Sign to Madonna's pad
Dorset's picturesque villages and stunning coast make it the ideal celebrity hideaway - the county has its fair share of the rich and famous who call Dorset home. Here are a few celebs with Dorset connections.
Madonna and Guy Ritchie
Celebrities don't get much bigger that pop singer Madonna and film director husband Guy Richie. They live on the £9 million 1,132-acre Ashcombe Estate on the Wiltshire/Dorset border.
In June 2004, the Ritchies partially won their bid to prevent ramblers from walking across most of their estate. They claimed at a public inquiry in May that their human rights would be infringed. The Planning Inspectorate ruling means walkers are not able to go within sight of the couple's home, sitting in the estate's grounds.
In 2005, Madge sustained three cracked ribs, a broken collar bone and a fractured hand after falling from her horse when out riding on the estate on her 47th birthday.
Christian Bale in Batman Begins
Christian Bale, star of Batman Begins, American Psycho and The Machinist, was enrolled at Bournemouth School for Boys and lived with his family in the town for four years. His mum still lives in Bournemouth.
Television star Jonathan Ross once bought a £1.1million farmhouse in Swanage. The 16th Century house, which has six acres of grounds, is one of the area's most prestigious properties. It has its own orchard, stables and an indoor swimming pool converted from a cattle barn.
Billy Bragg may have moved South to Burton Bradstock but he hasn't lost any of his political passion – championing causes from opposition to the war in Iraq to musicians rights from his home in Burton Bradstock.
Fellow musician, indie-blues songstress Polly 'PJ' Harvey also hails from Bridport.
Former footballer-turned-pundit Jamie Redknapp and his wife, singer and TV presenter Louise, live in the exclusive Sandbanks area outside Poole. Kylie and David Beckham have also been reported to have once looked at property in the area.
Sherborne School has had its fair share of famous 'old boys' - Chris Martin from Coldplay, actor Jeremy Irons and columnist Nigel Dempster all attended the school while Tara Palmer-Tompkinson went to Sherborne Girls' School.
Comic actor Martin Clunes lives in a converted vicarage in West Dorset. He played Gary in Men Bahaving Badly, alongside Neil Morrissey, Leslie Ash and Caroline Quentin in what became one of the iconic sitcoms of the 90s.
One of the country’s most successful crime writers Minette Walters lives near Dorchester – her psychological thrillers like The Ice House, The Sculptress, and Disordered Minds have won her fans and plaudits around the world.
Actor and writer Julian Fellowes is another Dorset-based performer. In 2002 he won a coveted Oscar for his screenplay for Robert Altman’s Gosford Park at the age of 52.
Many of us may dream of getting away from it all and living the the good life in a country cottage. But Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall actually did it.
His three year experiment at River Cottage for the successful Channel 4 series allowed him to develop his horticultural skills with homegrown livestock, fruit and vegetables.
Hugh's not the only foodie on the block though. Celebrity chef Lesley Waters hosts cookery days at her home in Evershott.
last updated: 20/08/07
Have Your Say
Have you seen anyone rich and famous hanging around Dorset?- E-mail the goss in the form below!
Mr. N. Stone, Gillingham
Marion B, Leamington Spa
Mr. J. Roberts.
Steve from Bridport
Dave - Canford Heath
SARAH JANE DIAZ
Laney from Downunder
Pete from Dorchester
Alan James Runyard
Gail,Wayne n Tash
Howard donald from Take That