The North East’s Famous Faces

The North East of the UK is a beautiful area and well worth visiting. As well as the urban areas of Teeside, Tyneside and Wearside it also is known for its coastline, part of the Northumberland National Park and it's World heritage sites of Durham Cathedral, Durham Castle and Hadrian's Wall.

With so much history and beauty, it's no wonder that many of the UK's well loved and favourite faces choose to spend a large portion of their lives here, even if they’re not North East born and bred.

The Cairn Group has created the following guide to the North East's famous faces and where to check out their connections. Have a look at the star-studded tour below and then book up one of the premium hotel group’s hotels in Jesmond so that you’re in the perfect location to begin your own self-drive excursion.


Key facts:

  • Shot to fame on the TV reality show Popstars The Rivals 
  • Sold millions of records as a member of Girl's Aloud 
  • Climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief in 2009 
  • Became the first British female solo artist to have five number one singles

Cheryl is an English singer, dancer, and television personality. Born as Cheryl Tweedy and raised in Tyneside, she rose to fame in late 2002 upon winning a place in girl group Girls Aloud after participating in ITV's Popstar's The Rivals. She is now a solo singer, style icon and face of L'Oreal. She grew up in Heaton in Newcastle and also lived in the Walker area.

Rowan Atkinson

Key facts:

  • Played major roles in TV series Black Adder and Mr. Bean
  • Played major roles in the movies The Lion King and Johnny English. 
  • Won the 1982 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Comedy Performance in the 1981 season

Rowan Atkinson grew up on a farm owned by his father in Consett, County Durham, and studied at the Cathedral Chorister School. It is the latter where you should visit to gain an extraordinary glimpse into the actor’s early life — part of Durham Cathedral, the establishment also has former Prime Minister Tony Blair as a famous past student.

Sir Bobby Charlton

Key facts: 

  • Was a member of the 1966 World Cup-winning England football squad. 
  • Was a member of the Manchester United football squad that won three Football League First Division titles. 
  • Winner of the 1966 Ballon d’Or. 

A statue of Sir Bobby Charlton may be found alongside his former teammates George Best and Denis Law at Old Trafford, but you don’t need to travel all the way to Manchester to celebrate the legend.

Sir Bobby was born in Ashington, with football fans who head to one of Northumberland’s largest towns encouraged to visit the football pitch on Woodhorn Lane to witness some grassroots football being played by Ebac Northern League Division One club Ashington Football Club.

Steve Cram

Key facts: 

  • Won a silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games. 
  • Won a gold medal at the 1983 World Championships. 
  • Won a gold medal at the 1982 Commonwealth Games, as well as double gold at the 1986 Commonwealth Games. 
  • Won a gold medal at the 1982 European Championships, as well as both gold and bronze medals at the 1986 European Championships. 
  • Won the 1983 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award

The origins of Steve Cram’s illustrious athletics career can be traced back to North-East athletics club Jarrow & Hebburn AC, which he joined when he was only 12 years old. The club’s athletes can be found training as well as regularly competing against many other teams from across the North East at Monkton Stadium.

As you can see there are many famous people with connections to the North East of England. Tell me have you ever been to this area?


  1. I live in the North East and love it here!

    JH |

  2. I never knew that Rowan Atkinson was from the North East, i've no idea why, but i'd always assumed he was from the South! xx

  3. This made me smile. I live in Ashington where Bobby Charlton was born. The North East is wonderful x

  4. Another North North Easter here too, and it is wonderful. I love it. My Mother went to the same school as Mark Knopfler (also from the NE).

  5. I don't think I've ever been to the North East before, I tend to stick to the same places when I head anywhere up north and that tends to be Sheffield and Leeds x

  6. I don't think I've ever really done the North East... should probably think about it soon!

  7. So many of my favourite comedians come from 'the North' or south to me as I live in Scotland.

    1. Yes there are some great comedians from the North of England.

  8. I love the North East - it's ony my list to get back to this year x

  9. No Ant and Dec? I didnt even realise Mr Bean was from the North East x

  10. I've never been to the North East of England, but I plan to go soon as it is one of the few places I haven't yet seen. Interesting list, as I had no idea Rowan Atkinson had NE connections.

  11. Love posts about the North East of England, don't forget the fabulous antique jewellery store up here :) shameless plug!