Watford has plenty to boast about when it comes to famous people, places and stories. Here is a list of just some of the claims to fame below, and if you know of any that we might have missed, then please let us know and we’ll add them on the list.
Marion Bailey (1951)
British actress. She is best known for her work with her partner, film director Mike Leigh, including the films Meantime (1983), All or Nothing (2002), Vera Drake (2004), Mr. Turner (2014), for which she was nominated Supporting Actress of the Year by the London Film Critics’ Circle and most recently Peterloo (2018).
Simon Le Bon (1958)
English musician, singer, songwriter and lyricist, best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the band Duran Duran and its offshoot, Arcadia. Le Bon has received three Ivor Novello Awards from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, including the award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music.
Cyril Fletcher (1913)
Comedian, actor and businessman. His catchphrase was ‘Pin back your lugholes’. He was best known for his “Odd Odes”, which later formed a section of the television show That’s Life! He first began performing the Odd Odes in 1937, long before they first appeared on television (though he did appear on pre World War II television).
Bruce John Alexander (1946)
English actor, best known for his portrayal of Superintendent Norman Mullett in the ITV television series A Touch of Frost, where he plays the superior of the main character Jack Frost, played by David Jason.
Bradley John Walsh (1960)
English comedian, television presenter, actor, singer and former professional footballer. He has portrayed DS Ronnie Brooks in Law & Order: UK, and Graham ‘Brien in Doctor Who, and hosted ITV game shows The Chase and Cash Trapped. He recently started a series with his son Barney Walsh called Bradley Walsh & Son: Breaking Dad. Walsh also hosted the annual Crime Thriller Awards and the Specsavers Crime Thriller Club on ITV3. He hosted the variety show Tonight at the London Palladium and was a team captain on the sports-themed panel show Play to the Whistle.
Sue Cleaver (1963)
British actress. She is best known for playing Eileen Grimshaw on the long-running ITV soap opera Coronation Street. She also played Glenda, the bread delivery person in Victoria Wood’s BBC comedy Dinnerladies, which ran for two series from 1998–2000. She was covering for Denise Robertson as the agony aunt on ITV daytime programme This Morning until Robertson’s death in 2016.
Stephen James Easterbrook (1967)
British business executive. From March 2015 to November 2019, he was president and chief executive of McDonald’s, a major American fast-food corporation.
Timothy Paul Lovejoy (1968)
Television presenter, best known for hosting Saturday morning football programme Soccer AM with Helen Chamberlain for over a decade. He presents Sunday Brunch on Channel 4 and BT Sports Panel on Saturday mornings on the BT Sport channel.
English singer, songwriter, author, philanthropist and actress. Halliwell came to international prominence in the 1990s as Ginger Spice, a member of the wildly successful girl group the Spice Girls, which was also the best-selling girl group of all time, with over 85 million records sold, of which 75 million copies were sold with the quintet lineup including Halliwell.
Anthony Joshua, OBE (1989)
British professional boxer who is a two-time unified heavyweight champion, 2012 Olympic gold medallist, having held the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO titles since December 2019 and previously between 2016 and June 2019. At a regional level, he held the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles from 2014 to 2016.
Rak-Su are a British hip hop man-band, formed in Watford. In 2017, they won the fourteenth series of The X Factor, becoming the first male group to do so. The group is made up of Ashley Fongho, Jamaal Shurland, Mustafa Rahimtulla and Myles Stephenson.
Thomas James Carroll (1992)
English professional footballer who plays as a midfielder, most recently with Championship club Swansea City. Carroll plays as a deep-lying creative central midfielder and is particularly valued for his high passing percentage accuracy and creativity. Carroll’s style of play has drawn comparisons with former teammate Luka Modrić.
An entertainer who is well-known on YouTube, where he has over 20.5 million subscribers, which is more than his opponent (Paul has 19.9M). His real name is Olajide Olayinka Williams Olatunji, although he also goes by “JJ.”