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13 November 2014

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You are in: Somerset > Entertainment and Leisure > Celebrities > Somerset celebrities: Who do you think should be on the list?

Jenson Button (Getty Images)

Formula 1's Jenson Button is from Frome

Somerset celebrities: Who do you think should be on the list?

We're compiling a list of Somerset celebrities and we want to know who YOU deem worthy enough to be included on it.

It doesn't matter if the celebrities are dead or alive, if they live in Somerset, or were born here, or whether they simply have a strong connection to the county.

To add your celebrity, all you need to do is fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

To get you started, we've listed two or three celebs (depending on how many we could think of!) from each letter of the alphabet. This page is for the A's to H's, and there are links at the top of this page to the I's to P's and Q's to Z's.

So, what are you waiting for? Let us know who you think should be on the list!


Adelard, born in Bath around 1080, was the medieval mathematician renowned for his role in the introduction of Hindu/Arabic numerals and the concept of zero to the Western world.

King Arthur

The central character in the Arthurian legends. Cadbury Castle is believed to be the site of King Arthur's Camelot, while Glastonbury is believed to be the place where King Arthur and his Queen were buried.

Jane Austen

Author of Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park and many other novels, Jane Austen's work is considered to be part of the Western canon. She lived in Bath from 1801 to 1806, and two of her novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, are largely set in Bath.

John Cleese in Fawlty Towers

Weston's John Cleese in Fawlty Towers

Acker Bilk

Acker Bilk was born in Pensford. He's the jazz legend who brought Stranger on the Shore to millions of music-lovers around the world. To listen to an interview with him, click on the link on the right.

Margaret Bondfield

Born at Hunt's Place in Chard in 1873, Margaret Bondfield was a suffragette, MP and the first woman to become a cabinet minister.

Jenson Button

Formula One ace Jenson Button was born in Frome. He won his first grand prix in 2006.

Arthur C Clarke

Born in Minehead in 1917, and educated at Huish's Grammar School in Taunton, author and inventor Arthur C Clarke is most famous for his science fiction novel 2001: A Space Odyssey.

John Cleese

Born in Weston-super-Mare in 1939, John Cleese is most famous for being in Monty Python, and for playing Basil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers.

Henry Cole

Born in Bath in 1808, Henry Cole invented the first Christmas card. At that time, people used to write letters at Christmas. Sir Henry couldn't get his written in time, so he asked an artist friend, John Calcott Horsley, to design a card that he could send to his friends. The design was of a simple family scene with the message: "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you." That was in 1843, and three years later the practice of sending Christmas cards had been established.

Jill Dando

Born in Weston-super-Mare in 1961, Jill Dando was a journalist before going on to work in TV. She presented news and travel programmes, and was one of the main presenters of Crimewatch.

Michael Eavis

Glastonbury Festival founder, Michael Eavis

Michael Eavis

The founder of Glastonbury Festival, Michael Eavis has been running the Festival since 1970.

Andy Elson

Hot air balloonist Andy Elson, from Wells, is an expert in high-altitude flying. Andy Elson holds the world record for the longest flight within the atmosphere of any aircraft of any type in history.

Henry Fielding

Born in Sharpham Park near Walton in 1707, the author Henry Fielding's best-known work is the novel, Tom Jones.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes

The world's greatest explorer lives near Exford on Exmoor. Sir Ranulph conquered vertigo to reach the summit of the Eiger in March 2007 in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care. To listen to an interview with him, click on the link on the right of this page.

Francis Foley

Born in Highbridge, Francis – known as Frank – Foley saved more than 10,000 Jews from the Holocaust in the Second World War. He was recognized with the title Righteous Among the Nations, the highest honour the Jewish Nation can award to a non-Jew. Oskar Schindler was a previous recipient.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Sir Ranulph Fiennes lives near Exford

Jason Gardener

Sprint athlete Jason Gardener, also known as the Bath Bullet, was born in Bath in 1975. He captured a fourth European Indoor 60m gold in Birmingham on 4 March 2007. In November 2004, he was made an honorary freeman of the City of Bath.

James Gillingham

A Victorian shoemaker, James Gillingham pioneered the creation and use of artificial limbs in Chard. He died in 1924 leaving his legacy to the world of prosthetics. The firm he founded produced artificial limbs until the 1960s.


Hailing from Bath, the band Goldfrapp were formed in 1999 by singer and composer Alison Goldfrapp, and film composer Will Gregory. They released their debut album, Felt Mountain, in 2000, and their second album, Black Cherry, in 2003.


Grotbags, who now lives in Bridgwater, is best remembered for her role in the ITV series Emu's World. Played by Carol Lee Scott, the witch Grotbags spent every show trying to get her hands on Emu who lived with Rod in a pink windmill. With a little help from Croc and Redford her plans always ended in disaster and Emu lived happily ever after with Rod!

Frankie Howerd in Up Pompeii

Frankie Howerd lived in Compton Bishop

Anthony Head

Anthony Head, who lives near Bath, attained cult status in Buffy the Vampire Slayer playing Rupert Giles. The smooth-talking Gold Blend man of the 80s also manages a centre for horses and companion animals at Tilley Farm, near Bath. As well as starring in Little Britain as Prime Minister Michael, Anthony Head is also involved in many local charities such as the Royal United Hospital Bath's Forever Friends Appeal, of which he is Vice President.

You can read and listen to our interview with Anthony Head by clicking on the link at the top of this page.

Richard Herring

The comedian and writer, best known for shows such as Lee and Herring, Fist of Fun, This Morning With Richard Not Judy and Talking Cock, grew up in Cheddar.

To read an interview with him, click on the link at the top of this page.

Frankie Howerd

Comedian Frankie Howerd, who starred in the comedy series Up Pompeii and was well-known for his "Oooh, no missus" and "Titter ye not" catchphrases, used to live in Compton Bishop.

last updated: 19/02/2009 at 18:13
created: 21/01/2005

Have Your Say

Who do YOU think should be on the Somerset celebrities' A to H list?

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Scott of the Antarctic
I believe he lived in Holcombe, near Bath, his parents were buried in the local cemetary

John Gibson
Is Ranulph an 'explorer' or an 'adventurer' ?How about Ernie Bevin - self-taught wartime cabinet minister & i Atlee's post war government ?Adge Cutler springs to mind; having led the 'Cultural Revolution' in 1960s Somerset!Julian Deane (below) was the lead guatarist of Toploader, & hails from Wells.And there's more when I've got a few minutes.John - Wells

Nicolas Cage has a home in Baltonsborough

R.D.Blackmore, author of LORNA DOONE. Probably still the best-loved novel set in Somerset.

I would like you to contact Mary Bignal Rand,who was the first woman to win gold at the olypics

Guy Bellamy not only lives in Somerset, but used Glastonbury as a setting for his novel 'The Power of Women'

momoe umezawa
Justin Downes was a Somerset County Councillor at 21 and founded Financial Dynamics Ltd

Austin Sayer
I think Richie Blackmore, former lead guitarist with Deep Purple was born in Weston-super-mare and Gary Moore the other Blues singer and Guitarist has some connection to the town including his parents living in Weston.

John 'Rabbit' Bundrick
The Who keyboardist and pianist lives in Somerset.

Nicholas Cage
The Oscar-winning actor is rumoured to be buying a house in Baltonsborough near Glastonbury. He was spotted in Glastonbury in February 2006.

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp is rumoured to be buying a house in Bath. He's stayed at a hotel in the city and has also been spotted a number of times.

Amanda Henry
Jeffery Archer is from Weston super Mare one of friends now resides in his old home!

Charles Hazlewood
The conductor and presenter on BBC Radio 2 lives with his family on a farm in Somerset.

Helen Chamberlain - soccer AM sports presenter. The Clarks Family - Clarks Shoes and in 1950 Nathan Clark invented the dessert boot.

Caroline Tapfield
Guy Bellamy, local author, lives in Westhay near Glastonbury. One of his books was made into a drama for T V

rich james
p j harvey (Ed: just to clarify: she comes from a Dorset village near Yeovil)

Bros (Matt and Luke Goss) lived and grew up in Cheddar. Also Jack Bessant the bassist from reef also is from Cheddar in Somerset.

Julian Deane - singer in Top Loader (Dancing in the Moonlight)

Kirsty Bohun
Carrie from the Chris Moyles show, Radio 1. Went to school in Taunton, Somerset!!

Keith Floyd, chef and winetasting master. Fairly certain he's born in Somerset and brought up here too.

Jeremy Guscott, Phil de Glanville, the adopted Somerset boys who won the world cup etc...

Somerset Lass
DJ Alan Flint from Yeovil the guy is a legend!!

steve chapple
what about ritchie blackmore the guitarist from deep purple and rainbow.....he came from weston

Jim Gillard
Admiral Blake of Bridgwater-an important seaman and parliamentarian. John Pym, also of Bridgwater, inventor of parliament. John Stringfellow of Chard, inventor of first powered flight. Samuel Taylor Coleridge lived in Nether Stowey and wrote "The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner" set in Watchet. Ian Botham, Marcus Trescothick and Willaim Smith who worked on the caol canal around Bath in late 1700s and produced world's first geological map.

Acker Bilk
Still palying the clarinet in his 70's.

Jon Klopp
Ian Botham - Does this really need explanation

adge cutler the one and only wurzels, but if the adge goes in then of course the wurzels must - anyone with me? (Ed: he's included in the Q to Z page.)

edward case
julia davis - nighty night - she's the greatest

Bill Bailey!

Cider drinker
I've just been watching Bill Bailey's stand-up show - very funny! I think I read somewhere that he grew up in Keynsham.

vicki fielder
also Geoffrey Chaucer was head forester of North Petherton and Andrew Castle the tennis player comes from Taunton,the poet coleridge lived in Nether Stowey and often walked to Taunton to preach he wrote Kublai Khan in Porlock

vicki fielder
Isn't the comic Bill Bailey from bridgwater? also Jeffery Archer went to school in Wellington and General Gordon of Khartom went to Taunton School

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