Famous People who have Lived or Moved House to Newcastle and Tyne & Wear
Celebrities, Comedians and Sports Heroes Past and Present who have Lived or Moved to Newcastle. We have included the most famous past and present celebrities who either grew up or moved to Newcastle at some point in their lives. The question is, will you know them all?
James Arthur is a Middlesbrough singer-songwriter who was born in 1988. James mum was English and his dad Scotish and he had many family difficulties when he was growing up. He started writing and recording songs when he was just 15 and James made it big when he won the 9th series of the TV talent show the X-Factor in 2012. Since this time James has recorded and released many singles and albums, regularly topping the music charts and is a successful artist even though there have been some controversies since his time in the X-Factor.
Kenny Atkinson is an award-winning Michelin star chef and was born in 1976 in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. He was educated at Newcastle College and won his first Michelin star as a head chef at a restaurant in the Scilly Islands and followed this up with another as head chef for a restaurant at Seaham Hall in County Durham. He was named Chef of the Year in the Catey Awards of 2009. He opened his own restaurant House of Tides near Newcastle’s quayside in 2014 which was awarded a Michelin star in 2015. Kenny has also appeared on the BBC’s Great British Menu and on Saturday Kitchen.
Rowan Atkinson CBE is a well known English TV actor, movie actor and comedian and is a huge favourite with the British public. He was born in County Durham in 1955 and his parents were farmers. He attended Durham Chorister School and was there at the same time as Tony Blair and first appeared on the Not the Nine O’ Clock News between 1979 and 1982. His tv and film roles, and the ones he is most famous for are; Mr Bean, Blackadder and Johnny English.
Peter Beardsley MBE is a football hero that was born in 1961 in Hexham and grew up in Forest Hall, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Peter played for Newcastle United and England and scored 119 goals for Newcastle United in 326 appearances so was always a firm favourite. In 1987, he set a record transfer fee in the English game and represented England 59 times between 1986 and 1996.
Jamie Bell is an actor and dancer who was born in Billingham in 1986. He is best known for his lead role in the movie Billy Elliot and was nominated for and won a number of awards, including the Best Newcomer Award and then the Best Male Performance at the BAFTA awards. Jamies started dancing when he was just six and his sister, mum, grandmother, and aunt all danced before him. Jamie first decided to act when he was nine and his first acting role was in the London stage production of Bugsy Malone in Christmas 1998.
David Bellamy OBE was born in London in 1933. He is an English author, broadcaster, environmental campaigner and botanist and moved house to County Durham in 1960, making the North East his home. He is best known as Bellamy and is one of the most respected TV naturalists, however, in his later career his popularity has been challenged by his seemingly non-mainstream views on climate change. Bellamy published many scientific papers and books between 1966 and 1986 and many of his books were associated with the TV series that he worked on.
Tony Blair was born in 1953 in Edinburgh but was raised in Durham in the North East. He was the former UK Labour Prime Minister and MP for Sedgefield and was educated at Durham Chorister School and Oxford University. Tony’s father, Leo, was a lecturer at Durham University and a fact that isn’t well known is that he is an active member of the Conservative party. Blair served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007 and was Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007. Blair really made the North East the heartland of British politics during his political era.
James Bolam MBE is known as ‘Sunderland’s Likely Lad’ and was born in 1935. James is an actor who was born in Sunderland and his father was from Northumberland and the surname Bolam is a Northumbrian name and his mother was from County Durham. Bolam was educated at Bede Grammar School in Sunderland. His TV roles have included; The Likely Lads, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads (alongside the Yorkshire-born Rodney Bewes), When the Boat Comes In, The Beiderbecke Trilogy, Only when I Laugh, New Tricks and Grandpa in My Pocket.
Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown is a stand-up comedian who was born in 1945 in Grangetown near Middlesbrough. His real name is Royston Vasey and he is best known for his ‘blue’, sometimes inappropriate humour which some people do consider offensive. The TV comedy League of Gentleman was set in a fictional town called Royston Vasey which is said to be inspired by Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown. Roy made an appearance in the second series and many people still love his crude comedy sketches.
Bryan James “Chas” Chandler was a famous musician who was born in Heaton in Newcastle in 1928. He was best known for being the original bass player in The Animals and was also a record producer and the manager of Slade and Jimi Hendrix. Chas sadly passed away in 1996 and died of an aortic aneurysm at Newcastle General Hospital, only days after performing his final solo show.
Sir Bobby Charlton CBE was born in Ashington, Newcastle in 1937. He was a famous midfield England football player and one of the World Cup Heroes of the 1966 England winning team. He was regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of all time and an essential member of the England and World Cup team. He played a lot of his football career for Manchester United and his older brother Jack Charlton also played for England in defence. Bobby Charlton ranks second among Manchester United F.C. players for his total number of appearances.
Jack Charlton OBE was born in 1935 in Ashington and is the older brother to Bobby Charlton. Jack was a footballer with Leeds United and England and played in defence, he has had a successful football manager career and also as a football broadcaster. He was also a member of the 1966 England World cup winning squad. Throughout his management career, he has managed Middlesbrough, Newcastle United and the Republic of Ireland national team.
Cheryl born as Cheryl Tweedy in Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1983. She later changed her name to Cheryl Cole through her marriage to Ashly Cole who was an England football player. After a break up with Ashley in 2010, she then remarried and became Cheryl Fernandez-Versini in 2014. This marriage ended in 2016 and she was then in a relationship with One Direction singer Liam Payne who she has a son Bear with.
Cheryl was raised in Newcastle and became famous for being part of the pop band Girls Aloud. Girls Aloud were an English-Irish girl group which was created through the ITV talent show Popstars, The Rivals in 2002. Girls Aloud were one of the most successful ever girl bands. The group comprised singers Cheryl, Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh. In 2009, whilst still in the group, she began a solo career and quickly became a successful solo artist known as ‘Cheryl’. She was the first British female solo artist to have five number-one singles in the UK and held the record for the British female solo artist with the most UK number-one singles until 2018.
Cheryl became a judge on the X-Factor in 2008 and mentored two of the winners in series 5 and 6. She resigned from the judging panel in 2011 and joined the American version for a short time before returning to the UK’s X-Factor in series 11 and 12. Cheryl has become a recognised singer, TV presenter and a photographed style icon and is worth an estimated net worth of 20 million. A recent appearance in 2016 on the family roots TV programme Who Do You Think You Are? focused on her family’s Tyneside seafaring roots on her father’s side and Durham mining roots on her mother’s side of the family.
Brian Clough OBE is a Footballer and Football Managing Legend who was born in 1935 in Middlesbrough, well known for his colourful and outspoken personality that came through as a footballer and through his time as a football manager. Clough played professionally for Boro and Sunderland where his career ended after an injury. He was the manager of Hartlepool United, Derby County, he had a brief spell at Brighton and an even briefer spell at Leeds United followed and his football management career ended at Nottingham Forest. Clough’s honours included another league championship, four league cups, two European cups and a European Super Cup. Clough sadly passed away in 2004 from stomach cancer many football fans and legends mourned his death.
Alf Common was Sunderland born and the first player to cost £1,000 when he transferred from Sunderland to Middlesbrough in 1905. Alf was born in 1880 and died in 1946.
Tom Coyne was an actor and radio presenter and was the first news presenter for Tyne Tees Television in 1959 and one of the first presenters of BBC’s Top Gear programme. He was born in South Shields in 1930 and was a presenter for BBC’s Children’s Hour and as the voice of Geordie gamekeeper, Gordon Armstrong in the BBC Radio 4 soap drama, The Archers. Tom passed away in 2015.
Wendy Craig was born in 1934 in County Durham and has been the star of our screens for over 60 years. She was educated at Yarm Grammar School, Darlington High School and Durham High School. Her TV roles include Nanny, Butterflies, Brighton Belles, And Mother Makes Five and Not in Front of the Children.
Steve Cram MBE is known as the ‘Jarrow Arrow’ and is a Gateshead born athlete and Sports TV Presenter who was born in 1960. He was the first man to run 1500 metres in under 3 minutes and 30 seconds. He won gold in the 1983 World Championships at 1500 metres and Silver in the same event at the 1984 Olympic Games. Cram is one of the best-known faces in British sport.
Paul Daniels is the much-loved magician and TV entertainer born in 1938 in South Bank Teesside. Newton Edward Daniels, known as Paul Daniels achieved fame through his television series The Paul Daniels Magic Show where he was assisted by Debi McGee who later became his beloved wide. The series ran on the BBC from 1979 to 1994 and was a popular Saturday night show which all the family loved. He became well known for his phrase, “You’ll like this… not a lot, but you’ll like it!”. Paul sadly died from a brain tumour at the age of 77 in 2016 and will forever be remembered.
Declan ‘Dec’ Donnelly OBE was born and bred in Newcastle and is a well-known and loved TV presenter and entertainer. He is now one of the biggest names in UK TV alongside fellow his double act partner and close Geordie friend Ant McPartlin. At the age of 12, Dec first appeared in the Tyneside-based children’s drama, Byker Grove. The success of the drama led to the duo embarking on a brief singing career as PJ and Duncan with their upbeat song Let’s Get Ready to Rumble. Later the comic pair became much-loved household names of Ant and Dec as peak-time presenters on shows including Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, I’m a Celebrity get me Out of Here and Britain’s Got Talent. Their success is showed from the many awards they have won over the years including; 16 Best Entertainment Presenter NTA Awards, 32 National Television Awards, 13 BAFTA Television Awards, 23 TV Choice Awards and 8 RTS Awards….just amazing.
Paul Gascoigne was born in Dunston near Gateshead in 1967 and was the gifted England, Newcastle United and Middlesbrough footballer player known as ‘Gazza’. He earned 57 caps during his England career and was described by the National Football Museum as “the most naturally gifted English midfielder of his generation”. He was well known for his antics on and off the football pitch as well as his personal problems battling with mental illness, alcohol, drugs and the law which have been in the media since he started and retired from playing professional football. Gazza is loved by millions across the world.
Robson Green is an actor, TV presenter and extreme fisherman, born in Dudley Northumberland in 1964. He first became famous for his role in Soldier Soldier alongside Jerome Flynn in the late ’80s, early ’90s and him and Jerome became number 1 selling artists during this time. He also stared in; Wire in the Blood, Casualty and Grantchester as well as being the TV presenter of Extreme Fishing and Tales from Northumberland which highlights the wonderful features of his home county.
Tim Healy was born 1952 in Newcastle and became a successful actor and comedian. He became a household name playing Dennis Patterson in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and he also appeared in The World Cup a Captain’s Tale about the extraordinary world cup winning achievement of amateur football side West Auckland. His TV roles include Benidorm, Waterloo Road, Boys from the Bush.
Eric Idle who is known as the Monty Python Man and was born in 1943 in Harton in South Shields. He is a comedian, actor and songwriter. One of his best-known contributions to Monty Python was as the singer of Always Look on The Bright Side of Life.
Stan Laurel was born as Arthur Stanley Jefferson and best known for his catchphrase, “Another Fine and Funny Mess you’ve got me into”. He was an English comic actor, writer, and film director who formed one half of the famous Laurel and Hardy double act alongside American, Oliver Hardy (Norvell Hardy). He was born in 1890 in Ulverston, Lancashire and was raised in the North East. Laurel lived in North Shields from 1897 to 1901 and there is a statue commemorating him in the park at the centre of the square in Dockwray Square reminding us of the comedy icon’s time in North Tyneside. Stan was 74 when he died in 1965 of a heart attack and is still well known, loved and remembered as being one of the best ever comedians.
Hank Marvin who’s real name is Brian Robson Rankin. He was born in Newcastle in 1941 and was the lead guitarist with The Shadows who are famous for their guitar instrumentals. The band was originally called The Drifters and started out as a backing band for singer Cliff Richard before becoming The Shadows in 1959. The band became famous in their own right as one of the most successful groups of the 1960s.
Anthony ‘Ant’ McPartlin OBE is a Newcastle-born TV Presenter and entertainer who was born in 1975 and raised in raised in Fenham. One of his first TV appearances was as a youngster in the children’s TV activity programme Why Don’t You?. Ants career kicked off when Ant was cast in the role of PJ in the Tyneside-based children’s drama Byker Grove at the age of 12 and Dec was cast in the role of Duncan. They had a brief singing career as PJ and Duncan after Byker Grove and their most remembered song was Let’s Get Ready to Rumble which is still played to this day. Ant is now one of the biggest names in UK TV alongside fellow Geordie and double act partner Dec (Declan Donnelly). The comic presenting partnership became household names as the peak time presenting duo on shows like; Pop Idol, Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, I’m a Celebrity get me Out of Here and Britain’s Got Talent. They have won over 90 TV awards over the years including; 16 Best Entertainment Presenter NTA Awards, 32 National Television Awards, 13 BAFTA Television Awards, 23 TV Choice Awards and 8 RTS Awards….truly brilliant.
Sarah Millican is the much-loved stand-up comedian who was born as Sarah Kin in 1975 in South Shields. Her early material included hilarious snippets from her breakup from her first husband and this made her relatable to so many fans. Her debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2008 made her and from then she was a recognised comedian in the comedy circuit. Since then she has become a regular on comedy panel shows, she has hosted her own show and her stand up tours are broadcast on TV.
Bob Mortimer was born in 1959 in Acklam, Middlesbrough. He is known as MadCap Mortimer and is an entertainer, comedian and actor. He met his comic duo partner, Vic Reeves at a performance in London and they (Vic and Bob) then became famous for their unique brand of surreal humour in shows such as Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out, The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer and the madcap panel show Shooting Stars.
Vic Reeves was born in 1959 and his real name is Jim Moir. He was born in Leeds and moved to Darlington at the age of 5, where his dad worked as a typesetter for The Northern Echo. He is a surreal comedian, actor, painter, entertainer and presenter and is best known for his TV partnership with Vic Reeves and their shows; Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out, The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer and Shooting Stars as well as comedy dramas such as Catterick and Randall and Hopkirk. Reeve’s acting career included a role in Hebburn and he is also an artist working in painting, ceramics and photography. He was a singer in the 1990s he had hits (with Bob Mortimer and EMF) with a cover of The Monkees’ I’m a Believer and a cover of Dizzy in collaboration with The Wonder Stuff. He is known by his friends and colleagues as, ‘All Rounder Reeves’.
Sir Bobby Robson CBE was the son of a miner, born in the Durham mining village of Sacriston in 1933. He was a big name in North East football and his football talents were first spotted by London club Fulham and Robson then headed south. He had two spells with Fulham and one at West Bromwich Albion as well as making 20 appearances for England. When he retired from football and was a football manager and he subsequently managed England for a little short of 100 games. Robson was diagnosed with cancer in 2007 and he later died in 2009. The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation was established in his name in 2008 to fund the early detection and treatment of cancer. He is remembered as being a much-loved and respected football player and manager.
Bryan Robson OBE an England Football Legend who was born in 1957 in Chester-le-Street just outside Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. He began his career with West Bromwich Albion in 1972 before moving to Manchester United in 1981 where he became the longest serving captain in the club’s history and later playing for Middlesbrough. He was an England international who was captain for his country a total of 65 times. Bryan later became football manager for Middlesbrough.
Wayne Sleep OBE is a choreographer, director, actor and dancer with the Royal Ballet, and other dance companies. He was born in 1948 in Plymouth and moved to Hartlepool with his family at the age of 3. Sleep is one of Britain’s most successful and best-known dancers despite being only 5 ft 2 inches in height. He began taking dance lessons when living in Hartlepool and his career started from there. In 1961 he joined the Royal Ballet School and in 1966 he became a member of the Royal Ballet. As well as his dancing career, Sleep has also appeared as a celebrity in numerous TV programmes and shows throughout his career.
Dave A. Stewart is a Sunderland-born musician, songwriter and record producer best-known for being one half of the duo Eurythmics and was born in 1952. Stewart’s passion for music from a very young age secured his band Longdancer a record contract on Elton John’s label while still a teenager. Stewart met Annie Lennox when he moved to London in the late ’70s and they initially formed a band called The Catch, which later became The Tourists with Sunderland musician Peet Coombes. They had a hit with a cover of a Dusty Springfield song but the band disbanded in 1980. Later in the year Stewart and Lennox formed a band again and became the Eurythmics which became one of the most successful recording acts of the 80s. They co-wrote the songs and had many hits including; Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Love is a Stranger, Who’s That Girl, Sex Crime (Nineteen Eighty Four), There Must be an Angel (Playing with my Heart), It’s Alright (Baby’s Coming Back), Right By Your Side, The Miracle of Love and When Tomorrow Comes. Stewart also became a respected music producer working with many top artists during his music career.
Sting CBE is a true and loved music superstar. He was and still is an internationally renowned singer, actor and songwriter who was born in 1951 in Gordon Sumner in Newcastle. He initially trained and qualified as a teacher however his passion and love for music from an early age pulled him into the music industry. He moved to London in 1977 and met American musician Stewart Copeland and they formed The Police along with Andy Summers. With their reggae, punk and jazz influences and Sting as their lead singer, they became one of the most successful bands of the 70s and 80s with hits including; Can’t Stand Losing You, Roxanne, Message in a Bottle and So Lonely. Sting embarked on an equally successful solo career as a singer and songwriter from 1984 with hits including; Englishman in New York, If You Love Somebody Set Them Free, It’s Probably Me and Shape of My Heart. During his music career, he has sold over 100 million records as well as acting in several movies.
Neil Tennant was born in 1954 and raised in Gosforth in North Shields and is a singer, vocalist, keyboard player and songwriter, with the 80s electronic pop duo, The Pet Shop Boys. As he was growing up his interest in music grew, however, he moved to London to take a degree in history at North London Polytechnic, Tennant worked in publishing for Marvel Comics, Macdonald Educational Publishing and the pop music magazine Smash Hits where he became Assistant Editor. It was around this time that formed a band with musician Chis Lowe, as The Pet Shop Boys. The duo became an enormous international success with hits such as West End Girls, Opportunities, Go West, It’s a Sin, What Have I Done to Deserve This? and Always on My Mind.
Chris Waddle the ‘Diamond Light’ Footballer, born in 1960 in Felling, Newcastle. He played football for Newcastle United and England and became a football TV commentator after he retired from professional football. His later career as a footballer took him to Spurs, Marseille, Sheffield Wednesday and briefly Sunderland as well as a number of other clubs and made 62 appearances for England. In 1987 he made it into the top 20 music charts as a singer in a duo with fellow England footballer, Glenn Hoddle singing the specially written song Diamond Lights.
Frank Williams is the founder of the Williams Formula One racing team. Born in 1942 in South Shields, he was brought up by an aunt and uncle in Jarrow and later educated at a boarding school in Dumfries. In his early years, he worked as a mechanic and saved every penny to establish a racing car team in 1966, initially competing in Formula Two and Three. In 1977 he formed Williams Grand Prix Engineering, along with former employee Patrick Head and this later become Williams F1.
and on a final note to make it feel a little Christmassy……
Eric Boswell whose real name was Eric Simpson was born in 1921 and passed in 2009. He was a Sunderland-born composer and songwriter, principally remembered for writing the children’s Christmas song Little Donkey recorded by Gracie Fields and the Beverley Sisters. He was a prolific composer of humorous ‘Geordie’ and North East-themed songs such as I’ve Got a Little Whippet. In addition, Eric was the writer of a musical adaptation of Catherine Cookson’s Katie Mulholland and wrote songs for the North East comedian Bobby Thompson.