The 5 Most Famous People to Come From Cardiff
- May 5, 2014
- Posted in : Cardiff
There are a number of ways to go about picking the place that you intend to call home for the new few years. Facilities, the local economy, schools…but it may also be worth taking a look at the people whose footsteps you’d be following in. Could you be shaped by that city in the same way that they were? Have a think about it, as we bring you…the 5 most famous people to come from Cardiff!
One of the world’s most renowned children’s authors, famous for the likes of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG and many more, Roald Dahl was born and brought up in the suburbs of Cardiff. Dahl’s parents were Norwegian and he spoke Norwegian at home, but he attended the Cathedral School in Llandaff (a suburb of Cardiff). The early signs of his creative mind were displayed during this period…as he and some friends put a dead mouse into a jar of gobstoppers in a local sweet shop. In case this just sounds like mindless hooliganism, it should be noted that he considered the owner of the sweet shop to be “mean and loathsome”. So, really, this was an act of community karma or perhaps early inspiration for one of his episodes of Tales of the Unexpected.
The Cardiff singer has packed a lot into her 28 years on the planet. At 11 years old she got her big break singing Pie Jesu down the phone to Andrew Lloyd Webber when he was a guest on ITV’s This Morning, and she was soon backing this up with an appearance on the same channel’s Big Big Talent Show. A year later, she was appearing at Cardiff Arms Park, The Royal Albert Hall and opening for Dame Shirley Bassey in Belgium. The next few years were ones of stratospheric success. Basically, when you’re 16 and find yourself releasing a ‘Best of’ album, you’re probably entitled to take a break after that.
Instead, she went on to release a pop album, front her own chat show and have two kids with Welsh rugby star, Gavin Henson. She does now finally seem to be taking a break from the media’s glare, but is still busy with her music. Her fourth EP, entitled FOUR (who has time to come up with EP titles when you’re splitting your time between the recording studio and looking after 2 kids?) was released in March of this year. Put your feet up, Charlotte, you’ve earned it!
If Charlotte Church was looking for a Welsh singer to be inspired by, then she didn’t have to look far. Dame Shirley Bassey had already long been the pride of Cardiff by the time Charlotte was born. Hailing from the city’s Tiger Bay area, among Shirley Bassey’s other musical achievements she’s sung the theme tunes to three Bond Movies! These include the epic Goldfinger, the spine-tingling Diamonds Are Forever…and whatever the theme tune to Moonraker was like. Actually, we’ve just fired it up on Youtube and it’s…well, look, it’d be fine if it wasn’t being compared to Diamonds Are Forever and Goldfinger. Which is a statement that works for the movie as well as the theme tune.
These days, the iconic singer lives in Monaco. Don’t think that as any slight on Cardiff though. Bear in mind that Monaco is just Tiger Bay but with better access to football matches involving Radamel Falcao.
OK, it may be cheating slightly to list Peter Baynham as famous and then have to explain who he is and what he’s done…but he’s too significant to leave out. If you watched Stewart Lee & Richard Herring’s Fist of Fun on BBC2 back in the 1990s then you may remember him playing the character of Pete, a creepy individual with unfortunate hygiene habits. That’s probably not sealing the deal for you though, so we should also mention that Baynham worked with Armando Iannucci and Steve Coogan on I’m Alan Partridge, before going on to work with Sacha Baron Cohen on Borat. In fact, his writing on the screenplay of the aforementioned none-too-popular-in-Kazakhstan movie led to an Oscar nomination. More recently, the prolific writer worked on last year’s Alan Partridge movie.
When mentioning Gareth Bale here, we should also give honourable mentions to John Toshack and Craig Bellamy, both of whom were close to making the list. Being the most expensive footballer in the world (possibly…) makes you pretty hard to ignore though, all the more so when you have your own signature goal celebration. Bale’s forming of a heart shape with his hands after every net-bursting effort has made him a winner in the eyes of the media as well as on the pitch.
His promise was evident from an early age, with Tottenham paying Southampton an initial fee of £5m (with add-ons potentially taking it up to £10m) for his services when he was still only 17. Incredibly though, in his first 24 league matches for Spurs he didn’t finish on the winning side once. His then Spurs boss, Harry Redknapp, recalled Sir Alex Ferguson picking up on Bale’s unlucky record with the comment, “You can’t pick him, you’re mad!”
Redknapp’s faith turned out to be well-judged though as the Cardiff lad went from strength-to-strength over the next few seasons, converting from a full-back into a winger who combines pace, strength and skill with an eye for goal and great ability from set-pieces. In 2013 he moved to Real Madrid for a fee of between £77m and £85m depending on which source you believe. The latter makes him the most expensive football ever…so we’ll go with that one!
Thinking about making Cardiff your next home? Here are 5 great reasons for why you should pack up and move to Cardiff now.
Planning on following in their footsteps?
We hope our list has helped to convince you of Cardiff’s incredible pedigree of success and whetted your appetite to sample life in the city. We know that moving can be a stressful time though, particularly when it comes to synchronising moving days, so we’re here to help with any storage needs that you may have.
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image source: walesonline.co.uk