Celebrities associated with the West Country

Published: Friday 14th Nov 2014

Written by: Catherine

Cornwall has long been one of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK, with the quaint white-walled harbour side villages, rich traditions and wealth of attractions proving irresistible to millions of people each and every year. Also well documented is the amount of famous faces who are associated with the West Country, and here we’ve listed some of our favourites.

Ben Ainslie

While Britain’s best-loved sailor was born in Macclesfield, it was Restronguet Creek in South Cornwall where he first got to grips with the port and starboard aged eight. The tidal currents of the region proved the perfect stomping ground for Ainslie, and by the age of 16 he was crowned Laser Radial World Champion. The first person ever to win sailing medals in five different Olympic Games, those enjoying a holiday in Cornwall can see his former boats at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth.

Harry Enfield

Responsible for bringing the characters of Kevin from Kevin and Perry, Tim Nice-but-Dim and Wayne Slob to life, Harry Enfield has brought great entertainment to televisions across the country for decades. While he isn’t seen as regularly on screen nowadays, those who are heading to Cornwall on their holidays could have the chance to meet the man himself as he is thought to live just outside Rock on the North coast – a popular fishing village just across the bay from Padstow.

Caroline Quentin

Another familiar face from the TV screen, Caroline Quentin made her name as Dorothy in Men Behaving Badly before taking a slightly more serious role as Maddie Magellan in Jonathan Creek. While she has never actually lived in Cornwall herself, the two series of Cornwall with Caroline Quentin showed that she loves nothing more than discovering the history, tradition and people of the Duchy.

Richard and Judy

Having presented the daytime television programme This Morning from 1988 until 2001, Richard and Judy are familiar with families all over the country. After being in the spotlight for so many years, it’s understandable that they longed for a place of peace and quiet to enjoy their retirement – the location of choice being the beautiful Talland Bay. Nestled on the coastline between Looe and Polperro, it is a recognised area of outstanding natural beauty and its Heritage Coastline attracts thousands of people every year on their cottage getaways in Cornwall. They have been quoted saying that South-East Cornwall is their spiritual home, something which I’m sure that many who have visited the region can relate to.

Rick Stein

With 19 cookbooks and many restaurants to his name there isn’t much that Rick Stein doesn’t know about cooking great seafood. As the Cornish coast is renowned as the place to find some of the best regional produce from the seas, it only makes sense that Stein used the town of Padstow to begin building his culinary empire. His masterpiece is the Seafood Restaurant, the original venue which he opened with his former wife Jill back in 1975.

The Rick Stein name is now emblazoned across the town of Padstow, running four restaurants, a bistro, a café and a seafood delicatessen, among other businesses.

Dawn French

One half of French and Saunders, Dawn French is considered a national treasure and her career in comedy both on and off screen spans more than two decades. While not born in Cornwall, she spent much of her childhood in Cornwall and today lives just outside Fowey – a home which she bought with former husband Lenny Henry.

Ben Howard

A name which stormed onto the charts with the release of his debut EP – Games in the Dark – in 2008, Ben Howard has risen dramatically in popularity and now entertains audiences all over the world with his unique brand of folk music. While he was born in London, he soon moved to Totnes in neighbouring Devon and it was in the West Country which he first became known as a musical genius. He even spent time studying journalism at Falmouth University, only to quit just six months prior to completion to focus entirely on music.


Undoubtedly one of the biggest stars in the world of music, there won’t be many who haven’t heard one of the multitude of songs created by Madonna. After she became used to the rolling hills and green pastures of England during her marriage to Guy Ritchie, her second husband, it was rumoured that in 2010 she purchased a palatial home on the Roseland Peninsula. Although this cannot be completely confirmed, it’s recommended to keep an eye out for the singer during your cottage holidays in St Ives or other regions nearby.

Image Credit: Nick Hubbard, Martin Pettitt, Simone A. Bertinotti (Flickr.com), National Maritime Museum Falmouth

This content was written by Ben Edwards. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.



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