With the papers last week being dominated by the news of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin and their 'conscious uncoupling', we were even more shocked to learn that the Coldplay frontman is actually from Devon. The 37 year old star hails from Whitestone, in Exeter. A fact that we were completely oblivious to until it was casually mentioned, almost as an afterthought, in one of the various articles of last week.
Now we have always known that some of us from the region have great star potential, but this got us thinking:
How many other celebrities were born and raised just down the road? And how many don't we know about? And we thought it was time that these quiet Devon heroes were celebrated!
1. Sue Barker
Born in Paignton, this former tennis player is a bonafide television presenter these days. Her tennis career saw her winning 11 singles titles and 12 doubles titles. Not enough for the high-flying Ms Barker, after retiring from her professional tennis career, she joined the presenting team for the BBC's coverage of Wimbledon in 1993 and since then has become the long-standing lead anchor of the week-long broadcast. Quickly becoming one of the BBC's main sports presenters, she now also presents their Olympic and Winter Olympic coverage, and is the (long suffering!) host of the quiz show "A Question of Sport".
2. Matthew Bellamy - Muse
Not quite all of them were born in the region, but we'll adopt the lovable rogues of world-famous alternative rock band Muse! Meeting in Teignmouth Community College in the 80's, Matt Bellamy, Dominic Howard and Chris Wolstenholme have gone on to enjoy worldwide success with their visually enchanting shows and creative music that is loved by millions, in the form of six albums so far. Muse never forgot their roots, and in 2009 took a break from selling out stadiums to transform The Den in Teignmouth into an intimate venue for their friends, family and community, and about 15,000 others!
3. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Growing up on a farm near Tavistock in Devon, never did Rosie Huntington-Whiteley any harm! As a 15 year old student, she travelled to London for a work experience placement at Profile modelling agency in the West End and was snapped up by their talent scouts as soon as she graduated. Modelling for Vogue, Victoria's Secret, Levi's and a whole host of other big names in the fashion world. She has also had mild success as an actress, starring in Transformers - Dark Side of the Moon, replacing Megan Fox.
4. Dawn French
Hailing from Plymouth, and born of a Plymothian mother, we'll have to forgive Dawn French the misfortune of actually being born elsewhere in the country! She spent her early years here with her family before studying at Drama School and meeting a certain Jennifer Saunders. The pair are now one of the best loved comedy double acts, and Dawn herself is well remembered for her role in "The Vicar of Dibley" and that of 'the fat lady' in the Harry Potter franchise.
5. Sharron Davies
Born and raised in Plymouth, Sharron Davies set a record simply by joining the the British National Swimming Team, at the tender age of 11! An outspoken adversary to the use of performance enhancing drugs in sport, Sharron was also instrumental in bringing the Olympics to Britain, as well as being an active charity fundraiser. The eagle-eyed may also have noticed that she appeared in Saturday night classic TV show "Gladiators", as the lycra-clad 'Amazon'.
It turns out Devon have more stars than we had previously thought! Did you know that all these celebrities were from the region? If you have any others for us, please do let us know by leaving us a comment below, or catch up with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.