Famous People from Leicester – The Ultimate List
We have compiled the Ultimate List of fame, consisting of all the famous people born in Leicestershire*. Breaking our famous people down into 12 categories for easy navigation: Acting and Film, Broadcasting and Journalism, Music, Art and Design, Writing and Journalism, Business, Exploration, Politics and Royalty, Religion, Science, Sport and Miscellaneous. How many of the list did you already know?
Acting and Film
Alison King – March 1973: An English Actress with major roles in the drama series Dream Team and also as Carla Connor in the soap opera Coronation Street (2006-16) She won Best Actress at the 2012 British Soap Awards. For more information, please click here.
Amanda Drew – December 1969: A British actress best known for her role in the soap opera EastEnders where she plays May Wright. She has also had a numerous amount of stage appearances such as House of Games. For more information, please click here.
Andy Nyman – April 1966: An English Actor both in films and on stage, one of his most known film appearances is in kick ass 2 playing “The Tumor”. He has also starred in many television series and programs such as, EastEnders and The Bill. For more information, please click here.
Barry Letts – March 1925 to 2009: A British actor, television director, writer and producer. His most known production pieces being the Dr Who science fiction series on BBC and he was also a director for the well know EastEnders from 1990-1992. For more information, please click here.
Betty Driver – May 1920 to 2011: An English actress and singer, who was best known for her role on the soap opera Coronation Street as Betty Williams, during this time she appeared in more than 2800 episodes. She was made an MBE in the 2000 New Year Honours. Please click here for more information.
Bill Maynard – October 1928: An English comedian and actor, who starred on many tv programs and series during his career. The most well know being heartbeat where he appeared in 155 episodes whilst playing the character of Claude Jeremiah Greengrass. Please click here for more information.
Charlie Clapham – June 1991: An English actor who is best known for his role in Hollyoaks however, he has also starred in films such as Kick-Ass 2 where he played goth kid. He is also a trained body piercer; he sometimes works at his family’s studio in Leicester. For more information, please click here.
Colin Hurley – 1957: A British actor and a former member of the National Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company and The Shakespeare’s Globe Company. He specialises in performing the works of Shakespeare and has performed as Lord Grey in a performance of Richard III. For more information, please click here.
David Neilson – March 1949: An English actor who is best known for his role in Coronation Street where he stars as Roy Cropper. He has also starred in the likes of Casualty and Heartbeat and is a lifelong Leicester City supporter as well as a labour supporter. For more information, please click here.
Dominic Keating – July 1962: An English film, theatre and television actor who is most known for his portrayal of Tony in Desmond’s. He is also known for his acting of Lieutenant Malcolm Reed in Star Trek: Enterprise. In 2005 he moved to his new home in Los Angeles. For more information, please click here.
Graham Chapman – January 1941 to 1989: An English comedian, writer, actor and 1 of the 6 in Monty Python. He played the lead role is 2 of the Python films. Interestingly Chapman turned down a career as a doctor to be a comedian. Chapman was openly homosexual and a strong supporter of gay rights. Please, find out more here.
Helen Pearson – September 1959: A British actress who has starred in 3 major soap operas, 1990 she was in EastEnders, from 2000 to 2001 she was in Emmerdale and since 2002 she has played the role of Frankie Osborne in Hollyoaks. She first started her acting career at the age of 29. Click here for more information.
Jeremy Bulloch – February 1945: An English actor who is best known for his role in the original Star Wars trilogy where he played the bounty hunter Boba Fett, he also appeared in many other big films and television programs such as; Doctor Who and Robin of Sherwood. For more information, please click here.
John Leeson – March 1943: A British Actor that is most known for his role on the television series Doctor Who, where he was the voice of the mechanical dog K-9 from 1977 to 1979 and then 1980 to 1981. He continued this voice for the spin offs such as K-9 and Company. Click here for more information.
John Payne – May 1960: An English voice actor who is famous for his roles in many different anime series as well as a couple of cartoon series. The most well-known series being Street Fighter and also Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes, he now works over sea in Vancouver. Click here for more information.
Josette Simon – 1958: A British actor who has played many roles over the years. Her most known roles being in Casualty and Merlin however some may know her from Lewis or Suspects. Her first acting role was in Cry Freedom back in 1987 at the age of 31. For more information, please click here.
Kate O’Mara – August 1939 to 2014: An English film, stage and television actress, and writer. Most popularly known for the role she played in the American soap opera Dynasty in 1986 where she played the role of Caress Morell. She also starred in the series of doctor who0 as the Rani. Click here for more information.
Lydia Rose Bewley – October 1985: An English actress most commonly known for her role of Jane in The Inbetweeners Movie, she comes from a family of stars as her mum is an opera singer and her dad played the vampire Demetri in The Twilight Saga films. She has also showed her hand in theatre. For more information, click here.
Mark Wingett – January 1961: An English actor best known for the role he played in the ITV police procedural The Bill where he starred as Jim Carver. Not only was he an actor he also directed a couple of stage productions such as Lone Star by James McLure. He also starred in Snow White and The Huntsman. Click here for more Information.
Michael Kitchen – October 1948: An English actor and television producer, he is most commonly known for this role as Christopher Foyle in the drama series Foyle’s War. He also has starred in two James Bond films playing Bill Tanner in both. His career first sparked in 1970 where he completed his first stage performance. Click here for more information.
Parminder Nagra – October 1975: An English television and film actress who has starred in the likes of Bend It Like Beckham and ER. She has also been the voice over for a video game and has won multiple awards such as the FIFA Presidential Award and the Best Television Actress in 2002. For more information, click here.
Patrick Barlow – March 1947: An English comedian, playwright and actor. His most recent appearance was in The Riot Club in 2014 where he starred as Don. He also wrote the script for The Young Visiters along with script writing he also wrote a stage adaptation of Alfred Hitchcocks The 39 Steps. For mor information click here.
Rakhee Thakrar – February 1984: An English actress who is most commonly known for her appearance in the soap opera EastEnders where she starred as Shabnam Masood from 2014 to 2016. She also starred in Holby city from 2010-2011 and many other television series and also a few films. For more information, please click here.
Richard Armitage – August 1971: An English theatre, film, television and voice actor. His first big break happened overnight when he has his first leading role in the television programme North & South where he played John Thornton. He has also starred in the likes of The Hobbit and Robin Hood. For more information, please click here.
Richard Attenborough – August 1923 to 2014: An English film director, actor, film producer, politician and entrepreneur. Attenborough received numerous awards over his life time and had grown to be so many different things to many different people. His final piece of work as producer and a director was Closing the Ring. For more information, please click here.
Rosemary Harris – September 1927: An English actress who first began her career on stage in 1948, before her debut in 1952 on Broadway. For just he stage work in New York she won the Drama Desk Award 4 times. Most commonly known for her appearance in the Spider-Man series and many more films and stage appearances. Click here for more information.
Selina Chilton – September 1981: An English actress who has appeared in numerous television and theatre productions. She is best known for playing Ruth Pearce in the soap opera Doctors from 2008 to 2010. She has had several stage roles most known being the lead role in Moira Buffini’s adaptation of Marianne Dreams. Click for more information.
Stephen Frears – June 1941: An English film director who first started his career of directing in the 1980’s which includes Dangerous Liaisons, High Fidelity, The Queen and many more. He was nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Director for The Grifters and The Queen. For more information, please click here.
Terri Dwyer – July 1973: A British television actress and presenter, who is most known for her role in the soap opera Hollyoaks where she played Ruth Osborne. However, the start of her career was as a model, this in turn sparked her career in Hollyoaks in 1995 but left the soap in 2001. For more information, click here.
Tom Hopper – January 1985: An English actor who has starred in several programmes on television and films such as Merlin, Doctor Who, Casualty and Tormented. His most popular role being in Merlin where he played Sir Percival. His most recent appearance being in Barbarians Rising as Arminius. To find out more click here.
Una Stubbs – May 1937: An English actress as well as a former dancer who performed on British television, the theatre and a handful of films. She was most commonly known for her role in the sitcom Till Death Do Us Part, until recently where she appeared in Sherlock Holmes and the landlady Mrs Hudson. To find out more click here.
Norman Bird – October 1924 to 2005: An English character actor, he was a familiar face on the British cinema screens during the 1960’s where he appeared in films such as The Angry Silence and The League of Gentlemen. During his lifetime he had over 200 television appearances. For more information, please click here.
Ed McLachlan – April 1940: A cartoonist and illustrator, his career first kicked off when a company called Punch purchased his scrap book in 1961. 3 Weeks late Punch accepted seven cartoons from McLachlan, from that point on he decided he must be a cartoonist. For more information, please click here.
Christopher Bruce – October 1945: A famous British choreographer and performer, up until 2002 he was the Artistic Director of the Rambert Dance Company. He has choreographed the likes of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber at her Majesty’s Theatre. He has also created many works for Rambert and also for the Nederlands Dans Theatre. Click here for more information.
Roger Pratt – February 1947: A British cinematographer, having been the photography director for over 35 films Pratt has been involved with some big films. Some of these include The Karate Kid, Frankenstein, Troy and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. For more information, please click here.
Broadcasting and Journalism
Arlo White – June 1973: An English sports presenter and commentator, he is the lead play-by-play voice for NBC sports coverage of the Premier League in the United States of America. He first began broadcasting at the age of 27 for Radio Derby. Later in 2001 he joined the BBC and presented Sport on Five. For more information, please click here.
Joan Maureen Baxter – May 1933: A British editor who is most known for her works on the children’s magazine for the show blue peter, she held the position for a total of 23 years (1965 to 1988). Much of her work is still used for the format that is used today. She was honoured with an MBE in 1981, for more information click here.
Clare Hollingworth – October 1911: A British journalist who was the first to report and discover the German invasion of Poland. Whilst driving along the Poland/German border she stumbled across a build-up of German troops tanks and armoured cars aimed towards Poland. She reported this to the embassy and this was when we discovered Germanys plans. Read more here.
David Attenborough – May 1926: An English broadcaster and naturalist, he is most famous for writing and presenting the Nine Life series. He is also a former senior manager of the BBC in the 1960s to 1970s. He is the only person to ever win BAFTAs for programmes either in black and white, 3D, colour and HD. For more information, click here.
David Icke – April 1952: An English write and public speaker who was a former footballer and sports broadcaster. He made his name back in the 1990s as a professional conspiracy theorist. He is the author of over 20 books and numerous DVDs. He has completed lectures in over 25 countries some lasting up to 10 hours. Click here for more information.
Derrick Evans – November 1952: Better known for his stage name “Mr. Motivator”, he is a British fitness instructor who rose to fame in the early 1990s. He did so with appearances on the UK breakfast show GMTV. He dressed in mostly tight spandex outfits to correlate with his segment in Power Ranges. Read more here.
Gok Wan – September 1974: An English fashion consultant, television presenter and author. He has worked with the likes of All Saints, Johnny Vaughan and Wet Wet Wet. He became a fashion consultant with his work being published internationally in magazines such as Glamour and Cosmopolitan. For more information, please click here.
Julie Etchingham – August 1969: An English television journalist and newsreader with ITV News. Initially Etchingham joined the BBC as a trainee when she finished her studies, later on in her career she went on to presents Newsround (the children’s new program) It was in 2007 when she moved to broadcast for ITV. For more info, click here.
Kevin Myers – March 1947: An Irish writer and journalist, he is most known for writing for the Irish edition of The Sunday Times. Previous to this he used to be a columnist for the Irish Independent he wrote the “An Irishman’s Diary” column several times a week. For more information, please click here.
Manish Bhasin – May 1976: A sports journalist and presenter who is currently working for the BBC, he is the former presenter of the The Football League Show, which ran from August 2009 to May 2015. IN 2001 he joined ITV’s Central News East. He was the youngest regular host coming in at just 27. Read more here.
Martin Gillingham – September 1963: An English sports commentator and journalist. He specialises in commentating for the rugby union on various channels such as sky sports BT sport and ITV. He also broadcasts athletics for Eurosport. He won the AAA 400m hurdles tittle in 1984 and was nominated for the Olympics. Click here for more information.
Martine Croxall – 1969: A British journalist and television news presenter who works for the BBC and is currently 1 of the main news presenters on the BBC News Channel. She originally started her career by completing work experience at BBC Radio Leicester, following this she began to work at East Midlands Today. Find out more here.
O.J. Borg – April 1979: A British radio and television present, he is currently working for the BBC. Currently he is the presenter of BBC Radio 5 Lives cycling show BeSpoke. He also spent 2 years as the presenter of The Hometime Show on that Key 103 station. OJ’s career first started presenting traffic and travel news. Read more here.
Oliver Kamm – 1963: A British journalist and writer, he has been a leader writer since 2008 and columnist for The Times. Before this stage in his career he spent 20 years in the financial sector. He is a prominent supporter of Tony Blair (former British Prime Minister) For more information, please click here.
Sir Henry Norman – September 1858 to 1939: An English Journalist and Liberal Politician, after graduating from Harvard University he worked on the editorial staff of the Pall Mall Gazette. After a few years he joined the editorial staff of the News Chronicle, being appointed assistant editor of the latter in 1895. For more information, click here.
Tina Baker – May 1958: A British broadcaster and journalist along with a leading British soap and TV critic. She has featured on many programmes such as Coronation Street and Big Brother’s Big Mouth. She is known as the soap opera expert on GMTV and is on the judging panel for the British Soap Awards. Find out more here.
Blab Happy – Formed in 1987: A British indie band comprising of Jeremy Clay, Jon Dennis, Tony Owen and Mick McCarthy. They were signed by Demon Records sub section F-Beat where they released 2 albums, Boat (1991) and Smothered (1993). The band parted ways in 1993 for other futures. Read more here.
Black Widow – Formed in 1966: Originally name Pesky Gee! Black Widow exchanged many members along the years the were in action (1969-1973 and 2007-2014). After swapping around their band members several times they finally realised a new debut album “Return to the Sabbat” read more here.
Cornershop – Formed in 1991: An Indie Rock Band who are most known for their 1998 UK number one single “Brimful of Asha”. Their original line up consisted of Tjinder Singh (Guitarist, Singer and songwriter), Avtar Singh (bass guitarist and vocals), David Chambers (drummer) and Ben Ayres (guitarist, keyboards and tambura). Read more here.
Crazyhead – Formed in 1986: A Garage Punk band influenced by the genre in the late 1069s, self-described as “urban bastard blues band”. All their songs had an underlying vein of black humour with themes ranging from trenchant social commentary to the surreal. For more information, click here.
Davy Graham – November 1940 to 2008: A Guitarist who was one of the most influential people in the 1960s British Folk Revival. Inspiring many famous practitioners of the fingerstyle acoustic guitar for example Wizz Jones, Marin Carthy, John Renbourn and Bert Jansch. For more information, please click here.
Diesel Park West – Formed in 1980: An alternative rock band who currently have released 10 albums with 6 singles making it into the UK Singles Chart. The original line up consisted of Rick Wilson, Geoff Beaven, John Butler and David ‘Moth’ Smith. Originally called The Filberts they changed their name in 1987. Read more here.
DJ SS – August 1970: A self-taught scratch DJ from his teenage years and street break dancer, he reached his highest career peak in the 1990s when the hardcore scene exploded in the UK. He is known for putting on the first large indoor party at Donnington Park in 1991. For more information, please click here.
Family – Formed in 1966: A Rock Band active from late 1966 to 1973 and again ever since 2013 for several live shows and series. Their style has been titled as progressive rock as their sound often explored into many other genres so as acid, psychedelia and folk amongst many. For more information, please click here.
Frank Benbini: A singer, songwriter, director and music producer who is the drummer for the Fun Lovin’ Criminals. He joined FLC in 2003, as well as being their drummer he also provides backing vocals to some of FLC’s latest albums. He is also 1 half of the ban “Make It Nice Brothers”. Read more here.
Gaye Bykers on Acid – Formed in 1984: A psychedelic rock ban who was 1 of the founding members of the Grebo music scene. Their original line up consisted of Ian Garfield Hoxley, Tony Horsfall, Kevin Hyde, William Morrow and Ian Reynolds. They split up in 1990 and went their ways, however in 2016 they got back together for another tour. Read more here.
Grace Burrows – June 1893 to 1980: A violinist, orchestra conductor and violin teacher, she was the founding leader of the Leicester Symphony Orchestra and she conducted the British Women’s Symphony orchestra in 1934. She suffered from blindness in her later life and died at the age of 87 in 1980. More information here.
H “Two” O – Formed in 2008: A Garage ban and bassline duo individually called Solution and Oz, the band name is a reference to the radio station they first met at before producing their own music. Most known for their single “What’s It Gonna Be” which sold over 43,000 copies and was #2 in the UK Single Chart 2008. Read more here.
John Deacon – August 1951: A former musician, most known as Queens bass guitarist. He composed several singles with the rock group and was involved in the band financial management. He composed in 4 of their top 10 hits such as “Another One Bites The Dust” and “I Want To Break Free”. For more information, click here.
John Illsley – June 1949: A musician most commonly known for his role of bass guitarist in the rock band Dire Straits. With the band he had been the recipient of multiple BRIT and Grammy Awards as well as a Heritage Award. Being one of the founding members of the group he helped create the groups sound. Read more here.
Jon Lord – June 1941 to 2012: A composer, hammond organ player and pianist. Most known for his work in fusing rock with classical or baroque forms with names such as Deep Purple, Whitesnake and The Flower Pot Men. He co-founded Deep Purple a hard rock ban in 1968 and was regarded as leader until 1970. Read more here.
Kasabian – Formed in 1997: An English rock band whose original line up consisted of the vocalist Tom Meighan, guitarist Chris Karloff, bassist Chris Edwards and finally vocalist and guitarist Sergio Pizzorno. In 2004 the line-up was completed when drummer Ian Matthews joined the group. For more information, click here.
KAV: A musician who moved to Los Angeles in 2008 where he released his solo project “KAV” which he announced at the start of the year. His track “Easy” was selected to be played in multiple films/shows/documentaries one of them being Naked Ambition on Netflix’s. Read more about KAV here.
Kevin Hewick – February 1957: An English singer/songwriter who was originally an early member of the Factory Records roster. He is known nowadays for his recordings on Pink Box Records as well as his recent work with Venetian Collective Unfolk. He first started playing the guitar at the age of 6 however did not fully learn until his teens. Read more here.
Molly Smitten-Downes – April 1987: A British singer, musician and songwriter. She was originally a dancer for the music project Stunt who achieved chart success in 2008 with their track “Raindrops (Encore une fois)” which was a collaboration of both songs. She represented Britain on Eurovision in 2014… Read more here.
Phil Oakey – October 1955: A producer, singer, songwriter and composer who is most known for being the lead songwriter, co-founder and frontman of the synthpop band The Human League. Besides The Human League he has had a very extensive music career as a solo, he has collaborated with numerous artists and producers. Read more here.
Po! – Formed in 1987: An indie rock band that was published internationally for Sunday Records in the US, Elefant Records in Spain and also Rutland Records in the UK. Their original line-up consisted of Ruth Miller (Vocals and guitar), Mark Fuccio (drums) and Julian Glover (Bass). For more information, please click here.
Prolapse – Formed in 1991: A musical group that had a sound created from a mixture of shoegazing, krautrock and punk rock styles. Their original line-up consisting of Linda Steelyard (vocals), Mich Harrison (bass), Donald Skinner (keyboards), Mich Derrick (vocals), David Jeffreys (guitar), Patrick Marsden (guitar) and Tim Pattison (drums). Read more here.
Robert Gotobed – April 1951: A musician best known for his role as a drummer in the band “Wire”. In 1973 he joined his first band which was an R&B group name The Snakes, he joined as a vocalist and during this time Grey taught himself the drums. He is now at the band Wire and is their lead drummer. Read more here.
Scum Pups – Formed in 1989: A punk rock, grunge, three-piece band formed in Leicester. The band was formed while at their 6th form college releasing their first singe in 1990 while still teenagers. This led to a teenage fan base with a big reputation for stage diving and moshing while at their gigs. Read more here.
Showaddywaddy – Formed in 1973: A pop group that specialise in revivals of 1950s and early 1960s hit songs as well as their original material, they dress as Teddy Boys. The banned was formed by the combination of 2 groups, Choise and the Golden Hammers. Leading to an 8-member band having 2 vocalists, drummers, guitarists and bassists. Read more here.
The Bomb Party – Formed in 1980: A rock band that people have described as being “the Godfathers of Grebo”. Their original line-up consisting of Peter Swaine (vocals), Laurence Wood (sax), Mark Thompson (drums), Andy Mosquera (guitar), Steve Gerrard (guitar) and James Hunt (bass). For more information, please click here.
The Deep Freeze Mice – Formed in 1979: An English new wave band who played between 1979 and 1989. Their line up changed line-ups twice over their 10-year performance. Their line-up consisted of Alan Jenkins, Sherree Lawrence and Mich Bunnage, they had 2 different drummers; Graham Summers and Pete Gregory. Read more here.
Tom Meighan – January 1981: An English Musician who is best known for the role of lead vocalist for the rock band Kasabian. He has been the lead vocalist at Kasabian since 1999, he has also contributed to the vocals in songs such as “Viva La Revolution” and “Ghosts on Crusade”. Click here to find out more.
Tony Kaye – January 1946: Originally named Anthony Selvidge who is a songwriter and keyboardist. He has toured with the likes of David Bowie and was the original keyboardist for the rock group Yes. He was also founding member of the band Badger and Detective. He then joined Badger for their last album in 1981. Read more here.
Yeah Yeah Noh – Formed in 1983: An “unpop” group who were originally created during the DIY post-punk era, their sound was described as ‘Calor-gas psychedelia’ by Mojo magazine. During the 1980s they released 2 albums and 5 singles and then split up in 1986, they reformed in 2011 and started playing again in 2012. Read more here.
The Dallas Boys – Formed in 1950s: A 5-piece vocal group who were regular performers on television in the 1950s and 1960s in Britain. After winning a Butlin’s talent contests they became specials on the television program Six-Five Special. They split up at the start of the 1970s but reunited in 1988. For more information, please click here.
Lawrence Wright – February 1888 to 1964: A popular music publisher and composer, he opened his first music shop in Leicester in 1906. Shortly after his first song was published, titled “Down By The Stream”, by 1912 he has established the Lawrence Wright Music Co. During his career he wrote over 600 songs under his name and as Horatio Nicholls. Read more here.
David Withers – April 1948: A rock and jazz drummer, who was the original drummer for rock band Dire Straits and he played on their first 4 albums, consisting of “Sultans of Swing” and “Romeo and Juliet”. He first played drums in the Boys Brigade and was taught by Richard Storer (a childhood friend). Click here for more information.
Art and Design
Duncan Fegredo – 1964: A British comic book artist who made his first break in 1987 when he showed his portfolio around UKCAC where he met Dave Thorpe. They both worked on a new strip for the magazine Heartbreak Hotel. Following the publication of this strip Fegredo’s career took off. For more information, please click here.
John Flower – October 1793 to 1861: An English architectural and landscape artist, well known to the locals as “the Leicester artist”. His talent was first noticed by a doctor who was giving him art lessons. He was then taken in by Mary Linwood a local schoolmistress who arranged for him to study art in London with Peter de Wint. Read more here.
Lemuel Francis Abbott – 1760 to December 1802: An English portrait painter, he was famous for his likeness of Horatio Nelson and for those of many other naval officers. In 1798 Abbott was declared insane and was then treated in a specialist mental disorders hospital. He painted many portraits one of the most known being of Admiral Nelson. Read more here.
William Edward – May 1908 to 1976: The 5th Earl of Leicester of Holkham of which he succeeded the title of in 1949 along with the 5th Viscount Coke. During World War II he served as Aide-de-Camp to the Commander-in-chief. He reached the rank of major and later became the Honory Colonel of the Royal Norfolk Regiment. Click here to read more.
Writing and journalists
Anne Fine – December 1947: An English writer who is most known for children’s books however has written some books for adults. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and in 2003 was appointed and OBE. She has written over 50 children’s books including 2 winners of the Carnegie Medal. Read more about Fine here.
Bali Rai – November 1971: As a child he had 3 main dreams: Playing for Liverpool F.C., being Bob Marley and becoming a writer. At the age of 11 he read The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole and became inspired to become a writer. His first novel was published in 2001 to great acclaim. For more information, please click here.
C. P. Snow – October 1905 to 1980: An English physical chemist and a novelist who served in several important positions in the UK Government and the British Civil Service. He is best known for his series of novels known as Strangers and Brothers and for The Two Cultures. For more information, please click here.
Colin Wilson – June 1931 to 2013: An English write, novelist and philosopher. He mostly wrote about true crime, mysticism and the paranormal world. He called his philosophy “phenomenological existentialism” and maintained his life work that was as a philosopher and his goal to create a new optimistic existentialism. Read more here.
David Campton – May 1924 to 2006: A prolific British dramatist who wrote many plays for radio, cinema and stage for 35 years total. He served in the RAF for 3 years (1942 to 1945) and then a further year in the Fleet Air Arm. In 1975, 78 and 85 he received British Theatre Association prizes. For more information, please click here.
E. Phillips Oppenheim – October 1866 to 1946: An English novelist who had a major success with his works on fiction and thrillers. For almost 20 years he worked at his father’s business as a leather merchant. After his success in literature Oppenheim purchased a villa in France along with the yacht. For more information, please click here.
James Allen – November 1864 to 1912: A British philosophical writer who was known for his inspirational books and poetry. He was also known for being a pioneer of the self-help movement. His best known book was “As a Man Thinketh” which since its publication in 1903 has been mass produced. Read more here.
Joe Orton – January 1933 to 1967: An English author and playwright who had a short career but a prolific one. Lasting from 1964 to his death in 1967, during this period he shocked, outraged and amused audiences with his black comedies. In 1962 he was jailed for 5 counts of theft and malicious damage. Read more here.
Julian Barnes – January 1946: An English writer he won the Man Booker Prize for his book titled The Sense of an Ending in 2011, 3 of his earlier books had been shortlisted for the prize as well. He has also written many crime fiction books under the pseudonym Dan Kavanagh. For more information, please click here.
Lynda Page – 1950: One of the UK’s top-selling authors who has written over 20 bestselling novels, which have reached the bestseller charts of well-known retailer WH Smiths. Page began writing her first novel in 1987 during her lunch house. The book was released in 1992 and later followed by her novel “Annie”. Read more here.
Sue Townsend – April 1946 to 2014: An English write and humourist who’s work consists of novels, plays and works of journalism. She is most known for creating the character Adrian Mole. Her big break in her career was in the 1980s when her Adrian Mole books took Britain by storm. Read more about Townsend here.
Thomas Cooper – May 1805 to 1892: A poet and one of the leading Chartists. His most notable work of poetry being his 944 stanzas of his prison-rhyme titled “Purgatory of Suicides”. Cooper was an autodidact, shoemaker, preacher and schoolmaster before he became a journalist and then Chartist in 1840. Read more here.
John Cleveland – June 1613 to 1658: An English poet who became a much sought after college tutor and lecturer on rhetoric at St John’s Cleveland. He opposed the election of Oliver Cromwell in the Long Parliament and for this he lost his college post. IN 1655 he was imprisoned but later released by Cromwell. Read more about Cleveland here.
Henry Curry – 1850: He founded the well-known company named Currys in 1884, originally Currys only sold bicycles and he opened his first shop in 1888. In 1897 after the company received partnership (with his sons) and proper financial footing currys now became “C. Curry & Sons”. For more information, please click here.
Henry Walker: Originally Walker worked in a butcher’s shop however this was during the war and meat was rationed. His partner suggested they sell ice-cream but could not have dairy products near meat. That is when Walker though of potato crisps. Since that day they have grown to be one of the biggest crisp producers. Read more here.
Nathaniel Corah – 1777 to 1831: A trader of textiles and hosiery, he founded his firm N. Corah & Sons. Which quickly became one of the most important textile manufacturers in the UK. After being released from prison in 1815 he started up his first clothes trading business. Read more about Corah here.
William Inman – April 1825 to 1881: The owner of Liverpool, New York and the Philadelphia Steamship Company, most commonly known as the Inman Line. This ran services for emigration in the mid-19th century. He held the title Lord of the Manor of Upton, he donated many funds for the construction of 3 churches. Read more here.
William Wyggeston – 1497 to 1586: An English wool merchant who was based in Leicester. He was extremely wealth and became Mayor of the Corporation of Leicester twice as well as representing Leicester in the 7th Parliament of Henry VII. He also set up an earl ‘hospital’ in Leicester which is now known as the Wyggeston’s Hospital. Read more here.
Joseph Goddard: A jack of all trades but most specifically architect. Before the idea of architect as we know it today existed, Henry was constructing houses and farm buildings and even the Fish and Quart pub in 1832. He had a son called Henry who continued his father’s profession after his death. Read more here.
Rosemary Conley – December 1946: An English businesswoman, author and broadcaster on health and exercise. She founded and was the president of Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Clubs, a competitor to Slimming World and Weight Watchers. She has released several books and exercise videos. For more information, please click here.
Ernest Gimson – December 1864 to 1919: An English furniture designer and architect. He was described by an art critic as “the greatest of the English architect-designers”. Even today his reputation is securely established as one of the most influential designers of the Arts and Crafts movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Read more here.
Tom Joule (Joules clothing) – Established in 1977: Originally called Joule & Son, selling branded clothing and accessories at horse and country shows. After identifying a gap in the market for vibrant country clothing, Tom got 100 pairs of pink wellies manufactured. They sold out almost immediately. For more information, please click here.
Henry Bates – February 1825 to 1892: An English naturalist and explorer, most famour for his expedition with Alfred Ruseel Wallace to the rainforests of the Amazon. After returning following 11 full years Bates had sent back over 14,712 species 8000 of which were new to the world of science. Read more here.
Politics and Royalty
Kelvin Hopkins – August 1941: An English Labour Politician who has been the Luton North MP since 1997. During the time 1958 to 1963 Hopkins was a semi-professional jazz musician who played the tenor saxophone and the clarinet. In 1977 Hopkins was appointed a s a policy and research officer with NALGO. Click here for more information.
Lady Jane Grey – 1536 to February 1554: An English noblewoman and monarch of English and Ireland for 9 days during July of 1553. Grey was the great-granddaughter to Henry VII and the first cousin once removed of Edward VI. Married to Lord Guildford Dudley, when the young king lay dying he nominated jane as successor to the crown. Click here for more information.
Simon de Montfort – 1208 to August 1265: A French-English nobleman who inherited the title and estates of the earldom of Leicester. He spearheaded the rebellion against Henry III of England during the 2nd Barons’ War (1263-64). Subsequently he became de facto rule of England. To find out more information, please click here.
Alice Hawkins – 1863 to 1946: A mother of 6 who worked as a shoe machinist, she was also a well-known suffragette. She was determined to have an equal say in the democracy of her time and was imprisoned 5 times in her quest. She first attended her Women’s Social and Political Union in 1907 at the age of 44. Read more here.
Lilian Lenton – January 1891 to 1972: An English suffragist, dancer and winner of the French Red Cross medal for her work as an Orderly during the first world war. She became a speaker and travel organiser for the Women’s Freedom League from 1924 to 1933. Although meeting D. H. Lawrence she died having been never married. Read more here.
George Villiers – August 1592 to 1628: The 1st Duke of Buckingham, he was an English statesman, courtier and patron of the arts. He was a favourite and a possible lover of King James I. Although his lack of success in politics and military he remains at the height of royal favour, until he was assassinated by a disgruntled army officer. Read more here.
Charles Henry Carter – October 1828 to 1914: A Baptist missionary to Ceylon, while Carter was working as a miller for an uncle he was converted to Christianity. He was later baptised and since that day he began preaching and immediately gained acceptance amongst the Baptists of Leicestershire. For more information, click here.
George Fox – July 1624 to 1691: An English Dissenter and founder of the Religious Society of Friends. Fox lived during a time of upheaval and war, Fox himself rebelled against the religious and political authorities by proposing unusual and uncompromising approach to Christian faith. Read more here.
Joseph Hall – July 1674 to 1756: An English bishop, satirist and moralist. His contemporaries referred to him as a devotional writer as well as a controversialist of the early 1640’s. Joseph had contributed several distinct literary areas one for example being satirical verse as a young man. Read more here.
Hugh Latimer – 1487 to 1555: Latimer was the Bishop of Worcester before the Reformation and later on in his life he became Church of England chaplain to King Edward VI. However, his life came to an end when Catholic Queen Mary burned him at the stake. Becoming one of the three Oxford Martyrs of Anglicanism. Read more here.
Benjamin Ward Richardson – October 1828 to 1896: A British physician, anaesthetist, sanitarian and physiologist as well as being a prolific write on medical history. He received the Fothergill Gold Medal in 1854 which was awarded by the Medical Society of London. He was a close friend and professional colleague to John Snow. Read more here.
Harold Edwin Hurst – January 1880 to 1978: A British hydrologist, he is most famous for his development of the empirical rescaled range methodology for measuring dependence at a long range. His research was very much so motivated by his empirical observations of the River Nile. The Hurst exponent was named after him and has been widely adopted. Read more here.
Harold Hopkins – December 1918 to 1994: A British physicist most famous for his Wave Theory of Aberrations. It is now central to all modern optical designs and it provides the mathematical analysis which allows the use of computers for production of high quality lenses. He also invented the zoom lenses and opened the door to key hole surgery. Read more here.
Roger Mason – May 1941: An English geologist, he is known for his discovery of Ediacaran fossils and is now a professor at the China University of Geosciences at Wuhan. He first got into geology when he was rock climbing with friends and saw a leaf embedded in a rock. This discovery kick started his career. Click here for more information.
George Aldridge – February 1936: A former boxer who competed in the middleweight category and won British Champion from 1962 to 1963.
During his professional career he had 52 fights of which he won 36, drew 2 and lost 14. He retired from boxing after winning British Champion in 1963. Read more here.
Pat Butler – May 1913 to March 2001: A British boxer who in 1934 won the title of British Welterweight. His professional career started at the age of 18 when he beat Len Wickwar in 1932. By 1934 Butler had been in 79 fights only losing 13 of them. He retired from boxing in the late 1935. For more information, please click here.
Errol Christie – June 1963: Currently living as a boxing trainer after his professional career, of which he fought 41 times winning 32 and losing 8. He was the captain of the amateur boxing team for England from 1980 to 1983. He retired from his professional career in 1993 to become a boxing coach. Click here to read more.
Martin Concepcion – August 1981: First beginning his professional career in 2003 where he won his first fight my knockout, this repeated for his next 6 matches. After his first 11 fights he had no lost or drew a single fight. However, after he started facing stronger opponents he lost the following 3 games. Read more here.
Shaun Cummins – February 1968 to 2012: Cummins won the WBA Inter-Continental Super Welterweight title in 1992, however in 2004 suffered a motorcycle accident that paralysed him. He had to leave the scene and needed constant supervision. In 2012 he was murdered by his carer at the age of 44. For more information, please click here.
Tony McKenzie – March 1963: The champion of the British light welterweight for the years 1986 to 1987, he made his first professional debut in the year 1983 with a 3rd round knockout. During his career of which he retired of in 1993, he fought 34 times losing 7 of them and winning 26. Read more here.
Rendall Munroe – June 1980: An English super bantamweight boxer who is the WBA International Super Bantamweight Champion. Along with this title he is also a former holder of the EBU and many other Commonwealth Super Bantamweight titles. Munroe’s day job is a bin man and has collected the nickname “The Boxing Binman”. Read more here.
Chris Pyatt – July 1963: Pyatt is a former world middleweight champion boxer. During his career he fought 52 times winning 47 of them and losing 5. He also won the EBU Light Middleweight Champion in 1986 and also the Commonwealth Light Middlewirght Champion the year previous. Click here for more information.
Tony Sibson – April 1958: A former middleweight boxer, he was most known as Britain’s best as he was the Commonwealth and European champion along with a 3-time world title challenger. Out of his 63 bouts he lost only 8 fights and won the other 55, 31 of them being knock outs. For more information, please click here.
Len Wickwar – March 1911 to June 1980: Turning professional from the age of 18, Wickwar started his career fighting in small clubs where he would fight up to 3 people in one night. His career was put on hold during WWII, he returned to boxing after the war however, he only fought 4 more fights before retiring in 1947. Click here for more information.
James Barnfather – July 1896 to 1957: An English cricketer who was a right-handed batsman. He played 5 first-class matches for Essex in the County Championship in 1924. He played his final match against Leicestershire. In his 5 first-class matches he scored 50 runs and took 13 wickets. Read more here.
Samit Patel – November 1984: A right-handed batsman and left-arm spin bowler. He made his One Day International debut for England in August 2008, however later got dropped after failing to pass the fitness levels. He became the 651st player to represent England at Test Cricket. For more information, please click here.
M. J. K. Smith – June 1933: A cricketer who was the captain of Oxford University Cricket Club in 1956, England cricket team in 1963 to 66 and also Warwickshire County Cricket club from 1957 to 67. He was one of England’s most popular captain and also played Rugby Union. Read more about Smith here.
Ian Baraclough – December 1970: Currently the assistant manager at Oldham Athletic however, he was a former professional footballer. As a player he played as a defender for the likes of Leicester City, Lincoln City and Notts County. He also managed Scunthorpe United between 2010 and 2011. For more information, please click here.
Ashley Chambers – March 1990: Currently playing or Grimsby Town as a winger, Chambers first kick started his career with Leicester City in 2005 at the age of 15. He is the youngest player in the club’s history, later on in his career in 2009 he was loaned to Wycombe Wanderers. For more information, please click here.
Dion Dublin – April 1969: A former professional footballer who was capped 4 times for England. He first started his career with Norwich City where he played as a centre-back, but first made his name t Cambridge United where he played as a centre-forward. He has also played for teams such as Manchester United and Milwall. Read more here.
Emile Heskey – January 1978: A professional footballer who last played as a striker for Bolton Wanderers. Before he joined the club he had played over 500 games over an 18-year career. He even represented England from 1999 to 2010 where he appeared 62 times. He first started his career at Leicester City making his debut in 1995. Read more here.
Chris Kirkland – May 1981: A professional footballer who currently plays as a goalkeeper for Bury, he started his career at Coventry City where he was seen as the country’s most promising goal keepers. He was signed by Liverpool in 2001 and went on to win the league club. For more information, click here.
Gary Lineker – November 1960: Currently a sports broadcaster and retired footballer, Lineker currently holds England’s record for the most goals in the FIFA World Cup finals of which he has scored 10. His media career began with Match of the Day with the BBC which he has presented since the late 1990s. Click here for more information.
Joe Mattock – May 1990: Currently playing for the team Rotherham United as a defender, he is a Leicester City graduate from the youth academy and has represented England’s youth teams at nearly every professional level possible. He joined the main Leicester squad in 2007 and played up until 2009. Click here for more information.
Levi Porter – April 1987: An English footballer who plays for the Shepshed Dynamos in the Midland Football League, he began his career working up through the Leicester City youth system. He played for Leicester City during the years of 2006 to 2007 where he appeared 34 times scoring 3 goals. Read more here.
Michael Robinson – July 1958: A retired professional football striker. He played in over 300 games for 5 different clubs, the 2 most known being Manchester City and Liverpool. He also represented the Republic of Ireland at an International level. He retired in 1989 and moved to Spain. For more information, click here.
Peter Shilton – September 1949: A former football goalkeeper who played more games for England’s men’s team than anyone else. He also has appeared the most times in world football, whilst also earning 125 caps. He played for 11 different clubs over his 30 year career. For more information, please click here.
Luke Varney – September 1982: Current striker for Ipswich town, Varney is a professional football player who started his career with a non-league club, Quorn. He has played for the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Portsmouth and Leeds United. He received fan player of the year in 2006-09 for Crewe Alexandra. Read more here.
Martin Corry – October 1973: A retired English Rugby Union player who played for Bristol Rugby and also Leicester Tigers, he also represented England and the British and Irish Lions. In 2005 he was the England Captain for the Six Nations match against Italy and Scotland. For more information, please click here.
Louis Deacon – October 1980: A former professional rugby union player whose position was lock. His career started as early as the age of 8 where he played for Wigston, before joining Syston RFC. Later in his career he joined the Leicester Tigers academy in the 1997-98 season. Then joined the main team in 2000. Click here for more information.
Steve Redfern: An English rugby union professional player, playing for England at a representative level Rugby Union and at a club level he played for Leicester Tigers. He also played club level rugby league for Sheffield Eagles. He played for the tigers from 1976 to 1984 and made his England debut in 1984. Read more here.
Ollie Smith – August 1982: A former international and domestic head coach of the rugby union. During his player career he played for a number of clubs the most known being Leicester Tigers, England and British and Irish Lions before a knee injury bought it to an end. For more information, please click here.
Shailesh Jogia – November 1975: A former English professional snooker player. Jogia was banned for 2 years from snooker for suspicious betting patterns on one of his matches. He won the English Open title in 1998 and defeated the likes of Mark King and Stuart Bingham during his career. For more information, please click here.
Mark Selby – June 1983: An English professional snooker player who is currently the reigning World Snooker Champion after winning the title in 2016 for the second time, his currently regarded as World Number One. He first joined the professional snooker tour at age of 16. Read more about Selby here.
Willie Thorne – March 1954: A former English professional snooker player who after retiring from the scene is now a sports commentator. He has won The Classic tournament in 1984 and has won many other Non-Ranking international tournaments, the most recent being World Seniors Masters in 2000. Click here for more information.
Ben Woollaston – May 1987: A professional snooker player whose sole professional title came at the minor-ranking third Players Tour Championship in 20011. His first and only full ranking event final was at the Welsh Open in 2015 where he lost John Higgins. For more information, please click here.
Geoff Bouchard – September 1948: After completing initial trials and sidecar racing Bouchard took up speedway in 1969. In 1970 he managed to get into the Long Eton team, riding in the 2nd tier of the British League. Bouchard retired from racing in 1979 after suffering a punctured lung. For more information, please click here.
David Howe – March 1982: Starting his career at the age of 15 in 1997, Howe joined the Peterborough Panthers team who were at the time in the Conference League. He has competed in the Grand Prix 3 times however he never won the tournament, however he did win The Elite League Title. Read more here.
Paddy Mills – 1913: Originally known as Horace Burke, he changed his name at the beginning of his career in 1937. He first started our riding for the Leicester Hounds before moving to Sheffield in 1938 after a season at Sheffield he left for the RAF where he served for 6 years. More info here.
Graham Plant – December 1949: Winner of the Second Division Riders Championship in 1968 and went on to have a career riding in the British League with the Leicester Lions, Newport Wasps and Halifax Dukes. He has also won the British Under 21 Championship and finally retired in 1983. Read more here.
Stan Williams – 1917: Williams was a speedway rider for Sheffield and Coventry. He stayed at Sheffield for 4 years (1938-39 and 1946-1949) he then moved to Coventry in 1950 – 1953. In 1946 he suffered a broken ankle and in 47 a broken wrist. This limited his career immensely. Read more here.
Tony Allcock – 1955: A professional bowls player who is twice World Outdoor Singles Champion as well being the three times World Indoor Singles Champion. In total he has won 14 titles and he also won the World Indoor Pairs Champion with his partner David Bryant 6 times! For more information, please click here.
Andrew Betts – May 1977: A professional basketball player whose career to date has been mostly international. Originally playing for Leicester Riders as a junior he then moved to the US where he played with C.W Long Island Campus University. In 1998 he was drafted into the NBA to play for Charlotte Hornets. Read more here.
Roger Clark – August 1939 to 1998: A professional rally driver during the 1960s and 1970s he was the first competitor from England to win a World Rally Championship event which he achieved in 1976 at the RAC Rally. He retired from rally driving in the 1980s after winning numerous events. Read more here.
Glenn Flear – February 1959: A chess grandmaster and author of several books aimed on different points of a game of chess. In 1983 he was awarded the International Master title and then 4 years later in 1987 he received the title of Grandmaster. For more information, please click here.
Jamie Green – June 1982: A professional racing driver, currently working on the Audi Sport Team Abt racing in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters touring car championship. At the age of 10 Green won the British Championship in his first season. For more information, please click here.
John Merricks – February 1971 to 1997: A professional English sailor, who achieved a silver medal in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta where he represented Great Britain. His career was bought to a close the year later after a tragic car crash that killed him and his sailing partner Ian Walker. Click here for more information.
Roger Williamson – February 1948 to 1973: A British racing driver who only took part in 2 races… His first in the 1973 British Grand Prix where he made his debut and his 2nd in the Dutch Grand Prix. It was at his 2nd appearance where his car suffered a tyre failure and flipped over and burst into flames, he died of asphyxiation. Read more here.
Jenny Pitman – June 1946: A former racehorse trainer and author, she was the first woman to train a winner of the Grand National, when in 1983 Corbiere won the race. 12 years later in 1995 she won a 2nd Grand National with the horse Royal Athlete. She went on to retire in 1998 where she became a writer. Read more here.
Donald Hings – November 1907 to 2004: An inventor who in 1937 create a portable radio signalling system for his employer at the time. This later became known as the “Walkie-Talkie” In 1939 his employer sent him to Ottawa to further his invention for military use during the war. He moved to Canada with his family when he was 3. More information here.
General Sir Patrick Howard-Dobson – August 1921 to 2000: A senior British Army officer and Quartermaster General for the Forces. He served in WWII where he saw action as a tank troop commander. In 1963 he was made commanding officer of his tank brigade. In 1979 he was made Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff. For more information, please click here.
Daniel Lambert – March 1770 to 1809: He was a jail keeper and animal breeder who was famous for his unusually large size. After 4 years of being an apprentice at an engraving and die casting works he returned to Leicester to succeed his father as Leicester’s jail keeper.
For more information, please click here.
Sydney Lucas – September 1900 to 2008: He was one of the 3 Remaining British Tommies of World War I, although the war ended before he was sent to fight. He was also one of the 4 remaining veterans in the world that had served in both World Wars. He first conscripted into the British army when he was a teenager in 1918. For more information, read here.
Kim McLagan – December 1948 to 2006: A British model during the 1960’s. Before she became a model she was working as a hairdresser in Bournemouth. Once her modelling career began this is when she changes her name to Kim as her current name was too similar to the popular model at the time Patti Boyd. For more information, click here.
Joseph Merrick – August 1862 to 1890: Most commonly known as the “Elephant Man” after his appearance in a freak show due to his deformities. His skin appeared thick and lumpy and he had developed enlarged lips along with a bony lump on his forehead. Along with this 1 of his arms and both his feet became enlarged. For more information, click here.
Charles Killick Millard – 1870 to 1952: He founded the Voluntary Euthanasia Legalisation Society (now known as Dignity in Dying). In addition to his support of euthanasia he also supported movements advocating for temperance, cremation, birth control and eugenics. He helped found the first birth control clinic in Leicester. Read more here.
*This list may not consist of every famous individual born in Leicestershire, if you know a famous person who we haven’t got on the list and was born in Leicestershire then leave a comment below.