19 celebrities you never knew had ties to Cambridgeshire

Cambridgeshire is linked with many world-famous names, many of which you’re probably already familiar with.

David Attenborough, Stephen Hawking and Stephen Fry are among the A-list names linked with our county.

But there are some people that you might be surprised to learn are linked with Cambridgeshire.

Whether they studied at the University of Cambridge, grew up in Cambridgeshire or merely spent time here as a child, there are countless names associated with our great county.

Here are 19 celebrities you might not have known had links to Cambridgeshire.

Sir Frederick Henry Royce

Born in Alwalton, Cambridgeshire in 1863, engineer Frederick Henry Royce lived in the county for some time during his childhood before relocating to London with his family.

Along with Charles Rolls and Claude Johnson, he founded legendary car manufacturers Rolls-Royce.

Richard Attenborough

Richard Attenborough
(Image: Birmingham Post and Mail Archive)

David Attenborough’s connections with Cambridgeshire are long-documented, but what about his brother, Richard Attenborough?

While he wasn’t a student at the University of Cambridge like his brother, he was born in the city.

After studying at RADA, Richard went on to star in several acclaimed films including Jurassic Park, Brighton Rock and The Great Escape.

Graham Greene

(Image: Hulton Archive)

Graham Greene was one of the best-known English novelists of the 20th century.

He combined critical and commercial success with novels like Brighton Rock, Our Man in Havana and The Heart of the Matter.

And while he was born in neighbouring Hertfordshire, he actually spent his summers in Cambridgeshire as a child.

He would stay in the Grade II-listed Harston Hall, which was owned by Graham’s uncle, Sir William Greene, and later recalled the setting in his 1963 short story Under the Garden.

Chris Morris

(Image: Channel 4)

While you might not know his face, you’re probably familiar with some of Chris Morris’ work.

In the 1990s, he helped create satirical news show The Day Today and Brass Eye before writing and directing acclaimed film Four Lions, which satirised Islamic terrorism in the UK.

He also starred in hit ITV show The IT Crowd.

While he was born in Colchester, Essex, Morris grew up in a Victorian townhouse in Buckden, which he has since described as ‘very dull.’

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SBTRKT

Little is known about the DJ known as SBTRKT – real name Aaron Jerome – as he has said he prefers to ‘let the music speak for itself.’

But it’s claimed that Jerome originally hails from somewhere in Cambridgeshire.

As well as releasing two albums of his own, the musician and producer has remixed songs by artists including MIA, Radiohead and Mark Ronson.

Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath

American poet Sylvia Plath wasn’t born in Cambridgeshire, but she was educated at Newnham College in Cambridge.

During her time at the university, she published work in the student newspaper Varsity and eventually met the man who would become her husband – poet Ted Hughes.

Matt Bellamy

(Image: WireImage)

While Muse actually formed in Devon, the band’s singer and guitarist Matt Bellamy originally hails from Cambridge.

Bellamy was born in the city in 1978, and spent the first few years of his life there.

But it wasn’t until his family moved to Devon in the mid-80s that his musical exploits began.

Since forming Muse in 1994, Bellamy has recorded eight albums with the band.

Muse are renowned for their eccentric live performances and unique prog-rock sound.

Andy Bell

Andy Bell of Erasure performs at Terminal 5 on December 31, 2014 in New York City
(Image: Noam Galai/Getty Images)

Lead singer of Erasure, Andy Bell’s roots lie in Peterborough.

He’s best known for his voice of soul and flamboyant stage persona.

The band has penned over 200 songs and sold over 35 million albums across the world.

Sacha Baron Cohen

Sacha Baron Cohen

You may recognise him as Borat, Bruno, or Ali G, but Sacha Baron Cohen was once a student at Cambridge.

He is now an actor, comedian and writer famous for those three fictitious characters he developed who play satirically on the responses of the unsuspecting public.

He has received several Emmy nominations, an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, a BAFTA award, and a Golden Globe in 2006 for Best Actor for his performance in the feature film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.

During his time at University he read history at Christ’s College and graduated in 1993 with upper-second-class honours. At Cambridge, Baron Cohen also joined the Footlights and acted in Fiddler on the Roof and Cyrano de Bergerac.

Luke Pasqualino

(Image: Getty Images)

30-year-old actor Luke Pasqualino was born in Peterborough and grew up in the city.

He’s probably best known for his portrayal of Freddie McClair in the television series Skins and d’Artagnan in the television series The Musketeers.

From 2016–17, he played Elvis Harte in another BBC show Our Girl.

Charli XCX

Singer Charli XCX
(Image: Manchester Evening News)

Although she was raised in nearby Essex, singer Charli XCX was born in Cambridge in 1992.

The musician first rose to fame with the song “I Love It”, a collaboration with Icona Pop.

She’s also known for her solo hits “Vroom Vroom” and “Boys”.

Aston Merrygold

(Image: PA)

Singer, dancer and all-round TV personality, Aston Merrygold, was born and raised in Peterborough.

Along with his three other bandmates, JLS they were runners up on the fifth series of The X Factor in 2008.

After five years of success, the band split up, but Aston continued to stay in the limelight.

He went on to become a judge on the British dance talent show, Got to Dance, and took part in the fifteenth series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Jake Humphrey

(Image: BBC)

Television presenter and journalist, Jake Humphrey, was born in Peterborough.

After moving away from the city when he was six years old, Jake went on to become a sport presenter, working on shows including Football Focus, Match of the Day and Final Score.

He has also worked for the BBC to present the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and Formula One, among others.

Louis Smith

(Image: Dave Hogan)

Olympic medallist, Louis Smith, was born and bred in Peterborough.

The gymnast came away with a medal at the 2008 Beijling Olympics, 2012 London Olympics and 2016 Rio Olympics – with two bronze and two silver in total.

In 2012, he was appointed MBE for services to gymnastics.

You may also know the star from  Strictly Come Dancing , as he won the tenth series back in 2012.

Olivia Newton-John

(Image: Michael Ochs Archives)

Taking on the role of Sandy in Grease , Olivia Newton-John is known as the all-singing, all dancing, black catsuit-wearing musical superstar and she was born in Cambridge before moving to Australia.

But that’s not all she achieved, the English-Australian singer and actress went on to win four Grammy awards and has sold an estimated 100 million records worldwide.

She received an OBE in 1979.

Douglas Adams

(Image: BBC)

The famous author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – which sold more than 15 million copies in his lifetime – was born in Cambridge on 11 March 1952.

However, he didn’t spend long in the city as a child, as his parents moved the family to London a few months after his birth.

He did however return to Cambridge to study at St John’s College.

John Clare

(Image: Hulton Archive)

19th century writer John Clare is regarded as one of the greatest poetic chroniclers of the English countryside.

He was born in 1793 in Helpston, which was then part of Northamptonshire, but now lies within Cambridgeshire.

Warwick Davis

(Image: PA)

Actor Warwick Davis is probably best known for his work in the Harry Potter and Star Wars film series.

He’s also the co-founder of Little People UK, a charity that provides support to people with dwarfism and their families.

While he’s not from Cambridgeshire originally, he now lives in Holme, near Peterborough.

Olivia Colman

(Image: WireImage)

Oscar-winning British actress Olivia Colman was born in Norwich, Norfolk.

As a young woman, she spent a term studying primary teaching at Homerton College, Cambridge.

During her time at the university, she became one of many famous faces to join the exclusive Footlights dramatic society.

She’s now best known for her roles in The Favourite, The Crown, Fleabag and Peep Show.

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