YORKSHIRE DAY COUNTDOWN: The famous folk that put us on the map

With just one day to go until Yorkshire Day tomorrow, today we are taking a look at some of the star names that have helped put Yorkshire on the map.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 19th July 2016, 12:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 5:35 pm
Just some of the famous Yorkshire folk who have helped put the county on the map. (left to right singer Ed Sheeran, actors Brian Blessed and Patrick Stewart, former Prime Minister Harold Wilson and TV star Keith Lemon).

From singers to television presenters, politicians to pioneers, all four corners of Yorkshire have delivered a host of some of the world's biggest names who have excelled in their fields. And what's more, most of them are fiercely proud of their Yorkshire roots.

Here are just some of the famous names Yorkshire has produced down the decades. We can't list everyone - and we know there will probably be a few favourites missed, but here's a taste of the rich impact Yorkshire has had on the world.

Star Trek favourite Sir Patrick Stewart comes from Mirfield.

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Some of TV's biggest and best known household names hail from God's Own County.

Motormouth former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson was born in Doncaster and worked as a journalist in Rotherham early in his career while comedian Ernie Wise, one half of the much-loved comedy duo Morecambe and Wise was born in Bramley.

Leigh Francis, better known as Keith Lemon, comes from Leeds, while 'Allo 'Allo actor Gorden Kaye was born in Huddersfield.

Former Prime Minister Harold Wilson, who comes from Huddersfield.

Both Vic Reeves (Leeds) and Bob Mortimer (Middlesbrough) can count Yorkshire as their birthplace while late magician Paul Daniels hailed from Middlesbrough, formerly in the county borders. TV chat show host and journalist Michael Parkinson comes from Cudworth, near Barnsley while Monty Python star Michael Palin comes from Sheffield.


Yorkshire has produced a wealth of acting greats and Hollywood stars - and here's just a few of them.

Full Monty favourite Mark Addy comes from York, as does Dame Judi Dench, while another noted and honoured thespian Sir Patrick Stewart hails from Mirfield.

Singer Ed Sheeran is a native of Hebden Bridge.

Acclaimed actor James Mason was born and brought up in Huddersfield, while Tom Courtenay comes from Hull. Kes star Brian Glover was born in Sheffield and raised in Barnsley while Gandhi star Sir Ben Kingsley can call Scarborough home.

80s comedy stars Paul Shane, of Hi-de-Hi! fame was born in Thrybergh near Rotherham, Duty Free favourite Keith Barron hails from Mexborough and the much-loved Chuckle Brothers are from Rotherham.

Game of Thrones star Sean Bean is a proud Sheffield lad while booming Brian Blessed was brought up just down the road in Mexborough.


Booming Brian Blessed comes from the Dearne Valley.

Yorkshire has been a real breeding ground for musical talent with some of the world's most popular singers and bands across all genres hailing from here.

Sheffield has given us the likes of the Arctic Monkeys, gravel voiced Joe Cocker, Britpop stars Pulp, led by Jarvis Cocker as well as a trio of 80s heroes - The Human League, Heaven 17 and ABC as well as rockers Def Leppard.

More recently, The Arctic Monkeys and rockers Bring Me The Horizon have helped the Steel City music scene thrive.

West Yorkshire too has produced a number of acclaimed chart stars including Addicted To Love singer Robert Palmer, who was born in Batley, multi-million selling singer songwriter Ed Sheeran, who was born in Hebden Bridge and Leeds chart stars The Kaiser Chiefs.

Elsewhere, soul and dance star John Newman comes from Settle, Spice Girl Mel B hails from Leeds while fellow girl band star Kimberley Walsh of Girls Aloud was born in Bradford.

One Direction's Louis Tomlinson comes from Doncaster with fellow former band-mate Zayn Malik hailing from Bradford.

TV star Leigh Francis - aka Keith Lemon.

Film composer John Barry, Is This The Way To Amarillo singer Tony Christie, Deep Purple and Whitesnake singer David Coverdale as well as opera star Lesley Garrett and singers Gareth Gates and Jane McDonald are also Yorkshire born.


Wakefield has given us acclaimed artist Barbara Hepworth while David Hockney (Saltaire) and Henry Moore (Castleford) are two other artists from the county who have helped put Yorkshire on the map globally. Writer and broadcaster Ian Clayton comes from Featherstone.

The Bronte sisters - Charlotte, Emily and Anne - were raised in Haworth while one of Bradford's most famous sons is the writer, novelist and broadcaster J B Priestley.

Former poet laureate Ted Hughes was born in Mytholmroyd and lived in Mexborough and playwright and actor Alan Bennett comes from Leeds.


Unfortunately, Yorkshire has also served up its fair share of notorious criminals down the years too.

Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, was born in Bingley while armed robber and serial killer Donald Neilson, also known as the Black Panther, was born in Dewsbury.

Rillington Place killer John Christie was born in Illingworth and Stephen Griffiths, aka the serial killer known as The Crossbow Cannibal, hails from Dewsbury.

Notorious paedophile Jimmy Savile hailed from West Yorkshire and had homes in Leeds and Scarborough.


Morley was the birthplace of Herbert Asquith, Prime Minister from 1908-16 while Huddersfield's most famous son is Harold Wilson who was at 10 Downing Street from 1964-70 and 1974-76.

Pilgrim Father William Bradford was born in Austerfield while infamous Gunpowder Plot member Guy Fawkes came from York. Abolition of slavery campaigner William Wilberforce was born and lived in Hull.


Yorkshire can lay claim to giving the world some invention classics and a few pioneering feats too.

James Atkinson, the creator of the mousetrap, came from Leeds, while Jospeh Bramah, the inventor of the hydraulic press was Barnsley born.

Sheffield's Harry Brearley was the inventor of stainless steel and Captain James Cook, of Marton, near Middlesbrough, was the man who sailed the seven seas as he strove to explore the world.

Aviation pioneer Amy Johnson was born in Hull, Helen Sharman, the world's first British astronaut, comes from Sheffield and Percy Shaw, inventor of the cat's eye reflecting roadstud was born in Halifax.

Star Trek favourite Sir Patrick Stewart comes from Mirfield.
Former Prime Minister Harold Wilson, who comes from Huddersfield.
Singer Ed Sheeran is a native of Hebden Bridge.
Booming Brian Blessed comes from the Dearne Valley.
TV star Leigh Francis - aka Keith Lemon.