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The 13 celebrities you may not understand are from Essex

Our county boasts a wide range of acting, musical and artistic talents.

But do you know your Essex celebrities?

Test your knowledge with the list below.

Dermot O’Leary


Born in Colchester in 1973, he attended Colchester’s 6th Form College.

He holds a BA in Media and Television and has worked as a DJ for BBC Radio Essex.

His career included the presentation of Big Brother’s little brother and the X Factor.

Alison Moyet

The singer, who was half of the Yazoo duo, comes from Billericay.

He named one of his albums as his home county.

Blur’s Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon

Colchester is notoriously the hometown of the British group Blur.

Damon Albarn, the singer and guitarist of the Graham Coxon group, went to Stanway School.

They formed Blur with Alex James and Dave Rowntree while studying together at Goldsmith’s College in London.

Originally known as “Seymour”, they performed in various clubs in the city, then moving to London and changing their name to Blur.

Tom Payne

The Chelmsford actor first appeared on the BBC on Waterloo Road, playing the sixth ex Brett Aspinall.

He is a fan favorite of the The Walking Dead series for his role as Paul ‘Jesus’ Rovia.

It is now part of the main cast of the Fox Prodigal Son production.

Lara Pulver

Gazelle: Lara Pulver. Credit: BBC / Kudos / Angus MuirLara Pulver. Credit: BBC / Kudos / Angus Muir

The actress who played Erin Watts in the BBC spook drama Spooks and Irene Adler in the BBC Sherlock television adaptation was born in Southend.

Grayson Perry


The Chelmsford artist, whose work is currently exhibited at the Chelmsford Museum, is a 2003 Turner Prize winner.

Known for his work in Fine Arts, Perry depicts classic shapes on vases and decorates them with bright colors. In addition to working in ceramics, Perry has also worked in printing, drawing, embroidery and other textile works.

Alex Dowsett

Also known as “The Tiger”, Dowsett is a professional cyclist who currently runs for the UCI WorldTeam Isreal Start-Up Nation and has two medals.

In 2015, Dowsett broke the cycling track which would have recorded a record 446 meters.

His career began at the Maldon and District cycling club.

Nathalie Emmanuel


The actress who started her career in Hollyoaks was born in Southend.

The 30-year-old is probably known for her role as Missandei in Game of Thrones.

Joe Thomas

Better known as Simon of The Inbetweeners or Kingsley of Fresh Meat, this actor is a household name for anyone with teenagers in the late ’00s.

The 36-year-old actor, born in Chelmsford, continued to study at Pembroke College in Cambridge.

Penny Lancaster

The Chelmsford model and photographer was the face of 2002 for the lingerie brand signed Last and a 2007 competitor Strictly Come Dancing.

In addition to this, Lancaster was saved as an occasional group member during the lunchtime chat show in 2014.

In addition, she is married to Sir Rod Stewart.

Harry Judd

McFly’s drummer and 2011 winner Strictly Come Dancing, Judd’s first appearance was in Busted’s music video for “Crashed the Wedding” after he joined the auditions to be in McFly.

Judd starred in the band’s early years, including a guest star role in Casualty, children’s comedy film Just my Luck and even Doctor Who.

It comes from Chelmsford.

Rupert Grint

The Harry Potter star is from Harlow. The 31-year-old left school at 16 to focus on his acting career.

Kara and Hannah Tointon


Acting nuns were born in Southend and raised in Leigh on Sea.

Hannah is famous for her roles in Inbetweeners and Hollyoaks, while her sister Kara has appeared in Eastenders.

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