9 celebrities you probably didn’t realise from Herefordshire and the Wye Valley

PUBLISHED: 16:07 06 February 2015 | UPDATED: 15:24 19 January 2017

Ellie Goulding © Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

Ellie Goulding © Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com


From international pop star Ellie Goulding to best-selling children’s author JK Rowling, famous actors to television presenters, Herefordshire and the Wye Valley has been home to a wealth of talent and famous faces

Ellie GouldingEllie Goulding

Ellie Goulding

Top of the list is golden popstar Ellie Goulding who grew up in Lyonshall, went Lady Hawkins’ School in Kington and Hereford Sixth Form College. She came to the public’s attention in 2010 and since then has sold over 4 million albums, has numerous Brit Awards and famously played at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding reception in 2011.

JK Rowling © Featureflash / Shutterstock.comJK Rowling © Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

J. K. Rowling

Author Joanne Rowling, who wrote the legendary Harry Potter books in case you didn’t know, moved to Church Cottage in Tutshill, near Chepstow when she was nine years old. Wyedean Comprehensive School followed, where it is said some of the teachers inspired the teachers of Hogwarts. Here she also met Sean Harris, to whom her second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, is dedicated. It was Sean’s Ford Anglia that inspired Arthur Weasleys enchanted Flying Ford Anglia. She also immortalised the name Tutshill by naming a Quidditch team the Tutshill Tornadoes.

Richard Hammond © The Children’s TrustRichard Hammond © The Children’s Trust

Richard Hammond

Most famous as one of the presenters of the television programme Top Gear, Richard Hammond lives in Weston-under-Penyard with his wife, two daughters, six dogs, four cats, eight horses, two goats, a flock of sheep, twenty or so ducks, twelve cars, four motorcycles and an unnecessarily large collection of chickens… and that was the last count! He is an ambassadors for the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and vice-president of UK children’s brain injury charity the Children’s Trust, Tadworth.

Matt Milne © Featureflash / Shutterstock.comMatt Milne © Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

Matt Milne

Hereford-born actor Matt Milneis is perhaps best known for his role as Alfred the tall hapless footman who rejected poor Daisy in Downton Abbey series 3 and 4. He also played Andrew Easton in Steven Spielberg.’s film adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s 1982 children’s novel War Horse.

Richard Johnson © Lesley Rigg / Shutterstock.comRichard Johnson © Lesley Rigg / Shutterstock.com

Richard Johnson

One of the country’s top National Hunt jockeys who was perhaps more famous as the ex boyfriend of Zara Phillips with whom he had a relationship with for five years. He grew up in Herefordshire and presantly lives in Twyford, Pembridge. Last year he came close to fulfilling a childhood dream of winning the Grand National when he came a close second with Balthazar King. He is also an ambassador for the Hereford-based charity Little Princess Trust which provides real hair wigs to children suffering hair loss.

Kate HumbleKate Humble

Kate Humble

A familiar face, television presenter Kate Humble lives in Trellech in the Wye Valley, with her husband Ludo Graham and when she isn’t working on television runs courses in managing smallholdings and animal husbandry. Her television credits include Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Lambing Live.

John ChallisJohn Challis

John Challis

John Challis, or as he is perhaps better known Boycie from Only Fools and Horses, lives at Wigmore Abbey which he and his wife saved from ruin in 2002. It would also become the location for many of the scenes for the Only Fools spin off The Green Green Grass which was partly filmed at the Abbey and local area. Since the move John has become a passionate supporter of the area, involving himself in many local projects.

Monty DonMonty Don

Monty Don

Monty Don from Ivington is probably one of our best known gardening broadcasters, yet despite presenting numerous television shows including Gardener’s World he has had no formal training and still regards himself as an enthusiastic amateur.

Frank OzFrank Oz

Frank Oz

You may not have heard of film director and puppeteer Frank Oz who was born in Hereford in 1944 but I bet you have heard of some of the characters he portrayed and gave his voice to, from Yoda in Star Wars to the Muppet character Miss Piggy. Or how about Cookie Monster, Bert, and Grover in Sesame Street? He may have only lived in Hereford for a short time which he can’t probably remember but we can still claim him as a son of the city.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Herefordshire Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Herefordshire Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Herefordshire Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Herefordshire Life

Friday, October 5, 2018

We look through the keyhole of some of the Cotswolds’ most luxurious houses on the property market

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

On a crisp, autumnal day, there is nothing better than gathering the family for a stroll amongst some of the most colourful woodland and countryside the Cotswolds has to offer. We’ve accumulated a list of our favourite places to catch the majority of this season’s golden hues

Read more
Friday, July 27, 2018

From A to Z, we scroll through the alphabet and reveal 26 reasons why the Cotswolds is such a wonderful place for visitors to explore, and residents to call home

Read more
Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Come and celebrate 60 years of excitement at Malvern Showground

Read more
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Deborah Thompson talks us through the distinctive qualities of wine produced right here on our doorstep

Read more
Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Cotswold designers are celebrating after picking up gold and Best in Show at the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Words by Mandy Bradshaw

Read more
Monday, April 16, 2018

Whether you're an avid gardener or a lover of all things outdoors, we pick some of the most beautiful gardens in the Cotswolds we think are definitely worth a visit.

Read more
Thursday, March 8, 2018

The days are getting longer and the Cotswolds are gradually becoming a floral delight, but there are still plenty of opportunities for frosty morning walks and toasting your feet in front of the fire. Springtime in the Cotswolds is absolute bliss as these pictures show.

Read more
Monday, February 19, 2018

Bijou charm and stately British heritage is vividly portrayed in the stylish surroundings of The Kensington, London

Read more
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Add colour to your garden now with the top flowers of March and this season will be all the brighter

Read more
Monday, January 8, 2018

A diverse array of dazzling wedding venues is just a click away in Archant Bride’s first ever national Online Venue Guide

Read more


Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
subscription ad

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Local Business Directory

Property Search