Nottingham is the birthplace of many a famous face but did any start out at the same school as you?
If you shared a drama class with, say, Samantha Morton, sat in history with Lucy Worsley or pondered maths problems with Ed Balls, then you’ve probably been following their careers with interest, but sometimes now high profile names go under the radar during their school career.
We’ve searched out the educational haunts of some of Nottinghamshire’s most famous names. Let us know if you have any memories of these stars at school.
Paul Smith Beeston
He’s got an exhibition in Nottingham Castle, a mural in Beeston and of course, a multi-million pound fashion business. Sir Paul Smith is possibly Nottingham’s most famous designer and he began his educational journey at Beeston Fields Primary.
Today, children at the school have the option of wearing a school tie designed by its famous past pupil.
Mansfield born Rebecca has broken a world record, received an OBE and claimed Gold medals, but she spent her formative years at The Brunts Academy.
The double Olympic champion is name checked on the Mansfield secondary school’s website.
Proud of her Nottingham roots, the Bafta-winning actress attended Fernwood School in Goodwood Road, Wollaton, for her secondary education. The Line of Duty actor returned to her old haunt in 2017 when she headed back to hand out GCSE certificates to the year’s leavers.
At the time, Vicky told Nottinghamshire Live: “The good thing about Fernwood – and I hear it’s the same now – is there’s not any great trouble. I remember all the different groups getting on with each other and that’s why we enjoyed it so much.
“It wasn’t like the ‘cool kids’ didn’t get on with the ones who weren’t ‘cool’ or didn’t want to be in that gang. Everyone just got on and looked after each other.”
Former Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Strictly contestant and TV personality, Ed Balls is a former pupil of fee-paying Nottingham High School. Although Norwich born, his family moved to Nottingham when he was a child and became a high school student in the mid-1980s.
Remember the 70s sitcoms Porridge and/or Rising Damp? Yes? Then Richard Beckinsale’s character ‘Lennie’ in Porridge and medical student Alan in Rising Damp will be firmly in your recollection.
Born in Carlton, the actor attended a string of Nottingham schools, starting off at College House Junior School in Chilwell, before heading to Alderman White Secondary Modern School.
In 1963 he was a pupil at Nottingham College Clarendon, where he took a drama teacher’s training programme before apply for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Mansfield born, this former Blue Peter presenter was once a pupil of Worksop College and Ranby House School in Retford. Richard Bacon attended from 1989 until 1992 before finding fame at the likes of BBC Radio Nottingham and BBC Five Live as a presenter.
Gavin and Stacey star Matthew Horne grew up in Burton Joyce, just outside Nottingham. He headed off to school in Southwell where he attended the Southwell Minster School. A pupil here between 1989 and 1997, he maintains close links with the city and was awarded an honorary degree from Nottingham Trent University in 2019.
Hollywood actress Samantha was born in Clifton and spent her early years in Sunninghill Drive in the suburb. The BAFTA and Golden Globe winner and two-time Oscar nominee attended West Bridgford School.
In July 2020 she was honoured by the University of Nottingham with an honorary degree.
Real name Bill Jewry, Alvin Stardust moved to Mansfield at a young age and attended the Southwell Minster Collegiate Grammar Schools (now Southwell Minster School) as a boarder, according to the Old Southwellian Archive.
He remained true to his roots. He’s pictured above at the launch of the ‘Pop goes Mansfield’ exhibition at Mansfield Museum.
Historian Lucy Worsley grew up in West Bridgford.
She has been reported as saying she has been fascinated by history since she was a child.
Attending West Bridgford School here in Nottinghamshire, she volunteered locally, too, helping out at West Bridgford Library. Who knows, you may have bumped into her in Central Avenue!
Lucy went on to study Ancient and Modern History at New College, Oxford and kept her ties with Nottingham and the local area – she researched her PhD thesis about Nottingham Castle and Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire.
Her move into TV came in 2011 with the series If Walls Could Talk.
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Original posted at www.nottinghampost.com