17 celebrities you (probably) didn't know were from Wakefield and the Five Towns

From actors to musicians and authors to athletes, there are no end of famous faces with links to the Wakefield district.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 2:20 pm
Updated Monday, 26th April 2021, 2:22 pm

But how many of these famous faces did you know had been born in the district? Let us know and be sure to tell us any big names that we missed from the list!

Most of us will recognise Helen Baxendale from her role as Rachel on Cold Feet, or Emily on Friends. But did you know the TV star was born in Pontefract?
Best known for creating the fictional character Bridget Jones, Fielding was born and raised in Morley, and attended Wakefield Girls' High School.

Sign up to our daily Wakefield Express Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Brothers Gary, Ryan and Ross Jarman formed indie rock band The Cribs in Wakefield in 2001.
Coronation Street actress Katherine Kelly, best known for her role as Becky McDonald on the soap, attended Wakefield Girls' High School, and grew up in Barnsley and Wakefield. In 2016, she was honoured with a Wakefield Star. She's gone on to star in numerous hit TV series.
Sir Geoffrey Boycott is best known as a retired Test cricketer, who played for both Yorkshire and England. But before he began his career in cricket, Boycott attending Fitzwilliam Primary School and played for Ackworth Cricket Club.
You might recognise Helen Worth for her role as Gail Platt in Coronation Street, but did you know that the star was born in Ossett?
In 2010, Alicia Blagg became England's youngest ever double national champion when she won both the 1 metre springboard and 3 metre synchronised titles in the British championships. Earlier this year, the Wakefield-born diver announced her retirement.
Actor and voiceover artist Paul Copley was born in Denby Dale, close to Wakefield. In 1976, he won an Olivier Award for his role in John Wilson's For King and Country, and starred as Arthur Medwin in Coronation Street.
You might know Annabel Scholey for her role as Lauren Drake on Being Human, or her role in musical film Walking on Sunshine. She also played Contessina de Medici in the television series, Medici: Masters of Florence with Dustin Hoffman and Richard Madden. But before becoming an actress, Scholey was born in Wakefield.
Director and actor Reece Dinsdale has starred in dozens of plays, including Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet in 1996. He's more recently played Paul Ashdale in Emmerdale. But he will be known to many as John Thaw's son, Matthew, in sitcom Home to Roost. Before his career took off, Dinsdale was born and raised in Normanton.
One of the city's most recognisable faces, Jane McDonald has spent time as a singer, presenter and actress, and is renowned for her Yorkshire Accent. Born in Wakefield, she now presents Cruising with Jane McDonald.
Claire Cooper is best known for her role as Jacqui McQueen on Hollyoaks. The former British Gymnast has also appeared in Waterloo Road and Walking the Dead.
Former Rugby Union player Mike Tindall was born in Otley, and educated at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School. He is now married to Zara Phillips, the eldest granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II.
Michelle Hadwick is known for her roles as hospital receptionist Lizzie Hopkirk in the ITV drama series The Royal and Vanessa Woodfield in Emmerdale. She was born in Wakefield in 1976. She became a mum to Edward Peter (Teddy) Brooks in October last year.
Wakefield-born Barbara Hepworth is recognised across the world for her art and sculptures. Born and raised in the city, she credited the West Yorkshire industrial setting as the inspiration for much of her work.
Sculptor Henry Moore, pictured in 1976, was born and raised in Castleford, the seventh of eight children. He attended Leeds School of Art, and was known for his semi-abstract sculptures.
Composer Noel Gay, born Reginald Moxon Armitage, was born in Wakefield and attended Queen Elizabeth Grammar School. Also known as Stanley Hill, Gay was in the choir at Wakefield Cathedral and is best known for the musical Me and My Girl.