted in the Northampton Repertory Theatre between 1933 and 1935.

* Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672)- a puritan poet was born in Hardingstone, Northampton, England, in the year 1612, emigrated to America in 1630 to Massachusetts.

* Alban Butler (1710-1773) - the author of Lives of the saints

*John Dryden the first Poet Laureate who wrote a variety of plays and musicals, born in the village of Aldwincle to the east of Northamptonshire on 19th August 1631, he spent most of his childhood years during the 17th century in the village of Titchmarsh, also in the east of the county.

* Charles Dickens has made a number of literary observations about Northamptonshire where he spent a large amount of time in Kettering and the surrounding area. Rockingham Castle drew inspiration for his novel Bleak House which features many disguised references to the castle. The Saracens Head pub in Towcester is featured in Charles Dickens' first novel, The Pickwick Papers. In the introduction to Oliver Twist, it is stated that one of Fagan’s boys is employed in a Northampton Workhouse; the building he made reference to is still standing today on Wellingborough Road in Northampton.
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* H. E. Bates, full name Herbert Ernest Bates, was born in Rushden, Northamptonshire on 16th May 1905. Bates wrote poetry, plays and essays about both the county and gardening, but is best known as a novelist and short-story writer.

* The Trickers Factory in Northampton was the setting for "Price and Sons" in the film, Kinky Boots

* Jim Dale, star of the 'Carry On' series of films, Born: Aug 15, 1935 in Rothwell, Northants, England

* Marc Warren of the BBC's Dracula and Sky One's adaptation of Terry Pratchett's Hogfather, grew up in Kingsthorpe. He played the assassin Jonathan Teatime in the Hogfather and Danny Blue in the BBC's Hustle series.

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* Professor Stanley Unwin, used to be famous on BBC Radio for 30 years or more for his 'gobbledegook' nonsense talk, lived near Daventry. www.stanleyunwin.com

* All four members of the legendary rock band Bauhaus originated from Northampton

* Benjamin Franklins' ancesters originated from Ecton, a village 4 miles east of Northampton.

* America's first lady of poetry, Anne Dudley, came from Northampton, she was born here in 1612

* The grandfather of the second American President, John Adams, started the Quaker meetings in the village of Flore

* Sir Isham of Lamport was related to the 3rd President, Thomas Jefferson

* Toby Anstis, born in 1971 in Northampton and presenter of The Broom Cupboard on CBBC. Radio presenter for London’s Heart radio and took part in the ITV show I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!

* Edmund Rubbra. Born in Northampton in 1901. Died 1986 - English composer and music critic.

* Born in 1921, Malcolm Arnold was principal trumpet player with the London Philharmonic Orchestra until 1948. He has composed 10 symphonies and 18 concertos amongst his work. Awarded the CBE in 1970, he was knighted in 1993.

* Charles Montagu, born in Horton, Northamptonshire in1661. Died 1715. Co-wrote The Story of the Country Mouse and the City Mouse (1687) with Matthew Prior. Became an MP in 1691. Originated the Bank of England in 1694, appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer. Became Prime Minster in 1697 but retired to the Exchequer in 1699.

* Lead singer of the rock band Radiohead, Thom Yorke, originated from Wellingborough, Northamptonshire
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* King Richard III. Born in Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire 1452. Died 1485

* Journalist and broadcaster Andrew Collins hails from Northampton and wrote about growing up in the town in his memoir Where Did It All Go Right?.

* Writer Alan Moore, who's novel Voice of the Fire is a fictionalized history of the town is a resident of Northampton. Also widely considered to be the best current comic writer with "Watchmen" being his seminal work.

* Nanette Newman, actress and author, was born in Northampton.

* Elizabeth Lydia Manningham-Buller, born 14 July 1948 in Northampton. Educated at the High School for Girls in Derngate and eventually became Director General of MI5 from October 2002 until her retirement on 20 April 2007, aged 58.

* Stuart Pearson Wright award winning artist was born in Northampton in 1975.

* Lorna Fitzgerald, who plays Abi Branning in Eastenders lives in Hunsbury

* Coco the Clown, christened as Nicolai Poliakoff (or Poliakovs) (1900–74), is buried in Woodnewton, in Northamptonshire.

* Denys James Watkins-Pitchford MBE (25 July 1905–8 September 1990) was a British naturalist, children's writer, and illustrator who wrote under the pseudonym "BB".
Born in Lamport, Northamptonshire on the 25th July 1905, he wrote The Little Grey Men and The Idle Countryman among his works.

* Derek Nimmo, died February 1999, a few weeks after a fall at home had left him in a coma. He is buried in the churchyard at Easton Maudit, a small rural village in Northamptonshire where he lived.

* Derek Redmond, Olympic runner, was born and raised in Roade. He attended Roade Comprehensive School, now Roade Sports College, where the sports hall is named after him.

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* James Morrison singer/songwriter, although born in the neighbouring county town of Rugby, lived in Northampton for 18 months and went to Kingsthorpe Middle School.

* Walter Tull who played for Northampton Town FC became Britain's first black army officer during the First World War.

* Mark Griffiths left school at fifteen after being offered a job teaching guitar to young students at the Northampton Guitar Studios. Bass player with Shadows, Cliff Richard, David Essex among many others.

* Rebecca Hunter was born on 12th July 1981 in Northampton and is a former member of the pop group 'allSTARS*'.

* Matt Smith, born 28 October 1982 is the eleventh Dr Who. Born and raised in Northampton, he went to school at the Northampton School for Boys. Aim was to be a professional footballer and he played for the Cobblers youth team until a back injury forced a change in career direction.

* Faryl Smith, the 13 year old daughter of a hairdresser from Kettering, and runner-up on Britain’s Got Talent 2008. The mezzo-soprano’s first album has become the fastest-selling solo classical debut in chart history. Simon Cowell declared that, “We’ve uncovered an absolutely massive singing talent, full stop. She is one in a million and super, super special.

* Music composer, Robert Walker, born in Northampton in 1946 and now settled back here since 2004. Visit www.robert-walker.net for biography. When he was young, he was part of the flourishing music & arts scene at St Matthews Church in the town, and has made a distinguished career from these beginnings.

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* Timothy David Minchin born 7 October 1975 in Northampton, UK is a British born Australian comedian, actor and musician.

* Footballer Les Ferdinand, who played for England and a number of UK clubs including Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle, has set up home here.
* The elusive actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson, star of Blackadder and Mr Bean lives in the quiet Northamptonshire village of Apethorpe with his wife.
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*Caroline Chisholm born in Wootton, Northants 30 May 1808 – 25 March 1877. She is a 19th-century English humanitarian known mostly for her involvement with female immigrant welfare in Australia. She is commemorated on May 16 in the Calendar of saints of the Church of England. There are proposals for the Catholic Church to also recognise her as a saint. She is buried in Billing road cemetery
* Denys James Watkins-Pitchford MBE born in Lamport, Northamptonshire (25 July 1905 – 8 September 1990) , children's writer and illustrator who wrote under the pseudonym "BB". In 1975 "The Little Grey Men" which won him the Carnegie Medal in Literature and tells of the exploits of four gnomes was adapted into a 10 part animated series called Baldmoney, Sneezewort, Dodder and Cloudberry by Anglia Television
* Henry Chichele (c. 1364 – 1443) was born in Higham Ferrers, Northants and is noted for becoming Archbishop of Canterbury and founder of All Souls College, Oxford.
* Glenys Kinnock was born at Roade, Northamptonshire. She was a Labour Party Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 1994 to 2009. She is the wife of Neil Kinnock, who was leader of the Labour Party from 1983 to 1992.
* Elizabeth Woodville, Elizabeth Wydeville, Elizabeth Widvile (1437– 1492) born at Grafton Regis, Northamptonshire. She was Queen consort of Edward IV, King of England, from 1464 until his death in 1483 and infamously, was the first commoner to marry an English sovereign.
* Faye Tozer-Smith was born in Northampton on the 14th November 1975. Most famous for being a member of the pop group, Steps, which achieved a series of chart hits between 1997 and 2001.
* Anthony Higgins, born May 9, 1947 in East Northamptonshire, England to parents who had emigrated from Ireland just before World War II. He was a student at Rushden Secondary School. Often recognized for having played a stereotypical Nazi villain in, "Raiders of the Lost Ark," (1981).
* Jonathan Adams, 14 Feb 1931 - 13 june 2005. Played the role of the Narrator in the original London production of "The Rocky Horror Show."
* Michael Hubert Bourne, alias Mike Berry, the British Buddy Holly born in Northampton, September 24th 1942. He had a string of hits in the 70's and 80's and was also famous for his role as Bert Spooner in, "Are You Being Served?"
* Robert Goodman who starred in the films, "Gangs of New York" and "The Extraordinary League of Gentlemen" was born in the town.

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* Graham Ashley (1927–1979) born in Northampton and played in the Grange Hill tv series as the Caretaker, Mr Garfield and as the character Gold Five in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.

* Matt Legg lived in Draughton until the age of 5. Became a proffessional heavyweight boxer in 2001 winning 5 out of 6 fights. Now an actor most famous for his roles as criminals and fighters. Played a con in the 2008 film 'Bronson"

* Sophie Turner born 1996 in Northampton. Played the role of Sansa Stark in the TV series "Game of Thrones".

* Louise Brealey plays Molly Hooper in the BBC series "Sherlock". Also had roles in Casualty, Mayo and Law & Order: UK. Northampton, born 1979

* Former England international rugby player, now TV personality, Ben Cohen was born in Northampton in 1978. Awarded the MBE in 2004 for his services to rugby.

* Yolanda Beasley, May 21st 1973. Most recently has appeared in the History Channel's Mob Stories and a short film entitled, The Professional.

* Stephen Butcher, producer and director best known for his work on the soaps, Coronation Street, Eastenders, Emmerdale and recently, the Irish language soap, Ros na Rún.

* Richard Coles, ex member of the 80's group The Communards was born in Northampton in 1962. Now ordained as a priest at Finedon near Wellingborough.

*Nathan Cockerill, scriptwriter. Credited for M.I. High, Shaun the Sheep and Eastenders among others. Born in Northampton, 1974

* Danny Bradford Cox (born September 21, 1959 in Northampton, England), is a former Major League Baseball pitcher.

* Michael Crick, hard hitting news reporter and political editor, founding member of the Channel 4 News team, born in this town 1958

*Princess Victoria Ka’iulani, the last heir to the Hawaiian throne, was educated at Harrowden Hall in Northamptonshire in 1889

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* Byfield was the home of British folk-rock singer-songwriter Sandy Denny, and her husband Trevor Lucas, from 1974 until her death in 1978.

* John William "Long John" Baldry (12 January 1941 – 21 July 2005) was an English and Canadian blues singer was born at East Haddon, Northants.

* The Australian cricket umpire Ted Wykes was born in Little Brington in 1921.

* Marica Williams - Baroness Falkender of West Haddon, former Private Secretary to Harold Wilson, Prime Minister lives at West Haddon

* Simon Thomas - Former Blue Peter presenter lives in Nether Heyford as does Alan Carr - Comedian and Entertainer.

* The village of Thenford in the south of the county is home for former deputy Prime Minister, Michael (Tarzan) Heseltine.

* Hugh Dennis - comedian, born in Kettering

* Jane Clarke - Children's Author, born in Kettering

* Reginald Wooster - Cricketer, born and died in Kettering

* Ernest Wright - 24 October 1894 – 16 December 1977 Cricketer, born and died in Kettering

* Sir David Frost, OBE, broadcaster who attended Wellingborough Grammar School

* Brian Binley Conservative Party was born in the town of Wellingborough.