Cringing Cult of Celebrity in Ilford, Essex*
Famous residents and ex-residents.
You can tell us more about Ilford.
Cringing Cult of Celebrity
- Simon Amstell used to live in Gants Hill, Dame Maggie Smith was born in Forest Gate
- Dave Rappaport, Tiswas, Time Bandits, lived in Ilford as a child and teenager. He was a pupil at Wanstead High
- Bill Fraser appeared as Sergeant Snudge in the TV comedy series The Army Game..and later 'Bootsie and Snudge'. Bill owned a sweetshop on Ilford Lane and often served behind the counter. As Sgnt Snudge he was fond of Jelly Babies so as kids that's what we used to go into his shop and ask for.
- Johnny Byrne, who played for West Ham and had loads of England caps, lived in Sandhurst Drive and I used to babysit for him and he once took us to visit Bobby Moore when he lived in Chigwell
- The 'Who' used to play in the Britannia Pub (1 Church Road,Essex,BARKING,IG11 8PR) on Friday nights in 1963/4. It was a regular haunt for a small crowd of us (mods) from Loxford School, Ilford. They were playing there when they changed their name to the 'High Numbers' then changed it back again to the 'Who'. They weren't earning enough to smash up their guitars at that time but Pete Townsend was using his characteristic swinging arm technique. At that time, as the 'High Numbers' they recorded 'Zoot Suite' which didn't do anything. Not long after, as the 'Who', they recorded 'Can't Explain' - the rest is history!
- Arnie never lived or trained in Ilford, he was 'adopted' by Wag & Diane Bennett. Wag Bennett owned a Car/Motorcycle Spares shop on the old A13 between Dagenham & Rainham (Now A1306) and he also ran a full Gym in the old Church on Romford Road Forest Gate next to what was the Post Office and GPO Building, later British Telecom and now private Flats. The Nolan Sisters did live in Ilford and used to hold regular Friday Night Parties after we all left Havelocks or the Ilford Palais.
- Patrick Pink (assistant and last pop singer to 60's record producer Joe Meek) lives off of Clayhall Avenue, Barkingside.
- Huge indie act 'Bloc Party' lead singer Rowland 'Kele' Okereke was in my class at Ilford County High School. He lived in Manor Park.
- kat slater from eastenders and atomic kitten singer - forget which one, they all look the same - live nearby in wanstead. Many other rich footballers live around chigwell and loughton area.
- Didn't Jim Lampi of the Chapman stick fame, once live in Barkingside. Not sure when this was - 1985 ?
- Bobby Moore used to hang out in Ilford bacause Tina lived there. I think their first date was in the Palais. When he became famous and she got posh they must have moved up Gants Hill way, because I remember that my Mum said she brought her tights into the launderette (and that was about as decadent as you could get).
- nigel benn lived in henley road in ilford. i went to school with his brother. anna karen use to live in sunnyside road. froggy (steve howless) first dj to bring live mixing to the masses. had the largest road show which radio one use to use in the summer road shows. paul ince lived in goodmayes and went to school at gilbert miles. dudley moore lived in dagenham and if i'm not mistaken so did benny hill.noel edmounds played at the kings hotel ( lacy lady ) regualarly.
- goerge parris[ex west ham]
- lets make it clear! arnold schwarzaneger lived in Forest Gate with Wag Bennett. not Ilford, my neighbour Bill Norris was friendly with Wagg and my ex used to train with Wag in Forest Gate i also have a book signed by Dianne Bennett Wag's Wife and i have seen pictures of them together. Also get it straight Itchicoo Park is Little Ilford Park in Manor Park E12, my neighbour used to date the famouse 'small face'Steve Marriot. (she said he was a little shit though!). i am fed up with people naming other parks as Itchicoo Park it Little Ilford... I have lived i Manor Park all my life and my dad was born in E12 so i know what i am talking about.
- I believe that Mike Mansfield the flamboyant BBC music producer (Top of the Pops?) in the 1960s/1970s lived on Golf Road when he was young. He had an unidentical twin brother named Brian. They went to South Park Junior Mixed at the time.
- Jenny Powell, the female who used to spin the wheel on wheel of fortune, also modelled for FHM used to live at 1 Devonshire Road, Newbury Park up until about 1985.
- Adrian Gurvitz and Paul Gurvitz lived in Gants Hill. Their group, The Gun had a top ten hit in the sixties with "Race with the devil."
Nigel Benn lived in Henley Road,Ilford, not Forest Gate.Gants Hill is also the original home of Red Lighning Records, a well known blues label.
Some of the bands that have played in Ilford are Ike and Tina Turner, Jams Brown and Bill Haley and the Comets who appeared at the Greengate pub.
Also, Roy Rogers and his famous horse Trigger appeared at the Pioneer Market in Ilford in the fifties.
Jayne Mansfield also opened the fete at Valentines Park in the sixties.
In cricket, the great West Indies team featuring Weekes, Worrell and Walcott played at Valentines Park, as did the South African team in the fifties.
- Bobby Moore (the guy that lifted the world cup in 1966) usedto live in Glenwood Gardens, Gants Hill, as a young boy.
- Some of the postings are highly dubious or just plain wrong or have nothing to do with Ilford. I think most people who were actually around in the mid sixties and knew the small faces and their school mates in East Ham knew that Itchicoo Park was Valentines Park, where large numbers gathered on a Sunday for various activities. My cousin was best mates with Bryan Forbes (film director), is mentioned in his autobiography and they were from FOREST GATE. Rod Stewart has a large house at THEYDON MOUNT.
- little known fact that David Bendeth (producer, musician writer) who had a big dance hit called Feel the Real in 1980 and also produced and mixed Elvis 30 #1 hits which just sold 10 million records in 2003 lived until he was 12 on Clayhall Avenue and went to Parkhill School. David lives in New York and he also found the cowboy Junkies and the crash test dummies. I know him from Canada which is where he emigrated too. His fave places in the world were Marments toy shop and Rossis Ice cream in Barkingside
- David Beckham used to live in Chingford. Frank Bruno lives in Hornchurch and is friendly with my parents' neighbour who lives just off the Drive. Nick Berry (Wicksy out of Eastenders) and Letita Dean (Sharon out of Eastenders) were both 6th formers at my old school, Wanstead High. Nick's sister was in my brother's year in the late 80's. Jo from SClub is a regular at the Mecca bingo in Barkingside. The bloke (can't remember his name) who presents Popworld on Channel 4 on Sunday mornings lives in Gants Hill, I've seen him a number of times going to Gants Hill station.
- Rod Stuart lives in Chigwell and Nigel Benn used to live in Forset Gate. Maria Carey producer and Dance music guru "Bradley G" (young people would have heard of) lives in Chigwell, Mick Green formally of Johnny Kidd & The Pirates who is now with Paul McCartney lives in Grange Hill (Currently on the Brian Ferry Tour, according to his site). Also Aleisia Silverstone (American Actress lived in Buckhurst Hill)
- SEAN MAGUIRE from Sevenkings (Grange Hill/ Aidan in Eastenders- the Fowlers took him in.. well Aurther did)... 10 years ago u could have bumped into him in the Shannon Centre... now he's off trying to break America!! ha
- What ever happened to the local man that dressed up as a Native American?? He used to be around in the early eighties, sadly missed.
- Desmond Askew (he was in Grange Hill, the film "Go" and anyone remember the "Harry the Spider" advert?) went to South Park school. He also worked in Sainsbury's in Barkingside!
- Ken ASTON, the referee who actually invented the RED and YELLOW card system and refereed many a famous game including World Cup matches, used to teach at both WILLIAM TORBITT and NEWBURY PARK schools. He sadly died in October 2001.
The actor Victor MADDERN was a pupil at WILLIAM TORBITT.
70's Irish band the DOOLEYS lived in Seven Kings, possibly Kingswood Road.
The highly successful 'boy band' TRI 60 all came from Ilford and attended Loxford School. Sammy MARSH, Pepe MASCIA and Neil COCKERELL.
The famour 4 minute mile runner Roger BANNISTER lived in Chadwell Heath.
The last survivor from the TITANIC, Eva HART was an Ilford Resident and is only remembered by a pub in Chadwell Heath being named after her (She deserves better than that !).
- Tamzin Outhwaite (Mel from Eastenders) used to live down Longwood Gdns and Louise Lombard aka Perkins (from House of Elliot and Mertropolis) use to live down Cranbrook Road in Barkingside
- The late Christopher Kite Director of the Guildhall School of Music attended Ilford County High in the 60's and 70's, as did Branwell Tovey and Gary Kettel both internationally famous classical musicians... So too Robert Demerger (Royal Shakespeare company) and Renny Krupinski (internationally known actor / director) and Trvor Brooking (BBC commentator and England / West Ham footballer) - the school produced some talent eh? All these in 5 years - who's there now?
- (Sir) Jimmy Savile was the manager and Monday night DJ at the Ilford Palais in the 1950s, Billy Walker the heavyweight boxer was a bouncer there about the same time. Movie actor, director and writer Bryan Forbes was also an Ilfordian.
- Mr Nasser Hussain England cricket captain and Ilford boy
- Arnold Schwartznegger used to use a gym in Ilford. He is still good friends with the owner. He also used to swim in the lido in Valentines Park (A nice piece of architecture, bulldozed by the council in the nineties because they didn't want to fork out a few grand to cement some cracks in.)
RO-LAND from Grange Hill (in the 80s) used to have a record shop in that toilet-bowl of shops up the end of the High Road, near the Havelock pub.
- Denise Levertov, naturalised American poet, grew up in Ilford (Mansfield Rd.)in the 20's and 30's. Mentions it a lot in her poetry, if you're interested.
- Tarzan aka Johnny Weissmuller (1904-1984) was reported to have swam on several occasions in the Lido that used to be in Valentines Park
- Hugh Trevor Roper, Historian and author of "The Last Days of Hitler" once lived at 67 Wanstead Park Road.
- Ian Lavender ("stupid boy Pike)of Dad's Army fame lives near the town centre. (I wont put exactly where for the sake of his privacy).
- Kathy Kirby who when I knew her in 1951 was then known as Kathlene O'Rouke and serenaded us with" I'll Take You Home Again Kathlene" at the corner of Cristchurch Secondary School.
- someone quoted the "Small Faces" sung about Barking Park (Itchicoo Park)
It was in fact Little Ilford Park in Manor Park, very close to the Ruskin Arms
where they used to play.
- I was in a band with Martin Samuel too. Did anyone mention Raymond Baxter? I think he went to Ilford County High. Oh, and Itchycoo Park is Little Ilford Parkin Manor Park, not Barking Park.
- Jo from SClub7 used to work as a waitress in Wild Jack Henry's in Cranbrook Road - it's where she was discovered. So there.
- use used to be quite unusaul with its tree inside the building.
- I was in a band with Martin Samuel just after we left Ilford County High - he had to give up his dubious attempts at drumming to find celebrity status as the sports reporter for the Sun.
And no-one seems to remember Mark Fox of Haircut One Hundred.
- Kathy Kirby, sixties songstress. Doctor Crippen, murderer, lived in York Road. Boxer Billy Walker. Olymic diver Brian What's 'is name who won the only UK medal at the 1964 Olympics. The Small Faces sang about Barking Park ("Itchycoo Park").
- David Beckham is from down the road at Leytonstone.
- Nigel Benn, Trevor Brooking, Jenny Powell (year above my sister in Woodford County High) and also the woman from Biosphere 2 not forgetting Rene Zagger, of Grange Hill fame about eight years ago! Also my dad met Frank Bruno walking through Hainault Forest one Sunday so things can't be all that bad.
- The Nolan Sisters also used to live in Ilford on Granville Road.
- Boxer Colin McMillan is from Ilford.
- Tessa Sanderson had a shop in the exchange, but it then closed down.
- Kathleen Raine (relative of Barbra Cartland and Princess Diana) once described Ilford as "a place where people sit in their rooms and watch TV instead of having real relationships and relating to each other" - but this really isn't fair comment The hopelessly sentimental country and western singer Charlene (whose 15 minutes of fame came when she had a no 1 single with "I've Never Been To Me" in 1982) used to work in Foxes Newsagent next to the railway station.
- Paul ince used to live in ilford Trevor brooking lived in clayhall
- Well, Noel Edmonds used to go to my old school called Caterham which is in close-by Clayhall. Plenty of Celebs in Chigwell though.
- Amazingly talented actor/ musician/ sex symbol Sean Maguire lives in Ilford. There are a few of Jack the Rippers victims buried in the cemetery on the High Road.
- Anna Karen the actres who played Olive from On the Buses lives off of Ilford Lane Sophie Lawrence who played Diane in Eastenders is also from Seven Kings
Search Knowhere for something else:
All the information in the Knowhere Guide has been contributed by users over the years. No one person is responsible for it all and not all contributors will agree with all the opinions included.
Parts of this information have been supplied by: sc, Jennifer Driscoll, Tracy, gez160, Patrick Linsley, lorna gowers, Katy, Rob Poyton, jack cunningham, Blanche, Jus, Joey A, phil williams, Bex, Rod Cove, Avi Hoddes, Tom Short, ROZ GEDDES, Natja Robertson, Alex Webster, Geoff Gregory, David Mason, brim, Glynn Kosky, anthony Stone, Stew Mott, Ivan brown, David Upton, michael hepworth, John Hicks, cat, lee simm, adam, Steve Aukett, Dermot Buckley, becca, Paul Berwick, JO , Steve Palmer, Tony Brown, Robin Froumin, Tony Billings, Aaa, pat little, les herbert, Mel, Bob Pickett, Lisa, dan, Gabrielle, James Harrison, Pammy, Donald Andrew, James knewstub, pete mansfield, Mick Cooper, Dawn, Sonail, Paul Ardley, steve warner, Dominic Heaney, generic, adil, Ian, ROY TYZACK, Danielson, Debbie, frank bailey, John Savage, Philip L, gary, Nigel R, cliff jones, David Dean, Stephanie, quan carlos, cliff, David Lampshire, ALF JONES, Eileen Brinkworth, barry gray, John, jeff, Paul Franklyn, Steve
Last updated: 2012-01-23
More stuff about Ilford
- Sports Shops
- The Best Things
- Live Music Venues
- Recording Studios, Rehearsal Rooms, PA Hire
- Cringing Cult of Celebrity
- Record Shops
- Hookup Spots
- Favourite Building
- Local Bands
- Buskers, Street Entertainers
- LAN Parties, Tournaments, LAN Game Cafes, WiFi Meets, PSP/DS Meets
- Sports Clubs and Facilities
- BMX Trails, Street Spots
- Cafes and Coffee Shops
- Related Links
- Computer and Games Shops
- Alternative Lifestyle
- Bicycle Shops, Bike Sales and Repairs
- The Worst Things
- Cheap Food
- The Stuff We Can't Fit In Somewhere Else
- Hostels, B&Bs, Hotels, Accommodation
- Clubs (Dance Music) and Music Bars
- Musical Instrument Shops and DJ Gear
- Arts, crafts and such
- Magazine and Comic Shops
- Skateboarding Spots
- Clothes Shops, Shoe Shops, Fashion and Bargains
- Demolish It Now Building
- Skateboard Shops
- Ilford Knowhere Board