Surrey's top 50 celebs 2010 | Part four: Andy Murray to Sir Cliff Richard via the Redknapps
PUBLISHED: 11:06 26 October 2010 | UPDATED: 13:57 18 September 2014
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, 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
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine September 2010
* With grateful thanks to our sponsors Coutts & Co in Guildford
Photo: Andy Newbold
Wildlife campaigner and actress Virginia McKenna, 79, is one of the world’s leading lights when it comes to animal protection. As well as her own wildlife charity Born Free, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, she also supports a number of Surrey organisations, including Leatherhead’s Wildlife Aid and the East Surrey Badger Protection Society. Her kindness doesn’t just stretch to wildlife, however, and earlier this year she joined fundraisers at a Dorking pub charity event held in aid of the Dan Eley appeal – the 32-year-old charity worker from Witley, near Godalming, who was paralysed from the neck down following a swimming accident in a remote jungle region of Colombia on New Year’s Day. Away from the campaigning, the Coldharbour resident is a keen gardener and loves nothing more than spending the day visiting RHS Wisley.
Best known as Queen’s guitarist since 1970, the Richmond-born Brian May is less well known for his patronage of the Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue centre in Camberley. A keen champion of wildlife causes, fighting battles against badger culling, fox hunting and animal testing, Brian’s research and interest in the matters he debates goes well past fleeting. The 63-year-old is married to actress Anita Dobson – the couple tied the knot in a civil ceremony at Richmond register office in 2000 and live in West End.
The ‘senior prefect’ of the Loose Women gang, Andrea McLean is often the voice of reason that holds the show together. Wearing a stunning Caroline Castigliano wedding dress, the 40-year-old Ashtead resident recently married her partner Steve Toms at the Nutfield Priory Hotel and Spa near Redhill. You might spot the pair enjoying a quiet dinner at the George in Esher, Loch Fyne in Cobham and POST in Banstead. Her favourite place to visit with her two children, Amy and Finlay, is Bocketts Farm near Leatherhead. Andrea was a special guest reader at last year’s Surrey Life CHASE carol concert.
So, another disappointing Wimbledon for Andy Murray this year, who was superb until facing the unstoppable force that is Rafael Nadal in the semis. Despite being born and bred in Scotland, the 23-year-old has joined a wealth of sporting stars by moving to the leafy village of Oxshott with his girlfriend Kim Sears. The pair were spotted out shopping recently at their local Tesco in Leatherhead. His great English predecessor Tim Henman was a pupil at Reed’s School in Cobham.
Where Nicholas Owen finds the energy, we’ll never know! As well as interviewing some of the county’s most interesting people for Surrey Life, BBC newsreader Nicholas Owen pops from national events to local fêtes with seemingly boundless enthusiasm. Whether it’s fronting BBC News 24 or launching the Ashtead Village Day and any number of charity events, he is never far from the action. Having moved to Kingswood when he was ten, he began his first job at 17 on the Surrey Mirror. The 63-year-old Reigate resident has remained in the area ever since, despite his job taking him around the world. He says Reigate Heath is his favourite place in Surrey, and it shouldn’t really be a surprise as he has been a member of the golf club there for the past 15 years.
One person you imagine hasn’t been too worried by the economic turmoil surrounding us lately is Theo Paphitis, who has made a bit of a name for himself over the years reading the markets. He even shared some of his expertise with us on Theo’s Adventure Capitalists on the BBC earlier this year. One of the stars of Dragons’ Den, he moved to Surrey over 25 years ago, first to Carshalton, then Oxshott, Cobham and finally Weybridge. He lives with his wife Debbie and children Dominic, Zoe, Alex and twins Annabelle and Hollie. In an interview for Surrey Life last year, he said one of their favourite places in the county is Garsons Farm in Esher; in fact, his wife is such a big fan that he’d quite like to own it! The 50-year-old is also a patron of the Sam Beare Hospice in Weybridge and attended their annual ball at Mercedes-Benz World in May, helping to raise £40,000 on the night.
An increasing presence on the nation’s horse scene, Katie Price recently attended the Asprey World Class Polo at Hurtwood Park Polo Club in Ewhurst, alongside the likes of Prince Harry and Ronnie Wood. The 32-year-old’s love life continues to sell tabloids as fast as they are printed, and she even sold the exclusive rights to her recent wedding to Alex Reid at St Paul’s in Woldingham to ITV. Still living near Woldingham, riding is Price’s main passion away from work. She enjoys taking her horses on the Downs and, before moving to Woldingham, had kept her six horses in stables at her Ockley home. Her dressage abilities are such that she even performed a masterclass at last year’s Horse of the Year show. Earlier this year, she popped into Epsom clothes store Lester Bowden to sign items from her own riding range. She has three children, two with Peter Andre, Junior and Princess, and Harvey, who was fathered by footballer Dwight Yorke.
Jamie and Louise Redknapp
One of the nicest couples in the celebrity sphere, Jamie and Louise Redknapp are among the stars with homes in the very polished Crown Estate, Oxshott. Former footballer Jamie, 37, is best remembered for his spells at Liverpool and Tottenham, and also played for England. More recently, he was chosen as the new ‘face and body’ of Marks & Spencer menswear. Louise, 35, who grew up in Oxted, broke through in the girl band Eternal and continues her music and modelling careers today, as well as presenting BBC Sunday morning show Something for the Weekend. Back in February, the pair attended the champagne launch of the Clay salon and spa in Oxshott. They have two sons, Beau Henry, one, and Charley, six.
Sir Cliff Richard
Celebrating his 70th birthday this October, Sir Cliff Richard can look back on a career spanning more than 50 years. To mark both these milestones, a new photographic book, available online, is set to be published. Retaining his Wentworth Estate bungalow, these days he spends a lot of time in Portugal at his vineyard and in Barbados. His relationship with the county goes right back to 1948, when he and his family moved to Carshalton from India. Although his original stay in Surrey was brief, he moved back in 1973 and has had a presence here ever since. He is a vice president of the Tennis Foundation and also of Esher’s Princess Alice Hospice.
With ears still ringing from Status Quo’s acclaimed performance at GuilFest, Francis Rossi can feel rightfully proud of the contribution he has made to the music industry and the OBE he received earlier this year – the band are currently on yet another mammoth 150-date tour. Despite having considerably less hair nowadays, the 61-year-old Purley resident’s fingers are still as nimble as ever and he even found the time to release a solo record, One Step at a Time, earlier this year. You might find him eating out at Akash or Mehfil in Wallington, or over in Croydon at Osushi and Bagatti’s.