.

Famous People

Visist Leicester - Famous People From Leicester

Leicester and Leicestershire proudly boast of many famous residents past and present…

We are still adding to this list, so if there is anyone you think should be included, please get in touch.

Leicester City Council is not responsible for the content or services on external websites.


Laurel Aitken

Born 1927. Died 2005 - Singer
Lorenzo Aitken, born in 1927 and better  known as Laurel Aitken, was a singer and one of the originators of Jamaican Ska music. Often referred to as the ‘Godfather of Ska’, Aitken lived in Leicester from 1970. > Read more about Laurel Aitken on Wikipedia


James Allen

Born 1864. Died 1912 – Author
James Allen was an author known for his inspirational books and poetry and was known as a pioneer of the self-help movement. He was born in Leicester, where his father worked as a factory knitter. > Read more about James Allen on Wikipedia


Richard Armitage

Born 1971 - Actor
Famous for his roles in 'North & South', 'Robin Hood' and 'Spooks', Leicestershire born Armitage plays Thorin Oakenshield in the three-film adaptation of 'The Hobbit'. > Read more about Richard Armitage on Wikipedia


Sir David Attenborough, CBE 

Born 1926 – Broadcaster & naturalist
David Attenborough grew up on the campus of University College, Leicester, (now the city's university), where his father was principal. His career as the respected face and voice of British natural history programmes has endured for more than 50 years. He is best known for writing and presenting the nine "Life" series, in conjunction with the BBC Natural History Unit, which collectively form a comprehensive survey of all terrestrial life. He is the younger brother of director, producer and actor Lord Richard Attenborough. > Read more about David Attenborough on Wikipedia


Lord Richard Attenborough, CBE

Born 1923. Died 2014 - Actor, director & producer
Lord Attenborough was born in Cambridge but educated at Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys in Leicester.
His acting career started on stage and he appeared in shows at Leicester's Little Theatre prior to going to RADA. Lord Attenborough, along with his brother Sir David Attenborough, spent a lot of their childhood exploring the collections held at New Walk Museum & Art Gallery. Lord Attenborough had been collecting Picasso ceramics since the 1950s and in 2007, a large part of his collection went on public display at New Walk Museum & Art Gallery for the first time. > Read more about Lord Attenborough on Wikipedia


Tina Baker

Born 1958 - TV critic
Tina Baker is a leading British soap opera and TV critic. She was born in Leicester in 1958. She has featured on many TV programmes such as, Coronation Street Secrets, The Good Soap Guide, How Soaps Changed the World, Big Brother's Big Mouth, and The Top 100 TV Christmas Crackers. She is well known as the soap opera expert on the morning television programme GMTV and is member of the judging panel on the annual British Soap Awards. > Read more about Tina Baker on Wikipedia


Sam Bailey

Born 1977 - Singer - X Factor winner 2013
Bailey was born in Bexley, London. Prior to auditioning for The X Factor, Bailey worked as a prison officer in HM Prison Gartree. She lives in Leicester with her husband and two children. She is a Leicester City fan. She is known for winning the tenth series of The X Factor. Following her win, her debut cover single "Skyscraper" was released and achieved Christmas number 1 in December 2013. > Read more about Sam Bailey on Wikipedia


George Percy Bankart

Born 1866. Died 1929 - Specialist plaster and lead worker - Arts and Crafts Movement
Bankart was born in Leicester and studied at the Wyggeston Boys' Grammar School and attended the Leicester School of Art. He trained as an architect but became a specialist in ornamental plaster and lead work. He wrote a number of books on the subject, two of which are still considered standard works on the craft. In 1883 he was articled to Isaac Barradale and would have worked alongside Ernest Gimson. His work can still be seen on buildings in Leicester and elsewhere.  > Read more about George Percy Bankart on the Leicester Arts & Craft Movement website.


Ian Baraclough

Born 1970 – Professional football player and manager
Baraclough was born in Leicester and started his professional career at local club Leicester City. He is currently the manager for Sligo Rovers. > Read more about Ian Baraclough on Wikipedia


Julian Barnes

Born 1946 - Writer
Born in Leicester in 1946, Julian Barnes is the author of several books of stories, essays, novels and a transalation of Alphonse Daudet's 'In the Land of Pain'. His novels include 'Flaubert’s Parrot' (1984), 'A History of the World in 10½ Chapters' (1989), 'England, England' (1998) and 'The Sense of an Ending' (winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize). > Read more about Julian Barnes on his official website


Henry Bates

Born 1825. Died 1892 - Naturalist and explorer 
Born in Leicester in 1825, Henry Bates was a naturalist and explorer who gave the first scientific account of mimicry in animals. He was most famous for his Amazonian expedition with his friend Alfred Wallace, starting in 1848 and returning in 1859. He sent back over 14,700 species (mostly of insects), of which 8000 were new to science. > Read more about Henry Bates on Wikipedia


Joan Maureen 'Biddy' Baxter

Born 1933 - Producer
Biddy Baxter was born in Leicester and educated at Wyggeston Girls' Grammar School. After becoming editor on Blue Peter in 1965, she devised the Blue Peter badge to encourage children to send in programme ideas, pictures, letters and stories. She also introduced the now famous annual appeals. > Read more about 'Biddy' Baxter on Wikipedia  


Charles Bennion

Born 1857. Died 1929 – Businessman, manufacturer, philanthropist 
In the 1880s, Charles Bennion settled in Leicester, which was at that time the centre of Britain’s boot and shoe industry. He was managing director of the British United Shoe Machinery Co. Ltd. His affection for Leicestershire and its people is best shown in his extraordinarily generous purchase of Bradgate Park on their behalf, as the money needed to buy the land could not be raised. It was formally presented to the people of Leicestershire in 1928. > Read more about Charles Bennion on Wikipedia


Norman Bird

Born 1920. Died 2005 - Actor
Norman Bird was a British actor born in Coalville in 1920. A Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts graduate, Bird made his West End debut in Peter Brook's production of The Winter's Tale at the Phoenix Theatre in 1951. One of his last film appearances was as a taxi driver in Richard Attenborough's Shadowlands (1993). > Read more about Norman Bird on Wikipedia


Christopher Bruce, CBE

Born 1945 - Dancer, choreographer and artistic director 
Christopher Bruce, born in Leicester in 1945, is one of UK's leading choreographers and was Artistic Director of Rambert Dance Company. His reputation as an outstanding dancer was established in his classic performance in Tetley's 'Pierrot Lunaire' (1960s). > Read more about Christopher Bruce on Wikipedia


Gaye Bykers On Acid

Formed in 1984 - Psychedelic rock band
Gaye Bykers On Acid were a psychedelic rock band from Leicester and one of the founder members of the
Grebo music scene. They later released both thrash punk and dance music albums under various aliases. > Read more about Gaye Bykers on Acid on Wikipedia


Alastair John Campbell

Born 1957 - Communicator, writer, strategist
Alistair Campbell is best known for his role as spokesman, press secretary and director of communications and startegy for ex-prime minister Tony Blair. Born in Yorkshire, his family moved to Leicester in 1968 and he attended the City of Leicester Boys' Grammar School. > Read more about Alastair Campbell on his official website


Graham Chapman

Born 1941. Died 1989 – Comedian, writer and actor
Chapman was born in Stoneygate, Leicester and was educated at Melton Mowbray Grammar School. He went on to study medicine at Emmanuel College, Cambridge where he also joined Footlights, a comedy group whose other members included Bill Oddie and John Cleese. With John Cleese, Chapman wrote for the BBC during the 1960s. In 1969 with Cleese he joined Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Eric Idle and Terry Gilliam for Monty Python's Flying Circus. > Read more about Graham Chapman on Wikipedia


John Cleveland

Born 1613. Died 1658 - Poet
John Cleveland was born in Loughborough and educated at Hinckley Grammar School. He graduated from Christ's College, Cambridge in 1632 and became a fellow of St John's College in 1634. At St John's, he became college tutor and lecturer on rhetoric and was much sought after. > Read more about John Cleveland on Wikipedia


Rosemary Conley, CBE

Born 1946 - Businesswoman, author and broadcaster
Rosemary Conley was born in Leicestershire and is a businesswoman, author and broadcaster on exercise and health. She is the founder and president of Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Clubs, a franchise-based organisation that is one of the "big three" weight loss organisations in the UK. She has released several exercise videos and books. > Read more about Rosemary Conley on Wikipedia


Nathaniel Corah

Born 1777. Died 1832 – Framesmith, manufacturer, entrepreneur 
Founder of N. Corah & Sons, once the largest knitwear producer in Europe, Nathaniel Corah was born in Leicestershire and trained as a framesmith. He first produced garments on a knitting frame on his farm. From 1815 he built a business buying locally produced textiles in Leicester and trading them in Birmingham. The business expanded rapidly and eventually moved to the famous St Margaret’s Works site. By 1866 over one thousand people were employed at St Margaret’s Works. > Read more about Nathaniel Corah in the Leicester Chronicler


Cornershop

Formed in 1991 – Indie rock band
Cornershop were formed by Tjinder Singh, his brother Avtar, (both of whom lived in Leicester at the time the band was formed), David Chambers and Ben Ayres. Their music is a fusion of Indian music, Britpop and electronic dance music. > Read more about Cornershop on their official website


Thomas Cook

Born 1808. Died 1892 - Founder of Thomas Cook & Son 
In 1841 Thomas Cook organised the world's first advertised package tour from Leicester to Loughborough. By 1888, the company had established offices around the world. Thomas Cook moved back to Leicestershire when he retired and lived here until his death. > Read more about Thomas Cook on Wikipedia


William Edward Cooke

Born 1843. Died 1916 – Artist
William Edward Cooke was a professional artist and art teacher. He was a distinguished rustic and landscape artist who lived in Victoria Street, Loughborough for many years. He exhibited at the Royal Academy and Royal Society of Arts between the 1870's and 1890's. His work includes many rural scenes around the Leicester area, including sometimes the hardships of rural life. > Read more about W E Cook on the Quorn Museums website


Crazyhead

Formed in 1986 - Garage punk band
Crazyhead were a garage punk band from Leicester who were influenced by the garage rock scene of the late 1960s. Their songs ranged in theme from trenchant social commentary to the surreal, but always with an underlying vein of black humour. > Read more about Crazyhead on Wikipedia


Henry Curry

Born 1850 – Founder of electrical retailer Currys
Henry Curry was born in 1850 in Leicester, and founded Currys electrical stores. He began by building bicycles full-time in a shed at the back of his garden on Painter Street in Leicester. He opened his first store on Belgrave Gate. From this small enterprise grew Currys, the national electrical retail chain, which was still selling bicycles until the 1960s.


The Dallas Boys

Music Group
The Dallas Boys were a five-piece vocal group from Leicester, England who were regular performers on British television in the 1950s and 1960s. They have been described as "Britain's first boy band". > Read more about The Dallas Boys on Wikipedia 


John Deacon

Born 1951 - Musician (bassist for the rock band Queen)
John Deacon was born in Oadby in 1951 and is best known as the bassist for the rock band, Queen. Deacon
wrote a number of songs for Queen including  ‘You’re My Best Friend’, ‘I Want to Break Free’ and ‘Another One
Bites the Dust’. > Read more about John Deacon on Queen's official website


Simon de Montfort - Earl of Leicester

Born 1208. Died 1265
Simon de Montfort was the 6th Earl of Leicester, brother-in-law and later a leader of opposition to King Henry III of England. He was regarded as a leader in parliamentary democracy as he became part of the first elected parliament in medieval Europe which also included ordinary elected citizens from the boroughs. De Montfort Hall and De Montfort University are both named after him. > Read more about Simon de Montfort on Wikipedia


Anthony d'Offay

Born 1940 - Art dealer
For more than four decades, Anthony d'Offay was one of the world's leading art dealers and represented some of Europe and America's leading artists. Born in Sheffield, but grew up in Leicester, d'Offay had his first experiences with art visiting New Walk Museum & Art Gallery (then Leicester Museum & Art Gallery). He opened his gallery in London in 1965 and in 2001 he retired and closed the gallery. In 2008, he founded ARTIST ROOMS, through which he has donated an incredible collection of contemporary art to the nation. > Read more about Anthony d'Offay and his connection to Leicester in The Leicestershire Magazine


Terri Dwyer

Born 1973 – Actress
Born in Syston, Leicestershire, Dwyer began her career as a model. She is best known for playing the role of Ruth Osborne in the British soap opera Hollyoaks. > Read more about Terri Dwyer on her official website


John Ella 

Born 1802. Died 1888 - Violinist
Born in Leicester, John Ella was a violinist and music critic. He was also the the founder and director of the Musical Union, a society dedicated to the performance of chamber and instrumental music to the highest standards.
> Read more about John Ella on the Hector Berlioz website 


Derrick Errol Evans aka 'Mr. Motivator'

Born 1952 - Television fitness instructor
Evans was born in Manchester, Jamaica in 1952 and moved to Leicester in 1961. Evans found fame on the British breakfast television broadcaster GMTV in the early 1990s as Mr. Motivator, promoting health and fitness as a way of life. He performed fitness routines live on-air in highly-coloured outfits, which quickly became his trademark. > Read more about 'Mr. Motivator' on his official website


Family

Formed in 1966 - Rock band
Family were a rock band formed in Leicester in late 1966 and disbanded in 1973. Their style has been characterised as progressive rock although their sound often explored other genres, incorporating elements of styles such as folk, psychedelia, acid, jazz fusion and rock and roll. > Read more about Family on Wikipedia


Stephen Frears

Born 1941 - Actor
Acclaimed film director Stephen Frears was born in Leicester on 20 June, 1941. Frears has directed a number of notable British films since the 1980s including 'My Beautiful Laundrette', 'Dangerous Liaisons', 'High Fidelity', 'The Queen' and 'Philomena'. Collaborting with playright Alan Bennett he also directed the biopic 'Prick Up Your Ears', on the fellow Leicester born playwright Joe Orton. Frears has twice been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director, for 'The Grifters' and 'The Queen'.


Stephen Graham

Born 1973 - Actor
The Hollywood star Stephen Graham and his wife actress Hannah Walters, choose to live in a Leicestershire village. His list of films include 'Snatch', 'Pirates of the Caribbean - On Stranger Tides' and 'Blood' and he's well-known for his role as "Combo" in 'This is England' and as Al Capone in the HBO series 'Boardwalk Empire'. > Read more about Stephen Graham on Wikipedia


Ernest Gimson

Born 1864. Died 1919 - Architect and furniture designer - Arts & Craft Movement
Gimson was born in Leicester in 1864. He is associated with the Barnsley brothers, Sidney and Ernest, as he moved to the Cotswolds with them where they designed and made furniture. Today he is regarded as one of the most influential designers of the English Arts and Crafts movement in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His designs included ladder-back chairs, cabinets and metalwork. > Read more about Ernest Gimson on the Leicester Arts & Crafts Movement website


Joseph Goddard

Born 1813. Died 1877 - Chemist, inventor of Goddard's Silver Polish 
Goddard was born in Market Harborough, Leicestershire and it was in Leicester that he perfected the silver poish so that it could even clean silver-plated silverware without spoiling the finish. > Read more about Joseph Goddard on the Goddard's website                                      


Lady Jane Grey

Born 1536/37. Died 1554 - Queen of England
Great granddaughter of Henry VII of England, Lady Jane Grey is said to have been born at Bradgate Park. She was Queen of England for nine days in 1553. > Read more about Lady Jane Grey on Wikipedia


Gypsy

Formed in 1969 - Band 
Gypsy was a 70's Leicester band. They released two albums, four singles, supported Led Zeppelin on their first UK tour, performed on Top of the Pops and were banned by the BBC. > Read more about Gypsy on Facebook


Joseph Hall

Born 1574. Died 1656 - Bishop, moral philospher, writer, satirist
Born near Ashby-de-la-Zouch, he attended Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He wrote the first English satire successfully modeled on Latin satire. He was also the first writer in English to emulate Theophrastus, the ancient Greek philosopher. > Read more about Joseph Hall on Wikipedia


Alice Hawkins

Born 1863. Died 1946 - Suffragette
Alice Hawkins was a working class leader of the women's suffragette movement in Leicester. > Read more about Alice Hawkins on her memorial website


Emile Heskey

Born 1978 - Football player
Emile Heskey, born in Leicester, is a footballer who started his career at Leicester City after progressing through their youth system. Heskey, an England international, went on to play for Liverpool, Birmingham City, Wigan Athletics, Aston Villa and Newcastle Jets (Australia). > Read more about Emile Heskey on Wikipedia


Tom Hopper

Born 1985 - Actor
Tom Hopper was born in Coalville, Leicestershire. He is an English actor who has appeared in several television programmes and films including Merlin, Doctor Who, Casualty and Tormented. > Read more about Tom Hopper on Wikipedia


Engelbert Humperdinck

Born 1936 – Pop Singer
Born in Madras, India as Arnold George Dorsey but raised in Leicester, he adopted the stage name Engelbert Humperdinck, after the German opera composer of the same name. Humperdinck has sold over 150 million records and has established himself as one of the world's premiere live performers in a number of sold-out tours. > Read more about Engelbert Humperdinck on his official website


John Illsley

Born 1949 – Musician
John Illsley, born in Leicester, was the bass guitarist of the critically acclaimed rock band, Dire Straits. With Dire Straits, Illsley has been the recipient of multiple BRIT and Grammy Awards. > Read more about John Illsley on his official website


David Icke

Born 1952 – Writer and public speaker
David Icke was born in Leicester and is best known for his conspiracy literature, although prior to this he was a known sports-presenter on the BBC. His core theory which is discussed heavily in his books claims that a secret group of reptilian humanoids control humanity. > Read more about David Icke on his official website


Sir Alec John Jeffreys

Born 1950 – Geneticist
Sir Alec Jeffreys invented DNA fingerprinting in Leicester and he and his team developed DNA profiling, techniques which are now used all over the world in forensic science. He is a professor of genetics at the University of Leicester and an honorary freeman of Leicester. > Read more about Sir Alec John Jeffreys on Wikipedia


Martin Johnson

Born 9 March 1970 - Rugby Union player
Martin Johnson CBE is a former English rugby union player who represented and captained England and Leicester. He is mostly known for captaining England to victory in the World Cup in 2003. He lived in Market Harborough, Leicestershire. He played for Leicester Tigers from 1989 to 2005. > Read more about Martin Johnson on Wikipedia


Kasabian

Formed in 1999 - Band 
The original band members were from the Leicestershire villages of Blaby and Countesthorpe. Kasabian have won 8 major music awards and have been nominated 27 times to date. They are one of the biggest indie bands in the country. > Read more about Kasabian on their official website


Michael Kitchen

Born 1948 – Actor
Born in Leicester, Michael Kitchen is best known for his starring role as DCS Foyle in the British TV series 'Foyles War'. He's also appeared in many films, including 'Out of Africa', 'Mrs Dalloway' and two bond films with Pierce Brosnan. > See the Michael Kitchen Fans' website


Chris Kirkland

Born 1981 – Footballer
Born in Barwell, Leicestershire, Kirkland shot to prominence as one of the most promising young English goalkeepers in the country while with his first club Coventry City. He now plays for Sheffield Wednesday. > Read more about Chris Kirkland on Wikipedia


Dominic Keating

Born 1962 – Actor
Born in Leicester, Keating is a television, film and theatre actor, who's known for his portrayal as Lt. Commander Malcolm Reed on 'Star Trek: Enterprise' (2001). > Read more about Dominic Keating on his official website


Daniel Lambert

Born 1770. Died 1809 - Leicester's largest son
Lambert was a Leicester man who became famous for his obesity. At the time of his death, his weight was a massive 53 stone and his waist measurement was over nine feet. During his life he had become quite a personality, and was used in a cartoon as an emblem for a hearty Britain against the threat of Napoleon. > Read more about Daniel Lambert on the BBC Radio Leicester website


Lisa Lashes

Born 1971 - DJ
Lisa Lashes (real name Lisa Dawn Rose-Wyatt) was born in Coventry and now lives in Leicester. According to her official website, she is the world's leading female DJ. > Read more about Lisa Lashes on her official website


Hugh Latimer

Born c.1487. Died 1555 - Protestant reformer
Latimer was born into a family of farmers in Thurcaston, Leicestershire. He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge and Bishop of Worcester before the Reformation. Later he was Church of England chaplain to King Edward VI. In 1555, he was burnt at the stake, becoming one of the three Oxford Martyrs of Anglicanism. > Read more about Hugh Latimer on Wikipedia


John Leeson

Born 1943 – Actor
John Leeson was born in Leicester. He is best known for voicing K-9 on the television series, 'Doctor Who'. He was also the orignal Bungle in ITV's 'Rainbow'. > Read more about John Leeson on Wikipedia


Legay

Formed in 1965 - Band
Influenced by Tamla Motown, Legay formed in Leicester in 1965 and were famous for their live shows, image
and unique sound. > Read more about Legay on their official Facebook page


Lilian Lenton

Born 1891. Died 1972 - Suffragist   
'Lillie' Lenton was born in Leicester in 1891, the eldest of five children. On leaving school she trained to be a dancer, but after hearing Emmeline Pankhurst speak, she resolved that at the age of 21 she would join the Suffragette campaign. On attaining that age, she joined the Women's Social and Political Union, and with fellow members took part in a window-smashing campaign in March 1912. She gained notoriety for participating in a hunger strike in Holloway Prison, where after two days of starvation she was force fed, causing serious illnes. > Read more about Lilian Lenton on Wikipedia


Gary Lineker, OBE

Born 1960 - Professional footballer and sports presenter
Born and raised in Leicester, Lineker began his football career with Leicester City. He is regarded as one of the all-time best English strikers and is the only player to have won the English Golden Boot with three different clubs. He scored 48 goals for England, now third in the all-time top scorers. After retiring he's become a sports broadcaster and regularly presents with the BBC. > Read more about Gary Lineker on Wikipedia


Mary Linwood

Born 1755. Died 1845 - Needlework artist
Mary Linwood was a celebrated needlework artist and during her lifetime she achieved international fame for her embroidered pictures. Her work can be seen at the V&A and New Walk Museum & Art Gallery. She moved to Leicester as a child when her mother opened a girls' boarding school at Belgrave Gate. At her mother's death she took over the school and ran it for almost 50 years. > Read more about Mary Linwood on Wikipedia  and Story of Leicester  


Jon Lord

Born 1941. Died 2012 - Musician
Jon Lord was born in Leicester and was a composer, pianist and organ player famous for his pioneering work in fusing rock with classical music. He was best known for co-founding the rock band Deep Purple. In 2011, Lord was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree by the University of Leicester. > Read more about Jon Lord on his official website


Bill Maynard

Born 1928 – Actor and comedian
Born Walter Frederick George Williams, he adopted the stage name 
Bill Maynard and has lived in Leicestershire for many years. He starred in the television sitcom 'Oh No, It's Selwyn Froggitt'. > Read more about Bill Maynard on Wikipedia


Ed McLachlan

Born 1940 - Cartoonist
Ed McLachlan is a British cartoonist from Leicester. He was educated at Humberstone Junior School before attending Wyggeston Grammar School and, from 1956 to 1959, Leicester College of Art. He has been named Cartoonist of the Year five times and won a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. > Read more about Ed McLachlan on his website


Daniel McLay

Born 1992 - Cyclist
Born in Wellington, New Zealand, McLay moved to the UK as a young infant and was brought up in Leicester. A former member of Leicestershire Road Club, in 2010 he became World Champion in the Junior World Madison Track Championships. McLay is now set to to become the first rider from Leicestershire to compete in the iconic Tour de France 2016. > Read more about Daniel McLay on Wikipedia.


Joseph Merrick aka The Elephant Man

Born 1862. Died 1890.
Born in Leicester, he began showing signs of deformity at an early age. For the better part of his life he was unemployable beacuse of his disabilities, so as a last resort he took a job as a sideshow attraction as 'The Elephant Man'. He spent his last few years living in the London Hospital. > Read more about Joseph Merrick on Wikipedia  and on this tribute website


Mark Morrison

Born 1972 – Singer
Morrison is an R&B singer from Leicester, most famous for his single 'Return of the Mack'. > Read more about Mark Morrison on his official website


Rendall Munroe

Born 1980 - Super bantamweight boxer
Born and living in Leicester, Rendall Munroe is a WBA International Super Bantamweight Champion and holder of EBU and Commonwealth Super Bantamweight titles. His day job as a binman in Leicester is well publicised and his nickname is 'The Boxing Binman'. He and his corner men also come out wearing fluorescent yellow binman jackets. > Read more about Rendall Munroe on Wikipedia


Parminder Nagra

Born 1975 - Actress 
Film and televison actress Parminder Nagra was born and raised in Leicester and is best known for her starring role in the film 'Bend It Like Beckham' (2002), which was the breakthrough film both for her and Keira Knightly. The success of the movie in the U.S led her to a part in America's medical drama 'ER'. > Read more about Parminder Nagra on Wikipedia


Phil Oakey

Born 1955 - Composer, singer, songwriter and producer
Phil Oakey, born in Leicestershire, in 1955, is best known for being the lead singer of band The Human League.  > Read more about Phil Oakey on Wikipedia


Kate O'Mara (born Frances M. Carroll)

Born 1939. Died 2014 - Actress
Born in Leicester, Kate O'Mara is perhaps most widely known for her role as Caress Morell, the scheming sister of Alexis Colby in the 1980s American primetime soap opera Dynasty and as The Rani in Doctor Who. > Read more about Kate O'Mara on Wikipedia


Joe Orton

Born 1933. Died 1967 - Playwright
Born in Leicester, Orton shockerd, outraged and amused audiences with his scandalous comedies, characterised by a dark yet farcical cynicism. His plays included 'Entertaining Mr Sloane', 'Loot' and 'What the Butler Saw'. > Read more about Joe Orton


Sarah Outen, MBE

Born 1985 – Adventurer
Sarah Outen grew up in Rutland and continues to live there between her adventures. In 2009 she became the first woman and the youngest person to row solo across the Indian Ocean. > Read more about Sarah Outen on her official website


Lynda Page

Born 1950 – Author
Lynda Page, born and based in Leicestershire, is one of the UK's top-selling saga authors. Page’s novels are predominantly set in Leicester and are renowned for their strong plots and characters. > Read more about Lynda Page on her official website


Jenny Pitman, OBE

Born 1946 - Racehorse trainer
Jenny Pitman was born and grew up on her family's farm near Hoby, in Leicestershire. She became the first woman to train a Grand National winner in 1983. > Read more about Jenny Pitman on Wikipedia


Chris Pyatt

Born 1963 – Professional boxer
Chris Pyatt is a former world middleweight champion boxer from Leicester. He is currently running a boxing gym in Leicester. > Read more anout Chris Pyatt on Wikipedia


Mark Selby

Born 1983 – Professional snooker player
Born in and still living in Leicester, Selby is the reigning World Snooker Champion and the current number one in the world rankings (June 2016). He has formerly won three Masters titles and in 2012/13 season, he also won the UK Championship. > Read more about Mark Selby on his official website


Peter Shilton, OBE

Born 1949 – Footballer
Shilton was born in Leicester and began his career at local club Leicester City. He holds the record for being England's most capped player and has played 3 FIFA World Cups. > Read more about Peter Shilton on his official website


Showaddywaddy

Formed in 1973 - Band
The band was formed in Leicester in 1973 by the amalgamation of two groups, 'Choise' and 'The Golden Hammers'. In total they had ten Top Ten singles, one number one, and spent 209 weeks in the UK Singles Chart. > Read more about Showaddywaddy on their official website


David Shrigley

Born 1968 - Visual Artist
Shrigley moved with his family to Leicestershire in 1970. He did the Art and Design Foundation course at Leicester Polytechnic (now De Montfort University) then studied at Glasgow School of Art. He had a major survey of his work at the Hayward Gallery, London in 2012 and was on the Turner Prize 2013 shortlist. > Read more about David Shrigley on his official website


Tony Sibson

Born 1958 - Former professional boxer
Born in Leicester, Sibson is former British, Commonwealth and European champion and world title challenger, middleweight division. > Read more about Tony Sibson on Wikipedia


C. P. Snow, CBE

Born 1905. Died 1980 - Novelist and physicist  
Born in Leicester and educated at Leicester and Cambridge, Snow was raised to the peerage as Baron Snow of Leicester. He served several important positions in the UK civil service and government. > Read more about C. P. Snow on Wikipedia


Una Stubbs

Born 1937 - Actress and dancer
Born in Leicestershire, Stubbs has appeared extensively on British television and in the theatre, and less frequently in films. She is particularly known for playing Rita in the sitcom 'Till Death Us Do Part'. > Read more about Una Stubbs on Wikipedia


Willie Thorne

Born 1954 – Snooker player & commentator
Born in Leicester, Thorne was a strong junior player, who later became national under-16 champion at both snooker and English billiards. > Read more about Willie Thorne on his official website


Frederick Thorpe, OBE

Born 1913. Died 1999 - Entrepreneur, founder Ulverscroft Foundation 
Large print book publishing in English began in 1964 in Leicester, when Thorpe decided to meet the needs of elderly poor-sighted readers. > Read Frederick Thorpe's obituary


Sue Townsend

Born 1946. Died 2014 - Novelist and playwright 
Sue Townsend was born in Leicester and was best known as the author of the Adrian Mole books. Her writing primarily combined comedy with social commentary. > Read more about Sue Townsend on her official website


George Villiers

Born 1592. Died 1628 - 1st Duke of Buckingham
Born in Brooksby, Leicestershire, Villiers was a favourite of James I. Under the King's patronage, he prospered greatly. > Read more about George Villiers on Wikipedia


Gok Wan

Born 1974 - Fashion consultant & TV presenter
Gok Wan was born in Leicester to a Chinese father and an English mother. He has become one of UK's most sought after stylists and fashion gurus. > Read more about Gok Wan on his official website


Henry Walker (Walkers Crisps)

Started making crisps in 1948 
Henry Walker worked in a butchers shop in Leicester and meat rationing after the war led him to start making crisps as the meat would run out early. Now, the Walkers site in Leicester is one of the largest crisps production sites in the world. 


Diesel Park West

Formed in 1980 - Band
Diesel Park West are an alternative rock band from Leicester. They have released ten albums and six singles which have appeared in the UK Singles Chart. > Read more about Diesel Park West on their official website


Colin Henry Wilson

Born 1931 - Novelist and philosopher
Born and raised in Leicester, Wilson has written widely on true crime, mysticism, the paranormal and other topics. He prefers calling his philosophy new existentialism or phenomenological existentialism. > Read more about Colin Henry Wilson on Wikipedia


Ray Wilson

Born 1947 - Speedway rider
Raymond "Ray" Wilson is a former international speedway rider who was World Pairs Champion in 1972 and British Speedway Champion in 1973, was also England Team Captain for five years in the early 1970s. He was the first Englishman to record a maximum score in a World Team Cup Final. He competed for the Leicester Lions for nine seasons, scoring over four thousand points (including bonus points). > Read more about Ray Wilson on Wikipedia


David "Pick" Withers

Born 1948 - Drummer 
David ‘Pick’ Withers, born in Leicester, was the original drummer in the rock band, Dire Straits. > Read more about David "Pick" Withers on his official website


Lawrence Wright (Horatio Nicholls)

Born 1888. Died 1964 - Composer and publisher of popular songs
Wright was a composer of popular music born in Leicester. In 1906 he rented a shop on Lower Conduit Street and the Wright Music Company was established. He wrote more than 600 songs during his career, mostly under his pen name of Horatio Nicholls. His most famous tune is 'Among My Souvenirs' which has been recorded by many artists. He received the Ivor Novello Award in 1962 for 'Outstanding service to British popular and light music'.
> Read more about Lawrence Wright (Horatio Nicholls) on Wikipedia


William Wyggeston (Wigston)

Born ca. 1467. Died 1536 - Wealthy wool merchant and benefactor
Leicester man William Wyggeston became extremely wealthy in his trade, and having no children, devoted his wealth to various charitable works, some of which today can still trace their history back to him. His statue is one of the four figures on the clock tower in the city centre. > Read more about William Wyggeston on Wikipedia  and on Story of Leicester 


Young Knives

Formed in 1998 - Band 
Formed in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, the band is known for its energetic live performances and trendy tweed outfits. They broke into the music industry in 2002. > Read more about Young Knives on their offficial website


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