The town is beautiful: we all know that. Its buzzing nightlife, wonderful culture and gritty heritage make it one of the best towns in Britain, but did you know that many famous faces also thought of Bournemouth as their home? With ITV’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! Finally upon us, here’s a list of eight celebrities that you may not know are from Bournemouth:
1. Gareth Malone
He’s the man who led a group of nervous, boisterous schoolboys from Northolt Comprehensive School to become a slick, professional choir in just nine months. Since his first television appearance in 2007, Malone has led many scratch amateur choirs to heady heights, including the Military wives who reached Christmas number one in 2011 and the P&O Cruise staff who won The Choir: Sing While You Work in 2013. The Bournemouth born populariser of choral music has been decorated with a British Broadcast award, two BAFTAs and freedom of the City of London.
2. Ben Hardy
Known for playing the second incarnation of Peter Beale in EastEnders, Hardy was born in Bournemouth and grew up in Sherborne. He is also known for his role in X-Men: Apocalypse and a brief appearance in Call the Midwife, in which he played a journalist for one episode.
3. Charles Gray
Another alumnus of Bournemouth School, Gray plays one of the all-time best James Bond villains: Blofeld in Diamonds are forever. Some fans have noted the strange inconsistency of Gray also playing Dikko Henderson in You Only Live Twice, another fantastic Bond film.
4. Tony Hancock
The actor and comedian, made famous by his BBC series Hancock’s Half Hour was born in Birmingham and raised in Bournemouth. Beginning as a radio show, families would gather round their receivers to listen to the regular broadcast. When the programme was eventually moved across to television, those same families continued to love and revere Hancock’s warm charm and quick wit.
5. Christian Bale
The actor who everyone in Bournemouth seems to have their own connection to. Starring in almost everything: from Patrick Bateman in American Psycho, to playing the masked superhero in the Batman trilogy, from baggage boy in Henry V, to an incredibly smart investment banker in The Big
Short. Bale has won countless Baftas, Oscars and Golden Globes and, like many on this list, the famous actor attended Bournemouth School.
6. Wendy Richard
Another EastEnders starring member of Bournemouth town, Richard lived in Bournemouth for only a brief time while she was an infant, however the mark she left on the acting world was tremendous. The actress played the brilliant cockney shop assistant Miss Brahms in Are You Being Served and Pauline Fowler, the sharp-tongued heroine in EastEnders from 1985 until 2006.
7. Julian Bleach
Born in Bournemouth, Bleach is known for acting in Doctor Who as Davros, the terrifying lord of the Daleks whose voice is, like the metal monsters themselves, electronically distorted. Bleach also played the sinister character of Geoffrey Salter in the BBC’s second world war series Close to the Enemy.
8. Ben Jones
Fans of the 1998 Children’s television programme The Top Ten of Everything would recognise Ben Jones as a presenter who has co-starred alongside Stephen Mulhern. Each week the show’s team would hold telephone polls on, as the title suggests: the top ten of everything. Each week a strange animal would be brought onto the show to be held by the presenters. Listeners of Virgin radio would also recognise Jones as the host of Friday and Saturday night commercial radio, with the station being owned by Wireless Group (News Corp).
So, watch out next time you’re in Aldi: Christian Bale might just be stood behind you in the queue, and when dancing in Cameo Nightclub Gareth Malone might just be throwing some shapes with the choir!