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29 celebrities with hidden connections to Merseyside


Merseyside is a region known for its famous exports – from Paul McCartney to Stephen Graham.

But there are plenty of celebs, some who are Hollywood royalty, that have surprising links to Merseyside.

From Brad Pitt and Halle Berry to Claire Foy and Victoria Derbyshire, they all have something tying them to the region.

Here is a list of celebrities who have hidden connections to Merseyside.

– Fiona Bruce

The Question Time host was born in Singapore but moved to Heswall with her family as a child.

Her father John worked for Unilever at Port Sunlight and the family moved from Wirral when he was promoted to a job at Lever’s Kingston-upon-Thames head office, eventually becoming company chairman.

After a university education at Hertford College, Oxford, she went into advertising, later writing to the editor of Panorama to beg for a researcher’s job.

– Halle Berry

One of Hollywood’s most recognisable faces is actually the daughter of Liverpool psychiatric nurse Judith-Ann Hawkins.

Judith and American husband Jerome Berry headed across the Atlantic around the time of their famous daughter’s birth, but that doesn’t stop Halle name-checking Liverpool regularly.

– Amelia Warner

Amelia Warner, left, and Jamie Dornan arrive at the 72nd annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel

Actress Amelia Warner now lives in London with her husband and Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan.

But she was brought up in Merseyside and is the only child of New Brighton-born Annette Ekblom – whose 35-year career includes roles in Brookside and on stage in Blood Brothers – and Alun Lewis, and niece of actor Hywel Bennett.

– Jason Isaac

The 56-year-old – perhaps most famous for his role as Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films – is one of Liverpool’s most famous actors.

Jason – who grew up the son of a jewellery maker in Childwall before moving to London aged 11 – has also starred in Star Trek and Star Wars.

– Claire Foy

Claire Foy the star of Netflix series The Crown

The Crown actress learnt her trade at Liverpool John Moores where she studied drama and screen studies.

– Lee Mack

The comedian was born in Blackburn before his parents split up when he was 12.

He then moved to Southport where he was a student at Birkdale Primary School and Stanley High School.

– Cherie Blair

The barrister who is also the former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s wife defines herself as a Scouser.

Whilst she was born in Bury, she grew up in Waterloo.

Speaking to the ECHO, Cherie said: “I moved to Waterloo when I was just six weeks old so obviously I can’t say I remember much about Bury or indeed coming to Liverpool! As far I was concerned I was always a Liverpool girl.

“One of my earliest memories of life in Waterloo is walking to school at St Edmund’s with my younger sister Lyndsey from our home in Ferndale Road.”

– Victoria Derbyshire

Victoria Derbyshire

The BBC broadcaster and journalist, best known for her eponymous current affairs and debate programme, has strong links to Liverpool.

After attending a grammar school in Bury, Victoria studied English language and literature at the University of Liverpool.

– Brad Pitt

You may not know, but Hollywood A-lister Brad Pitt has a number of ties to Liverpool.

The actor has been a huge Reds fan since his ex-wife Angelina Jolie’s son Maddox was taken to Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, after falling ill whilst she was filming Tomb Raider in North Wales back in 2002.

Angelina’s friend and stunt double for many of her films, Eunice Huthart also comes from Liverpool.

A few years ago, when Brad was asked about his favourite football team, he said: “I have some friends who are very close to Liverpool, so if I went another way I might be disowned.”

– Nick Grimshaw

Nick Grimshaw at the Liverpool One Topman store for a music takeover – performing a DJ set. Photo by Ian Cooper

The Radio DJ and former X-Factor judge attended the University of Liverpool between 2002 and 2005, studying Communication and Media Studies.

Unfortunately, Nick failed his final year.

– Michael Sheen

Known as one of Wales’ most famous star exports, actor Michael Sheen also has links to Wirral.

He lived in Wallasey for several years as a child when his father’s work for an electronics company brought the family to Merseyside, and attended St George’s Primary.

– Vicky Pattison

Queen of the Jungle and Geordie Shore alumni, Vicky actually studied drama at Liverpool John Moore’s University.

– Jon Snow

Jon Snow
Jon Snow

The Channel 4 newsreader went to University of Liverpool to study law.

But he was expelled for his part in a rooftop demonstration and student occupation of Senate House in 1970 against the university’s investments in apartheid-era South Africa.

In 2011, Jon received an honorary degree from the university in recognition of being one of the “world’s foremost contributors”.

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– Mike Myers

The Austin Powers actor is a die-hard Liverpool fan, namely due to his parents’ ties to the city.

The 56-year-old was born in Canada after his parents Eric and Alice Myers emigrated from Old Swan in 1956.

His father’s ashes were scattered on the Mersey by Mike and his brother Paul after his death in 1991.

– Louise Pentland

Louise Pentland, otherwise known as Sprinkle of Glitter

Social media star Louise Pentland graduated with a psychology and biology degree from Liverpool’s John Moores University.

With over two million followers on Twitter and YouTube, the mother-of-two defines successful blogging and vlogging.

– Raza Jaffrey

The Homeland star may be used to sharing a screen with Clare Danes, but the 46-year-old is actually from Wallasey.

Raza was born to Indian Merchant Navy captain Hyder Jaffrey and Joan Bradshaw from Everton.

He made his debut appearance on TV selling drugs out of a Ford Escort for Jimmy Corkhill in Brookside.

– Taron Egerton

Taron Egerton

Rocketman star Taron was born in Birkenhead and moved to Anglesey when he was 12, where he spent the rest of his teenage years.

The 30-year-old trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and graduated in 2012 after winning the Stephen Sondheim Society ‘Student Performer of the Year’ award in 2011.

– Carol Ann Duffy

One of the most famous poets, Carol Ann Duffy studied at the University of Liverpool.

In May 2009, she became a Poet Laureate – a position granted to her by the Queen.

The role traditionally requires the holder to write verse for significant national occasions.

In 1974 she came to the city to be close to Liverpool poet Adrian Henri and began a philosophy degree, graduating three years later.

Carol is also an acclaimed playwright and has had her work performed at the Liverpool Playhouse.

– Dame Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench

National treasure, Dame Judi Dench is not just your average Evertonian, she is also a patron of the official charity Everton in the Community.

At the time of her ambassadorial appointment the proud Blue said: “I was truly honoured to be offered the chance to become involved in such a special charity and at my football club.

“I am excited to be able to represent a charity, which continues to push social boundaries and help so many people across Merseyside and beyond.

“The work the staff undertake on a daily basis is humbling and an inspiration to us all.”

– Lee Latchford Evans

Jack & the Beanstalk at Southport Theatre. Lee Latchford-Evans(from Steps)as Jack.
Jack & the Beanstalk at Southport Theatre. Lee Latchford-Evans(from Steps)as Jack.

The Ellesmere Port singer best known for being in Steps was given the middle name ‘Latchford’ after Everton FC footballer Bob Latchford.

– Dawn O’Porter

The documentary maker originally came to Liverpool from her home in Guernsey to study acting.

She loved living here, she says – splitting her time between digs on Smithdown Road and Stanhope Street.

In an earlier interview, she recalled: “Liverpool’s an amazing place to be a student because it’s so creative and buzzy.

“I was training as an actress but in my third year I realised I really wanted to be a TV producer and write. What frustrated me with acting was not having any voice. I started to want to get my opinion across.

“So instead of a play in my third year, I went down to London and did a work experience placement with Baddiel and Skinner. I worked as a runner in the evenings and in their PR office during the day and I just went, this is what I want to do, I want to work in this media TV world.”

– Amanda Holden


Not only was she once married to Garston actor Les Dennis, but Amanda has been a lifelong Everton fan.

In 2016, the Britain’s Got Talent judge accepted an ambassadorial role for Everton in the Community, the club’s official charity.

Amanda said: “I’m so proud to take on a role as patron for Everton in the Community which is such a special charity; changing and saving the lives of people all across Merseyside every day.

“It’s an incredible charity. Everton is my club and there’s an ‘Everton way’ and Everton in the Community embodies the values of Evertonians.”

– Dominic Purcell

Best known for his role as Lincoln Burrows in Prison Break, Dominic was born in Wallasey but was raised in Australia from the age of two by his Norwegian father and Irish mother.

He turned to acting after becoming bored with his landscaping job and his roles include Mission Impossible II, Primeval and Blade: Trinity.

In interviews the Liverpool FC has told how he spoke with a Merseyside accent until he was six, but took on an Australian accent after being “mercilessly teased” by his school friends.

– Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara

Princess Anne with President Dawda Jawara of Gambia.
Princess Anne was the guest of honour at Independence celebrations in the Gambia.
February 1984
Princess Anne with President Dawda Jawara of Gambia. Princess Anne was the guest of honour at Independence celebrations in the Gambia. February 1984

After completing his veterinary surgeon training at the University of Liverpool, Sir Dawda Jawara served as Prime Minister of Gambia from 1962 to 1970, and then as the first President of the Gambia from 1970 to 1994.

– Emma Hayes

Linked with the England women’s job, the manager for Chelsea Womens Emma Hayes studied for a degree at Liverpool Hope University.

– Joe Dempsie

Joe Dempsie attends the inaugural BAFTA Film Gala Dinner raising funds for the ‘Give Something Back’ campaign at BAFTA in London. 5th February 2015

Best known for his roles as Chris Miles in Skins and Gendry Baratheon in Game of Thrones, Joe is originally from Liverpool.

Born to parents Gretta and Jim, the family moved to Nottingham when he was just four months old.

He grew up in West Bridgford.

– Liz White

You’ll recognise Liz as Annie Cartwright in Life on Mars and Emma Keane in school series Ackley Bridge.

But she learnt her acting skills at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

– Cathy Tyson

Actress Cathy Tyson
Credit: Sophie Baker
Actress Cathy Tyson Credit: Sophie Baker

Actress Cathy Tyson is best-known for her roles in neo-noir film Mona Lisa and Carol Johnson, in the ITV series, Band of Gold.

She was also married to former Coronation Street actor Craig Charles.

And whilst she was born in Kingston-upon-Thames in London, she moved to Liverpool with her family when she was a young child.

– Lesley Sharp

Lesley is perhaps best known for her role as Jean in The Full Monty, which earned her a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

She was born in Manchester but adopted by a couple in Merseyside and raised in Formby.

While she may not have made a huge dent in Tinsel Town, preferring TV work here in the UK, she did appear in 2001 horror film From Hell with Johnny Depp.





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