Surrey's top 50 celebs 2010 | Part five: Sandi Toksvig to Paul Weller via Dame Jacqueline Wilson
PUBLISHED: 18:04 29 October 2010 | UPDATED: 18:04 20 February 2013
Love them or hate them, there's no getting away from them, especially in Surrey! Over the years, the county seems to have become a haven to some of the country's most famous faces
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine September 2010
Love them or hate them, theres no getting away from them, especially in Surrey! Over the years, the county seems to have become a haven to some of the countrys most famous faces, who are drawn to the area by our historic towns, beautiful countryside and close proximity to London and the airports. Here, in our annual guide, we take a look at who they are, where they live and, away from the paparazzi cameras, what they like to get up to in their home county
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Photo: Pete Gardner
Yet another Surrey star to get married recently, Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty moved to the exclusive St Georges Hill estate in Weybridge last year and wed in the November. The 35-year-old, already a sensation in Bollywood circles, came to prominence in the UK when she won Celebrity Big Brother in 2007. She claims to have settled into her new Surrey life very well, falling for the stunning views from the top of Box Hill and the wide array of shops of Weybridge and Kingston. News has been quiet from the Shetty camp just lately, though every so often the occasional rumour surfaces of her joining EastEnders. Watch this space...
President of the Lords Taverners, which celebrates its Diamond Jubilee in 2010, Chris Tarrant was on hand in October for the annual Autumn Ball at Wentworth. He is also vice president of Eshers Princess Alice Hospice, having appeared at numerous events over the years, and a patron of Leatherheads Wildlife Aid. Best-known as the host of Who Wants to be a Millionaire (apparently he holds the record for making the most TV game shows; 17, if youre interested), the 63-year-old has lived in Esher for many years.
To say its been an eventful year for John Terry would be something of an understatement. While it hasnt all been plain sailing for the Chelsea captain, the team did go on to win the Premier League. The less said about the World Cup though the better. Footballers have been chasing mansions around Surrey ever since Chelseas training ground moved to Stoke dAbernon, near Cobham, in 2004. Terry has a home on the
Crown Estate in Oxshott, while Chelsea teammate Frank Lampard lives at Blackhills in Esher. For Tottenham fans, Peter Crouch is a Weybridge resident. Needless to say, players are often spotted out and about in the area.
Anyone living in the Reigate/Redhill area will more than likely have spotted a rather healthy looking chap out jogging most mornings. They may not have realised, however, that this is Surrey Lifes resident celebrity chef, Tony Tobin, who is a keen runner when not busy in the kitchen or writing his column. Sadly, he had to pull out of this years London Marathon but were sure the running shoes will be back on in no time. While running his two restaurants, POST in Banstead and The Dining Room in Reigate, the 47-year-old Ready, Steady, Cook regular is also a patron of Matthews Friends, a charity for dietary treatments for epilepsy.
Eyebrows were raised as the National Trust announced that music legend Pete Townshend, of The Who fame, would be moving into Ashdown House in Berkshire the rock star parties will have to remain at a minimum as he will now be responsible for the property, which is still open to the public during the week. His main residence, however, will remain in Richmond, where the 65-year-old creative genius who wrote such classics as My Generation and Tommy has lived since the late Seventies. He has three children, Emma, Aminta and Joseph, from his previous marriage to Karen Astley and now lives with long-term girlfriend, musician Rachel Fuller. Ongoing problems with tinnitus mean that live performances are few and far between, although The Who did play this years Superbowl.
Earlier this summer, Phil Tufnell joined more than 150 school pupils in the sunshine for the Childrens Trusts first Paralympic Sports Festival. A vice-president of the charity, Tuffers regularly shows his support at their Tadworth Court home. A Kingswood resident, he made his name as a fun-loving England cricketer and has since found further fame as a fun-loving TV presenter, with regular slots on The One Show and A Question of Sport. The 44-year-old enjoys popping down to the nearby Epsom Downs Racecourse when he gets a moment. Further cricketing links come in the form of Surrey legend Alec Stewart, who lives in Ashtead, and Mark Ramprakash, who is in (as ever, seemingly) incredible form at Surrey County Cricket Club.
Brilliantly outspoken, Sandi Toksvig caused a minor ruckus in the national papers last year when she entered the BBC ageism debate in these very pages. Most will be aware of her work on Radio 4, where she chairs The News Quiz weekly and presents travel programme Excess Baggage, or from her zingy newspaper columns or lively TV appearances in shows like Have I Got News For You, but she also takes a keen interest in the cerebral closer to home. The 52-year-old Guildford Book Festival patron, who lives near the town, has been involved with exhibition launches at GalleryOne in Grayshott and the Frimley & Camberley Society of Arts Annual Exhibition this year, among others. Her favourite view in the county is from St Martha-on-the-Hill, near Chilworth.
A legend came home this year as Wokings favourite son Paul Weller returned for a sell-out charity concert in aid of Woking Hospice. The event at Woking Leisure Centre raised over 60,000 and received widespread publicity helping the charitys cause further. Despite living in Maida Vale these days, the 52-year-old will always be considered a Surrey boy by many, having been born in Sheerwater near Woking. Weller formed what was to become The Jam with Steve Brookes and the pair gigged around Woking in their early days. The rest, as they say, is history. He continues to record at his Ripley studio.
To say the last couple of years have been a bit of a rollercoaster for this Rolling Stone would be putting things mildly. Since his marriage to Jo, his wife of 23 years, broke down in 2008, life for the 63-year-old hellraiser has taken so many twists and turns its been hard to keep track. From the news that he was reforming legendary band, the Faces, to pictures of him chatting away to Prince William at Hurtwood Park Polo Club in Ewhurst, theres never a dull moment. The musician and artist has been renting Ruxley Towers in Claygate reportedly having seen the property featured in these very pages.